• Kristian Jalava: New moon (2022), hopeagelatiinivedos 254cm x 250cm (yksityiskohta)

Kristian Jalava

Invertible World

Huuto IV 10.2.-5.3.2023

Kristian Jalava
Invertible World

In the photography project Invertible World, Kristian Jalava utilizes the static structures of society as part of the image-making process. Jalava darkens various buildings into pinhole cameras and exposes large negative images inside of them directly onto black and white paper. Through the series of works, Jalava examines the phenomena of a changing world from the perspective of buildings – in the shelter of structures that maintain slow time. The complex composition of the subjects contains various spatiotemporal meanings – building transitions, threat of demolition, Covid lockdown, residence, indoor air problems and reversed ruins.

On a scale of a building, the analog photography process becomes a slow and bodily event. The optical image created in a dark room (camera obscura) is in direct – and inverse – relation to the landscape around the building. During a long exposure, the rays of light reflected from objects in the outside world draw a latent image on the photosensitive surface, which is later printed into a negative image. It could be said that, at the level of the index, a negative photograph is closer to physical reality than a positive image requiring secondary exposures.

A negative photograph is ambiguous and its content is vague. In times of uncertainty, the question arises as to when – if ever – can we return to a normal life. What is the new normal like? A negative image of the world expresses the kind of uncanniness and alienation that prevails in an unusual time, even in a familiar environment. In the invertible world, different threats become part of people’s daily lives.

In the Invertible World project, Jalava´s camera buildings have included, for example army bunkers, buildings under construction, a church, a bar, a former maternity hospital and a former tobacco factory. The complex composition of the subjects contains various spatiotemporal conditions – building transitions, threat of demolition, Covid lockdown, artist recidence, indoor air problems and reversed ruins.

At the Invertible World exhibition at Galleria Huuto, the main works are silver gelatin prints exposed at Kristian Jalava’s studio that is located in a former barracks building in Pääskyvuori, Turku. The works are named after the phases of the moon at the time of exposure. The exhibition also features a collage work and a publication containing documentary images.

Kristian Jalava is a Turku-based visual artist who works with experimental photographic processes, book art and installation. His approach on photography is by challenging and deconstructing the photographic apparatus. Time-related themes, such as temporality, slowness and everydayness, are recurring elements in Jalava’s artistic work. Jalava makes use of the principle of a camera obscura and develops new social, technical and spatial uses for the ancient phenomenon of natural light.

The Invertible World project has been supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Alfred Kordelin Foundation and TOP-Säätiö.