DOUBLE WHITE SINGLE MAN
ANNE ROUHIANEN / HELSINGIN SANOMAT 4.12.2005
The photographic artist Tero Puha’s exhibition continues the discussion about male identity, a discussion that for some unknown reason seems to have gained a firm foothold among male photographers. Perhaps male photographers find it easier to use their medium to contemplate the problem than ordinary men do. The problems are, nevertheless, presumably the same as those of ordinary people, as Puha defines them in a few short words: "How are we to live? "
The core of the exhibition is an installation made up of drawings and videoworks, in which a man practises everyday situations in front of a video camera. The videowork brings to mind the old Finnish film in which a thirty-year-old male character practises a situation in which he wants to make an impression on a woman by kneeling and presenting her his business card.
The final section of the set of images in the exhibition is in fact like something from an old Soviet science-fiction film. Hunky young men, who are as white as alabaster. The twin brothers on the invitation at first appear to be identical twins, but when we see the exhibition’s other pictures, we begin to suspect that they are in fact clones.
In these images Puha does indeed subtly develop the idea from twins to clones, and on to the various artificial, non-organic methods by which people are now created, at least on a fictive level. It is only a matter of time before they become commonplace. For now, however, the problems of duplicating people take us back to Puha’s video installation and to a variant on Shakespeare: To be or not to be, and how.
Photographic Gallery Hippolyte / Helsinki
The Right Way to Be, video
Divided (The Everyday), photographs
Divided (The Dreaming), photographs
Diary drawings, pencil