Conflict produces terror. Having a desire to live, but realising that death is inevitable is managed by embracing cultural structures or systems that act to provide life with meaning and value. The knowledge of this Absurdity of Existence transforms into social constructs and eschatological fantasies that try to make the sense of ending bearable. On a larger scale, societies build symbols: laws, cultures and belief systems to explain the significance and meaning of life.
After my father’s slow withering by a hereditary heart condition, I became conscious of how it was affecting me as well, this inheritance of mine. Slowly coming to terms with my own mortality, a cognition that I had actively suppressed. What resulted was a regression back to my youth, the time of perpetual displacement, resorting to the very same coping mechanisms; manifesting my internal worlds by recreating, constructing and making them real. To suppress the murmur of everyday and create spaces that solely I inhabit and control. Building places and spaces where time is in stasis, suspended between the Tick and Tock.
At the Heart of it All is a study of the individual contemplating his own mortality, how one looks at his existence, at the same time seeing the beginning and sensing the inevitable end. What have been imagined are these Spaces within Spaces, where the remnants of humanity exist in the form of wrecks, ruins and absence.
The works have been photographed in different locations around Europe during a five-year period. Images from the series At the Heart of it All have been exhibited in different galleries and museums around Europe and compiled into a book by Hatje Cantz Verlag.
Petri Juntunen (1975, Sweden) is a Finnish photographic artist living and working in Helsinki. He has studied photography and cinematography in the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. The exhibition At the Heart of it All is part of Juntunen’s graduation project for his Master’s degree in Arts. In his works and projects, Juntunen studies the topics of memory, existence and social constructs, often using novel methods of imaging and representation including 3D scanning, photogrammetry, laser engravings and projections.
The Ship Called Night, 2014