09 May 2008

invited guest: Wilma Hurskainen

On the deck

Family picture


Growth is a project in which I reconstructed and re-photographed pictures that my dad took of me and my three little sisters when we were children. I tried to make the new photograph look as similar as possible to the old one: the place and the composition are the same, and so are our positions and facial expressions.




In the bathtub

I have always been very attracted by the photograph´s ability to cross time and create this kind of comparisons. There is something sad, almost tragic, about looking at old photographs compared to new ones and seeing how people and things have changed or grown up.

After all, it is said that time has been accepted as a common means of measuring life because people are not able nor willing to see the change in themselves. In the pictures it seems as if we were trying to go back to our childhood by adopting the same position towards each other and the photographer´s/spectator´s gaze but we unavoidably fail. We have to fail – there is no return in time.

On the way to school


I am interested in family photographs and the way they are taken, stored and (not so often) looked at. Anyone with any family history can tell that, although the family pictures are supposed to tell a story about a happy, unanimous family, growing up with other people is never simple. Family photographs can be a way of reflecting one´s past and identity, but the pictures conceal just as much as they reveal.

In the cabin

Castle Olavinlinna

In the comparisons time takes a strange form – it feels as if there was a dialogue between the past and the present moment, like there is in our minds as concerns our own memories A memory is never static, permanent, but changes as we change. By repeating a distant moment something weird is revealed about us as objects of the photograph in the first pictures: the way we play our artificial roles for the photograph. We might not be more than five years old, but we already know exactly how to be in/for a photograph.

The Royal Palace

Wilma Hurskainen,
born 1979 lives and works in Helsinki. She has graduated as a Master of Arts from University of Industrial Arts and Design in Helsinki. Wilma works as a freelance photographer for newspapers, magazines and companies. Her work has been exhibited in Prague, Hamburg, Stockholm and Santago de Cuba to mention a few of her individual or group shows. You will find more of her work at wilmahurskainen.com or at the Helsinki School.

If I my add something; seeing Wilma´s work was indeed refreshing and a reminder of the importance of family albums and what they can tell. I am a big fan of them too./ulf
invited by ulf fågelhammar
Photos and text © Wilma Hurskainen


joanna said...

this is an oustranding project!! so great and funny at once, and so clever and universal, perfect! nice to see these on the F!
greetings and thanks for sharing! :)

F said...

Interesting and fun! Everyone should try this


Rhonda said...

I always loved old family photography. Not just my family, any family. They tell so much! But the dialogue between old and new here makes these family photographs even more meaningful. Excellent!

J. Karanka said...

How cool. And some meaningful frames in that as well. That goes directly highlighted into tumblr... :o)

Anonymous said...


outstanding and fun, as several have said. especially the bath-picture.

- f.

chris said...

Great and fun project! I'm a big fan of looking at old pics, it is always a strange mixture of joy and sadness.

beatriz said...

wonderful project. I find it very interesting that it could be done...time, place, and people all coming together. amazing. Nice idea and beautifully done. !

urbano(mr) said...

the grandfather picture is so great, no words needed to explain that

paolo saccheri said...

fantastic, fantastic, fantastic! all words have been already spoken.

Ulla said...

Great and interesting, every picture give me a warm feeling, but the first one -on the deck- give me refreshness.

marcin said...

winderful life project. so different from Saudek's pictures basing on this same idea. Real life. Picture of grandad - truly touching