MARTTI JÄMSÄKalla 12.8.2006 – 3.9.2006
Authenticity and consistency are two concepts Martti Jämsä represents as an artist. Neither of these concepts can be taken for granted in the changing world in which we live. Nevertheless, Jämsä creates his works of art from things he considers important and has done so from the very outset. His world of photographs consists of small, yet important things. Dominated by a certain sense of inert melancholy, his photographs are are often of summer and small boys busy playing. His works aren´t portraits however. The figures are usually so detached they seem to depict an idea of some idyllic life. Likewise, in their minimalist sensitivity, Jämsä´s nature photos create unique opportunities to contemplate.
These days, Martti Jämsä is an unusual artist also in the sense that his photographs are in black and white and he develops them in his own darkroom. Nature itself constitutes an important element for Jämsä and it is interesting to note how vividly he portrays it in black and white, with even the smallest details gaining importance. A composition can take on a new significance through, for example, the clear graphic line of a branch or some other detail suddenly penetrating a landscape that has been poetically left slightly misty. Also he reflects the different angles of light amazingly in the black and whiteness of the images. Even though the colours are left to the imagination, it´s easy to sense the strong, lasting sunshine of childhood in Jämsä´s photographs. Or the sparkling water and reflections falling on it. On the other hand, his inimitable skill of creating contrasts dramatically conveys the mystic depth of darkness.
Whatever subject matter he tackles, the power of Martti Jämsä´s photographs lies in their authenticity and spontaneity. In their intensity, they are studies of a traditional landscape, which bring a great joie de vivre when looking at them. His way of presenting images as different series also affects how they are experienced. Each photo in itself forms an entire world that combines with other thoughts to become a kind of narrative.
Martti Jämsä often uses old glass as a background. The dirty edges and cracks in the glass that have evolved through the years add to the impression of the charm of yesteryear already in the photos and further broaden their raison d´être. It´s as if they were actually windows into the past and ultimately into our own memories. Even though the photos strongly convey days gone by or melancholy, they also touch on the present or future. In their pensiveness, they are brimming with never-changing questions. Life is always just as enigmatic and its genuine depiction is of importance.