Some of reality’s wounds ask only to sit near Anja Niemi’s heroins in a melancholic need to share the sorrow of time passed or to find in their masks relics from hidden life. In a satin-smooth form, eroticism becomes a mise en abyme. She achieves this through the early 20th century Italian avant-garde actress Eleonora Duse, who felt that she existed only the eyes of the others.
But photography likes to cover its tracks and open up other paths thru vanity games, postures, and insidious poisons. Anja Niemi delights in making light ironic romance . The soft murmur of images becomes the froth of passing days in a sequence of clever ellipses.And if there is humor it is not sardonic.
The curves of desire seem suffocated, but so as to exist in a deeper way. Anja Niemi knows how to erase the past while bouncing back, to pierce the skin of the unconscious , to empty it of its miasmas. Or, if one prefers, she buries yesterday and the excitement of its hours in a today where a story of desire like that of the actress is revitalized.
Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret is a poet, critic, and a lecturer in communications at the Université de Savoie, in France.
Anja Niemi, The Woman Who Never Existed
March 16 through April 12, 2017
10-14, rue des Jardins Saint-Paul (Village Saint-Paul)