Comprising photographs and texts, The Petrified Forest documents photographer Ville Lenkkeri’s (born 1972) memories of the wooded Finnish town in which he grew up. The volume’s short texts represent missing pictures, guiding the viewer through the artist’s subjective recollections of a small, industrial town.
Published by Kerber. Edited with text by Ville Lenkkeri.
The third monograph by Finnish photographer Ville Lenkkeri (born 1972), Existence Doubtful gathers pictures taken in Antarctica and Tierra del Fuego, as well as a text that uses the images as a departure point to tackle subjects such as colonialism, capitalism and representation.
If the strength of Finnish photography is in gathering together irony, skillful craftsmanship, humor and reflection on media, then it has found one of its most talented representatives in Ville Lenkkeri, says PHOTO International. This volume collects new work by the Helsinki School photographer, set in the deserted Russian mining town, Spitzbergen.
Early in his career, Ville Lenkkeri studied film, and film remains a strong influence. In one series titled Movies, the young Helsinki School photographer (born in 1972) investigated the relationship between cinema and photography; his latest, The World As We Know It, employs a cinematic strategy. Here, he photographs paintings and scenes-within-a-scene, from murals in waiting rooms to three-dimensional dioramas in natural science museums, trompe-l'oeil art in settings he describes as "public places to which people do not have intimate relationships, but still a relationship…often the people in pictures have worked in these places for a long time." The presence of such a figure, a museum guard or a visitor, heightens the ambivalence the artist is looking for, keeping readers in the disturbing, unfocused zone between reality and fiction.