Monday, June 20, 2016

AAPO HUHTA - BLOCK, New York on Speed


An unexpected and surprising discovery at Photo London back in May was the work of Finnish photographer Aapo Huhta. Kehrer published Huhta's bookwork BLOCK in 2015. It's a compelling, strange work, which drags you in offering more questions than answers. The photographs were made in New York in 2014 and 2015. Making pictures is Manhattan is a risky proposition and immediately invites comparisons with the likes of Paul Graham. Yes, there are elements of PG in this work, but Huhta's take on NYC is Paul Graham on speed. I liked the loose ends, hanging like dangling conversations. What really is going on here? The work is about what it's like to be human, how time marches on. Are we trapped in a dark Matrix? The MISSING PERSON image is a curved ball, a stone in the shoe. Is this what the work is about? An essay by Jenny Hollowell, A HISTORY OF EVERYTHING, INCLUDING YOU adds another existential layer that refuses to elucidate. BLOCK is a profound and authentic WTF work. Highly recommended.

Aapo Huhta says this about BLOCK - a photographic essay, amassed as a set of visions, offering hints for storylines in a murky, dystopic scene of the city witnessed by a stranger. Focusing on gray, concrete features with some people as spectators, narrowing down the elements in the frame, driven most often by the observation of the shapes the light creates, it alludes to a mute perspective toward contemporary city life and the people’s role in it. Simultaneously it is a story where the photographer plays the role of a protagonist in the big city that throws a newcomer into its infinite whirl of new people and peculiar surroundings.

Here are some images from the book. You can see more of Aapo Huhta's work on his website HERE.

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