The bearers of human traces, found objects and fragments of text, are prominent features in Tanja Koljonen’s work. Her relocation of these objects detaches them from their original function and meaning. Sometimes they are deconstructed, cut up, and rearranged. Instead of conventional, representational functions of preserving memories Koljonen’s work is marked by a distinct, self-contained present tense that essentially deals with the impossibility of complete thoughts. In Koljonen’s words: "Photographing shifts the emphasis from the thing itself to the idea behind and object transmuting the object itself into a metaphor. These metaphors are archived thoughts in an endless and curious process of expanding our understanding of human nature. They are emerged results of texts and objects, delicately sealed by the act of photographing.” The work draws attention to the ways in which language and reason are tied to one another – the truths and realities in things spoken and written, we can never be sure of.
Tanja Koljonen was born in Muonio, Finland, in 1981. She lives and works in Helsinki. Koljonen graduated from Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in 2014. Since 2008, she has participated in various international exhibitions and screenings at film festivals. She has been an Artist in Residence at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2014) and has been part of the Kempinski Young Artist Program in Beijing and Shanghai (2015). Her solo exhibitions include Waiting for the clouds to Vanish Photographic Centre Nykyaika (Tampere, 2018), Tanja Koljonen, Photographic Gallery Hippolyte, Helsinki (2017); Between Two Dots, Gallery TaiK Persons, Berlin (2016); Päätäntähäntä, Gallery Huuto, Helsinki (2016); Waiting for the Clouds to Vanish, Künstlerhaus Bethanien Gallery, Berlin (2015).