This autumn’s main exhibition at the Finnish Museum of Photography, Pimiö – Darkroom,enables visitors to immerse themselves in the fascinating reality of the darkroom – experientially, through all their senses. Works by more than 60 photographers, spanning from the 19th century to 2015, demonstrate the changing ideals of printing and the versatility of the techniques. In the age of digitality and automation, the magic of the darkroom is still very much alive, as many young photographers have returned to the darkroom and the original photography techniques.
The exhibition highlights materials, craft, different techniques, and the irreplaceability of darkrooms for various uses even today. At the same time, it demonstrates how the miracle of the photograph is produced in darkrooms and how photographic artists have created their own printing styles.
"Automation and digitality are replacing materiality, but at the same time digitality has lost its novelty appeal. This means that many young art photographers have returned to the darkroom, doing things by hand, and using a process in which the end result is not immediately visible, but requires making a number of choices", says the chief curator of the exhibition, Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger.
In the Darkroom exhibition, artists and enthusiasts lead viewers on a journey to working in the darkroom. Printing photographs is manual work in which timing is of the essence: many example photographs, and stories and reminiscences by photographers, show how to succeed and how to fail. The exhibition darkroom, films, stories, darkroom equipment and prints from the 19th century to 2015, invite viewers to look, touch, and listen.
In addition to prints by darkroom wizards such as Pentti Sammallahti, Ulla Jokisalo, Matti Saanio and Martti Jämsä, works will be shown by young photographers, including tintype portraits of skateboarders by Jaakko Markkanen, shot at a skatepark in Suvilahti in Helsinki. The exhibition will include photographs by more than 60 artists from the collections of the Finnish Museum of Photography.