Photographs by Riitta Päiväläinen. Text by Andréa Holzherr.
Kehrer Verlag, 2009. 88 pp., 60 color illustrations, 9¾x13¾".
Finnish photographer Riitta Päiväläinen’s work could be defined as the
emotional archaeology of the ordinary. Using old clothes she finds in secondhand shops and flea markets, Päiväläinen creates installations in landscapes and photographs them. For Päiväläinen, the clothes are vestiges of human beings, retaining traces of the history of the person who wore them long after being discarded. The garments represent both the presence and the absence of their former owners. Päiväläinen uses the properties of the landscape in Finland, England or Japan, as a stage for displaying the clothes. By soaking them in water and placing them outside in the Finnish winter, for example, the garments freeze solid, filling out as if someone were wearing them. This gives them a sculptural quality and opens manifold metaphorical and narrative possibilities.
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