Ici au loin (Here far away) is a retrospective covering over forty years of photography in almost as many countries. Despite that, the discrete title chosen by Finnish photographer Pentti Sammallahti refers to the paradox that wants one photograph always to represent a here-and-now. The encounter, on the walls of an exhibition or in the pages of a book, between the artist and the viewer is an encounter clearly subject to the law of impermanence, but it always reflects their mutual capacity to establish a dialogue, to project the past captured by the photo in the viewer’s present and future.
A gleaner of landscapes wild, transformed, unusual—Pentti Sammallahti reveals a fragile universe that is harmoniously composed. In a monochromatic treatment and with the same artistic strength, the horizons of the Baltic Sea, South Africa, and Namibia blend together. The impossibility to date this profound mysticism (between 1980 and 2011) can only arise from the perfect beauty of nature.
The finesse of this Finnish photographer’s execution, his printing technicality, and his personal poetry combine in intense frescos of bucolic landscapes where humans and objects lose themselves in this abundant, surreal, and melancholic nature. It is as if man had to accommodate this melancholy for fear of provoking its anger. Ici au loin is composed like an invitation to explore the essential, the liberation of a spatiotemporal framework. Pentti Sammallahti teaches to those mindful the contemplation of life.
Pentti Sammallahti, Ici au loin
From September 8 through November 26, 2017
Stimultania Pôle de photographie
33 rue Kageneck