Archive Play by Hertta Kiiski & Niina Vatanen
Published by KEHRER VERLAG (2014)
This book is a playful, tentative and imaginative exploration into the photographic archive as generator of multiple meanings and plentiful source of inspiration. The bodies of work, Present (Thank You Helvi Ahonen) by Hertta Kiiski and Archival Studies / A Portrait of an Invisible Woman by Niina Vatanen, were created as a response to the Helvi Ahonen collection, housed at the Finnish Museum of Photography. The 5,000 negatives that make up the original collection tell a touching story about the amateur photographer Helvi Ahonen’s life, with all its joys and sorrows.
Archive Play is a joint effort between the curator Mirjami Schuppert and the artists Hertta Kiiski and Niina Vatanen. While it is a culmination of an intensive research and collaboration project, the documentation of the exhibition Glimpses of the Unattainable (Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, spring 2014), it also is an independent work on its own. To accompany the photographs, a further interpretative layer is created by a fictional story written by Monika Fagerholm, an esteemed Finnish author.