Perttu Saksa


Rose Is a Rose (2017), Ghost (2017), Cloud (2017), Mask (2017), Apple Mouth (2017), Flesh (2016), Swallow (2017), Blood (2017)

“Animals in my works are a way of investigating the human condition and the way our actions are at odds with nature, with the environment and with ourselves. I am interested in the viewer’s awareness of their own place in the world, their relationship with their body and with other people.

The familiarity and strangeness of animals fascinates me. The layered portraits of horses on show in Kiasma make visible the many simultaneous presences and potentials for being of the individual animal. In addition to the portraits I also examine the animals as objects of consumption – as matter, flesh and blood.”

The familiarity and strangeness of animals fascinates me.

“I’m interested in the history of photography, the politics of the image and the modes of observation – concealing and revealing. The marble-like quality of some of the photographs was achieved by adjusting the colour channels of digital images of flesh and blood. This cleansed them of qualities regarded as unpleasant and repulsive, making them as white as marble.

Alongside contemporary techniques of colour photography, I have also employed early photographic techniques from the 19th century. They have certain deficiencies and distinctive features, such as the impossibility of reproducing red tones.

This means that the motif in my photographs – blood – is almost impossible to capture using these techniques. In my search for ways to overcome this obstacle, the chemical traces and wear have become an inseparable part of the photograph and its liquid subject.

Perhaps the subject of the photograph is still present in the matter we have made it into and is looking back at us from afar, but we can’t return its gaze?”

Susan Sontag
Regarding the Pain of Others:

“Our sympathy proclaims our innocence as well as our impotence. To that extent, it can be (for all our good intentions) an impertinent – if not an inappropriate – response. To set aside the sympathy we extend to others beset by war and murderous politics for a reflection on how our privileges are located on the same map as their suffering, and may – in ways we might prefer not to imagine – be linked to their suffering, as the wealth of some may imply the destitution of others, is a task for which the painful, stirring images supply only an initial spark.”

Perttu Saksa

Born 1977 in Jyväskylä, Finland. Graduated with an MFA from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2008. Studied Photography at the Lahti Institute of Design and the Iceland Academy of Arts. Lives and works in Helsinki.