Jorma Puranen - Shadows, Reflections and All That Sort of Thing (1991-2009)
"By ‘images’ [eikona] I mean first shadows [skias], then reflections on water [phantasmata] and other close-grained, polished surfaces, and all that sort of thing…"
Plato, The Republic, Book VII
"Within museum photography, dramatic use of light and shade were avoided; rather, light was used to give uniformity to a series, regardless of difference of photographed objects.
My emphasis, however, is not placed on the relation of the original and copy, but drawing attention to the photographic process itself, complexity of gaze, to convey arresting sense of presence, to evoke an exalted attention.
With intensive raking light I wish to bring to our attention the surface of the painting, with its shiny areas, its hidden colors and its cracks.
The original focus of the painting, a face, seem to hover behind, between and beyond the material layers of the painting. Looking at paintings from unusual angles evokes in the viewer the sense of vulnerability emerged from the tension between a moment and permanence, a flash of light and centuries old patina.
Photography´s capacity to register reflections is actually its singular gift. What other medium deals so expressively with the play of light and shadow? Furthermore, by veiling the faces in light, the photograph actually reinvests them with mystery. In the face of their own reality, these pictures remain blind, just as at the same time they open our eyes to the ‘destiny’ of the sitters.
I fetch my portraits through the past of their painted existence and the actuality of the photographs materializes them as transitory bodies.”