To paraphrase director and screenwriter Joey Soloway: ”All art is propaganda for the self.” Art is a way of telling oneself: I am good, I am sufficient.
Me et cetera / Minä jne. is an exhibition about the topography of growing up and the formation of the self-image. The autobiographical body is a collection of my works from two decades. The medium-format slice-of-life photos, diary-like shots filmed with a pocket camera, polaroids, family album photos, debt collection letters, grants and other literary documents provide insight into the concepts of home, love, sexuality, masculinity, mental health, artistry and class. The intersections of the past and the present, the private and the public, bureaucracy and humanity are placed in view.
My work takes place in the space between poetic and performative documentarism. I take photos daily: at times with rational precision, at times with an intuitive reaction towards my own emotional state. The combination of these modes of artistic approach results in the aestheticism of new sincerity, creating a type of visual autofiction. By placing my own insecurities under a microscope, I open an intimate and gentle window into the minds of young adults.
Joel Karppanen (b. 1993) is an award-winning photographer, visual artist, filmmaker and writer living in Helsinki. His works have been exhibited e.g. in Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Mänttä Art Festival, KunstHausWien and Gallery Halmetoja, and are found in the collections of The Finnish Museum of Photography, The Finnish State Art Deposit Collection, and the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation. Karppanen studied in Turku in 2019-2020. Me et cetera / Minä jne. is his first solo exhibition in the city. The series of works is also in the process of being turned into a book.