If photography is generally considered the art of light, then Petri Juntunen’s photographs are the virtuoso counter-thesis to this idea. Because his medium is not lightness, but all-encompassing darkness. His motif is not pictorial genesis, but its deterioration.
In his series At the Heart of It All, time-worn objects, overgrown landscapes, wrecks, and ruins peel themselves out of a canvas-filling night in order to simultaneously testify to their own existence and their dissolution. In doing so, Juntunen renders what he describes as the fundamental existential conflict of life visible and palpable: "How one looks at his own existence, at the same time seeing the beginning and sensing the inevitable end."
It is this human condition to which Juntunen lends photographic expression for the purpose of sharing with us its uncanniness, its elegy, and above all its sublimity. Now you can enjoy this particular dark series in a new photo book of the same name, Petri Juntunen – At the Heart of It All, available via Hatje Cantz.
Juntunen lives in Helsinki. In his works and projects, he examines the themes of memory, loss, and melancholy, often using new methods of depiction, including 3D scans, laser engraving, and projections. Juntunen has participated in a number of group shows in Europe and Finland, most recently at The Finnish Museum of Photography.
All images courtesy of the artist and Hatje Cantz. Main image: “The Ship Called Night”, 2014 © Petri Juntunen