together with: Ted Serios, Jule Eisenbud, Rebecca Baron

The exhibition will be opened by Peri’s charter and honorary member, committee counselor Olli Hietanen in the presence of the artist Thursday 8 March at 6 pm.

This exhibition, compiled by Marjaana Kella, deals with one of the most essential questions in photography, the relationship between image and truth. ‘Superillusion’ is based on stories and documents on Ted Serios who became famous in the 1960’s in the US. Serios was thought to have been able to produce photographs purely with the power of his mind. The extraordinary abilities of this wild and charismatic vagabond were extensively studied, but also put into question and accused of being a hoax.

Dr Jule Eisenbud, interested in Freudian psychoanalysis and parapsychology, took Ted under his wing and devoted his life to studying Serios’s abilities. The images seen in the exhibition come from the the Jule Eisenbud collection on Ted Serios and thoughtographic photography, located at the University of Maryland. The exhibition also features an excerpt from Rebecca Baron’s short film Detour de Force, also based on film archives.

The exhibition, while making use of documentaristic material, takes the viewer onto a stage within an image. It makes no comment on whether Ted Serios’s abilities were real or not, but shows the framework of his story as an allegory for how the reality perceived by our eyes is eventually just a construction of our mind. In a photograph, a moment captured into stillness, reality reveals itself in a particular way. In Ted’s images the relationship between reality and an image can be seen in a new light.

Ted Serios (1918–2006) was a Chicago bellhop known for his production of “thoughtographs” on Polaroid film.

Jule Eisenbud (1908-1999) was a psychiatrist, author and researcher best known for his interest in parapsychology and for his extensive study of ‘thoughtography’ practised by Ted Serios, which came to prominence largely through his book The World of Ted Serios (William Morrow & Company, 1967). Jules Eisenbud Collection is located in University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Rebecca Baron (b.1968) is a Los Angeles based media artist known for her lyrical essay films which explore the construction of history, with a particular interest in still photography and its relationship to the moving image. She has taught documentary and experimental film at Massachusetts Collage of Art, Harvard University, and since 2000 at California Institute of the Arts.

Marjaana Kella’s (b.1961) artistic work intertwines with the ontological character of photography and its ability to make visible the pictorial nature of the world. Her works have been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally, and she was awarded the State Prize for Photographic Art in 2003. Her doctoral dissertation, which deals with phenomena in contemporary photography, was published in 2014. She is currently Professor of Photography at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture.

Thank you: Finnish Cultural Foundation and Alfred Kordelin Foundations
Chief Curator and Associate Professor of Art Thomas Beck
& Jule Eisenbud Collection, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Rebecca Baron
Teemu Lindroos and Pasi Rauhala, Kunstventures Oy