Photographs by Riitta Paivalainen.
Photology, Milan, 2007. 88 pp., 53 color illustrations, 12x10".
Helsinki School photographer Riitta Paivalainen's pictures inquire about presence, absence and personhood by looking at abandoned garments that show the signs of passing time in faded colors and torn fabric, and seem to show some of the history of the person who wore them. Paivalainen, born in 1969 in Finland, places her cloth subjects in Finnish or English landscapes in order to cast them in a kind of performance; she often soaks them in water and puts them outside in winter to freeze stiff, seeming in their solidity to embody an absent wearer. The intimacy with which these garments have been known, the swiftness with which they have become scrap when cast off, and the three-dimensional sculptural qualities she imbues them with evoke related connections between nature, time and the human body.
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