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In connection with the Dance on Camera Festival, “A Dance of Light: Forty-Years of Self-Portraits by Arno Rafael Minkkinen,” an exhibit of striking black and white images by Finnish/American photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen, will be presented in the Furman Gallery of the Walter Reade Theater beginning January 25 through February 5. These works reflect this adventurous artist’s preoccupation with portraiture and landscape, which he has been exploring for many years. Minkkinen is a Finnish-American artist born in Helsinki, raised in New York, internationally published and exhibited. His works appear in many prominent museums and private collections. Knighted in his native Finland, Minkkinen is a professor of art at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and a docent at University of Art and Design in Helsinki. Osvaldo Da Silva of Barry Friedman LTD assisted making the presentation possible.
From the artist…
Dance on Camera is accompanied by a still photo exhibit by Arno Rafael Minkkinen. If dance is movement through the air, photography is a kind of movement through the mind. Filmmak- ing retains the motion of dance and the air space, through which it happens, but the still camera fixes everything, all motion included, in the moment the shutter fires. Obviously.
With photographs, the joys or sorrows of what just happened or the surprise or delight of what comes next is completely erased. We can only imagine the before and after, invent them in our minds. The actions that might have been and could follow are unknown as they are unseen. But that erasure of past and future is exactly where the excitement of photography resides, the lock- down in the present, leaving the viewer to invent the bookends of any single moment’s before and after.
In A Dance of Light, I trust the viewer to provide his or her own choreography. How did the hands come up out of the snow? Did the cliff edge crumble and give way after the shutter clicked? Well, I’m here so that, thank God, didn’t happen. In all of the works, as the surround- ing light shapes and holds the moment and place still in time, I try to discover the posture through which magic might happen. I can never be sure because I am never behind the camera. For me, for these last 42 years now, it always has been a dance of happenstance.
THE RAIN HOUSE (2013)
Director: Arno Rafael Minkkinen and Cinematographer Kimmo Koskela
THE RAIN HOUSE is a 7m sneak preview of selected films from forthcoming feature in development. Written and directed by Arno Rafael Minkkinen with cinematography by Kimmo Koskela.80% fiction, 80% fact, THE RAIN HOUSE is a Finnish-American immigrant love story about a boy who craves affection from a beautiful mother who cannot see past her first view of him as a screaming baby with a gaping cleft palate. It is in the rain house that the cleft between mother and son, beauty and the beast, has one last chance to close.
Photo Credit ©Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Fosters Pond 1989. Courtesy Barry Friedman Ltd.