The project “Kohti : Towards” by Sanni Saarinen at the Museum of Photography

On November 5 at 5 pm, we will open the exhibition “Kohti : Towards” by Finnish photographer Sanni Saarinen in the project room of our museum.
KOHTI is a Finnish word meaning “towards”, but I translate it into the act of trying to reach something. I study those moments where seemingly nothing happens, but in a way, all of life happens. I am interested in questions of shared memories, of family, of growth, of passing of time and of the border between the imagined and the real, what really happened and how we experience it.
The sun draws a line on a person’s skin and the line will last until all the cells have been renewed.
When a wave hits the shore, it is soft, even it carries the Ocean within. Its origins have been lost and have no importance anymore.
After the sauna, me and my sister circled in the yard in our summer cottage and the freshly cut grass spotted our naked bodies. Now the grass is clinging to our daughters’ toes.
The elements merge into each other: wood into dirt, water into ice. It is impossible to say when the change happens, when one thing ends, and other thing begins.
I feel the same way about life. Milestones and clearly seen turning points are highlighted in the speeches, but I think we become ourselves in those everyday moments where seemingly nothing happens.
Memories reach into present like roots into dirt. Yesterdays’ dreams have evaporated into the air we breathe today. Words said long time ago echo in my mind preventing me to hear what is said today.
At some point my daughter has learned to read and think her own thoughts. My thoughts are among her thoughts as the thoughts of my mother are among my thoughts, like the shared DNA passes from one generation to another.
All the borders are fragile and porous.
Sanni Saarinen (b 1979) is a Finnish documentary photographer, visual artist, cultural anthropologist and writer based in Espoo, Finland. Interested in questions of identity, community and belonging, Saarinen often works with societal projects and experiments with auto-fictional elements. In 2018, she was named as one of LensCulture’s Emerging Talents and in 2021 shortlisted for PhotoEspaña Discoveries Award. In 2021 shortlisted for PhotoEspaña Discoveries Award.

Saarinen, who holds a Master’s degree in Comparative Religions from the University of Turku, studied photography at the International Center of Photography and Cinema (EFTI) in Madrid, Spain. She is currently an MA student of Photography at Aalto University. Beyond various shows in Finland, her work has been exhibited in New York’s Klompching Gallery with LensCulture, and as part of the Open Walls exhibition at the 2019 edition of the annual Rencontres d’Arles, France.
The webpage of the artist:
The exhibition dates: 5.11.2021 – 27.02.2022