© Esko Männikkö & Pekka Turunen, Untitled (from the series ‘PEMOHT’), 1989-1995 / 2013, C-print framed by the artist, 73 x 90 cm, (Lava)
From the press release:
Galerie Nordenhake is pleased to present PEMOHT, an exhibition by Finnish photographers Esko Männikkö and Pekka Turunen. The title takes its’ name from a photographic essay realised by the two artists in conjunction over a seven year period between 1989 and 1995. Previously only exhibited in Scandinavia and Russia, this will be the first time this significant series is reassembled and can be seen in its’ almost integrality since shortly after its’ completion. This will also be the first time both artists will be shown together in a gallery context.
The title PEMOHT refers to the Cyrillic script for the Russian word Remont – a term which can be translated as reparation and stands as the euphemistic and tragic symbol for the collapse of a country and the subsequent failure of its’ institutions, devices and social structures. Within the immediate wake of the Soviet Union’s dissolution the two photographers travelled to the Kola Peninsula, a remote area on the border of northern Finland. At the beginning of the Soviet period the peninsula was heavily industrialised and militarised, largely due to its’ strategic position and the discovery of the vast nickel and heavy metal deposits in the 1920s. As a result, the ecology of the area suffered major ecological damage, including contamination by military nuclear waste and nickel smelting.
Set against the bleak backdrop of this violated area, Männikkö and Turunen’s colour photographs set out to document the everyday reality of a disenfranchised community living on the margins during times of major transition. A haunting document of post-Soviet living conditions, PEMOHT captures this new reality with poetry, clarity and grit.
© Esko Männikkö & Pekka Turunen, Untitled (from the series ‘PEMOHT’), 1989-1995 / 2013, C-print framed by the artist, 41.5 x 44.5 cm, (Cleaning berries)
© Esko Männikkö & Pekka Turunen, Untitled (from the series ‘PEMOHT’), 1989-1995 / 2013, C-print framed by the artist, 67 x 85 cm, (Cleaning car)
Esko Männikkö, Pekka Turunen, Pemoht
April, 27 – June 22, 2013