Mia Damberg, Essi Orpana, Tiina Palola, Patricia Rodas
Latvian Museum of Photography, Riga, 2019 August
On Disappearance deals with issues relating to violation and violence, humiliation and shame, self-doubt, identity and the loss of it – disappearance of oneself from the others as well as from oneself. We inherit and adapt patterns, voice tones, small gestures -to make another insecure with themselves -and we learn to depress ourselves quickly. We interpret and recreate memories and situations. Who we are and how do we feel about ourselves, becomes effected and defined by someone else than ourselves – our past, our parents, our partner – anyone who becomes close and important to us. Sometimes we disappear, other times we intentionally hide, seek for shelter until we feel secure to self-redefine the limits and take back our own space.
Mia Damberg’s recent series Blade of Longing deals with painful personal memories shaping her adult life. Memories feeling like a wound that won’t stop itching -yet memories we hold on to almost obsessively. Dambergs works display a range of emotions fear, alienation and particularly feelings of shame.
Essi Orpana’s Such is Silence has a performative character, often with herself performing an act in an empty abandoned location. She creates contradictions between herself and the place with no shared memory, nor memories. This is when the subconscious starts to form narratives from imaginary past events and the character present in the image. Through her presence, these rooms become alive again.
Tiina Palola works with her personal history and emotional connections between nature and memory. She works on building sceneries from emotional and bodily memory. In her series Shelter she creates an illusion between her inner thoughts and the reality, she is longing to change. Attraction to illusions, the will to hold them up, the will to believe in them, the will and need to feel secure makes it hard to tell the self-created illusion from reality.
Patricia Rodas has completed three series on violence against women. In The Most Intimate Hideaways, Rodas influences the exposure through hand-on behaviour, like hitting the body of the camera or kicking the tripod to reconstruct the emotional stages during a violent relationship. Fallen Grace picture women falling down in an open landscape to contrast the violence taking place at private, where as Unreported resembles the violence never told. By presenting these series together Rodas wishes to address that everybody knows a victim- nobody knows the roles behind the scenes.