Archive Play

Archive Play
Curated by Mirjami Schuppert; featuring artists: Hertta Kiiski; and Niina Vatanen.


The exhibition is a playful, tentative and imaginative exploration into the photographic archive as generator of multiple meanings and plentiful source of inspiration. The works in the Archive Play exhibition are part of Hertta Kiiski’s work Present (Thank You Helvi Ahonen) and Niina Vatanen’s work Archival Studies/A Portrait of an Invisible Woman, which were created as a response to a vernacular photography collection housed at the Finnish Museum of Photography. The 5,000 negatives that make up the original material tell a touching story about a female hobby photographer’s life, with all its joys and sorrows. However, in its ordinariness and everydayness, the photographic material remains almost anonymous and becomes nearly fictional. Kiiski and Vatanen approach the material based on intuition, amazed by its wealth and moved by Helvi Ahonen’s presence.

About the artists: 

Hertta Kiiski is an artist who works in photography and the moving image. She received her BA in photography from the Turku Arts Academy in 2012, and she is currently studying towards an MA in fine arts on the Time and Space Arts programme of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. Since 2009, she has had solo exhibitions in Finland and has participated in several group exhibitions in Finland and abroad.

The photographic artist Niina Vatanen received her MA in photography from the University of Art and Design Helsinki in 2008. She has also completed courses at the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki and the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona. Vatanen has had solo exhibitions in Finland and abroad since 2006, and her works have been presented in several group exhibitions in Finland, Central Europe and Russia.

About the curator: 

Mirjami Schuppert is a curator based in Belfast. Having graduated with an MPhil in Cultural History, she is now pursuing a practice-based PhD, funded by the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Scholarship, at the University of Ulster, Belfast. Her research explores the curator’s role in facilitating artistic interventions into photographic archives. In her practice she deploys dialogical curatorial strategies and is interested in the concept of the curatorial as an open, slowly evolving process. Schuppert has curated internationally, co-edited as well as contributed to art publications.

Dorothy Hunter’s essay

Supported by Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council

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84- 94 Great Patrick Street,

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