Gallery TAIK is delighted to present the first solo exhibition of Finnish artist Petri Summanen in Berlin. The exhibition Photographer´s Archives 2004-2011 presents a series of artworks that documents the artist´s process of giving up photography.
"One beautiful day on the other side of the world I walked to a mountain top to give up photography. The place turned out too photographic. In another country, on the edge of a jungle I found a shallow pond where I archived my camera, and took my last photograph as an evidence and as a recollection." writes Summanen in his personal statement about the series.
Petri Summanen was educated as a professional photographer and alwaysrn aimed at creating art through photography. Nevertheless, he has never rnexhibited his photographs anywhere and only few have actually been seen rnby anyone in the last years. In the series of works exhibited in Galleryrn TAIK Summanen focuses on the artist's interrogation of the question of rnhow photography can be distinguished as an artistic medium. Where in rnthis digital age analog photography is now an exception, the artist rnconfronts the traditional process with its limitations and conventions, rnputting emphasis on its formal, technical and material aspects. The rntitles for his works only refer to the technical equipment such as the rnused brands to devoid them of any artistic expression. It is the medium rnitself, the process of image making and the industrial photo products rnthat the artist is seeking to highlight. Consequently, Summanen does notrn present art photography but ‘art objects´ - the material originally rnused in the artistic process of analog photography.rn
The series "Photographer´s Archives 2004-2011" contains the cameras rnthe artist has used plus the films and prints he has made. Yet unlike rnthe usual functionality of an archive, Summanen´s Archives not only rnpreserve but also disable his previous artwork from being exhibited everrn again. Having embedded it into glass vitrines the artist destroyed his rnphotographic work for any possible future use. The contradiction of rnSummanen´s Archives is however only of cursorily nature. Petri rnSummanen´s process of deconstruction can be conceived as the explorationrn of how a photographic artwork could be determined. A particular rncharacteristic of photography - most popularly alluded to by Roland rnBarthes in his meticulous depiction of his mother´s photographe - is rnbeing put to disposition: Comparable to the purpose of an archive that rnis referring to what has not been documented, inherent to the rnphotographic medium is the reference of what is absent. Summanen´s rn"Photographer´s Archives" reflect the signification of reference by rntransposing the images to objects to conceptual ideas. Thus the rnself-reflection of the artwork becomes a conceptual transition for the rnphotographic artist himself who turns into an artist working with rnphotography.rn
-Jenny Rosemarie Mannhardt