Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma – Finnish National Gallery
Until the 15th of August 2010
The first extensive Finnish exhibition by Denise Grünstein (b. 1950), one of the best known Swedish photographic artists, showcases approximately 40 large works of photographic art and one video installation.

The show exhibits four series of photographs, offering a cross-section of Denise Grünstein’s work in the 2000s. She finds the subject matter that is used from her personal experiences, memories, and roots. The lyrical, atmospheric photographs have a strong relationship with art history, romantic painting, and surrealistic photography. The artist works with traditional film and uses an analogue large format view camera. She emphasises stage-like, artificial ambiance in her photographs.

The Figure Out series, after which the exhibition is named, emphasises hair, behind which the characters in the photographs are mysteriously veiled. The series includes Grünstein’s first video installation All Flesh is Grass. The name refers to the perishing, temporary nature of everything and is accompanied by movement, and music composed by Morton Feldman.

Grünstein emphasises the significance of the location in the large colour photograph works of the Figure in Landscape series. The landscape sets the stage for stories with no beginning and no end. The colours of the glowing green forest surround the staged, dreamlike, even threatening scenes in the middle ground between the real and the imaginary. In the series Malplacé (2005), there is a nostalgic dimension, as the artist returns to the places of her childhood near Hanko. The black and white series Zone V (1998) was born as a result from the artist’s travels throughout Eastern Europe. The images refer to the artist’s Jewish heritage.
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