In November Photographic Gallery Hippolyte shows Marko Karo’s exhibition Book of Stains, an archival collection of works that in different ways test photography’s borders with documentary, time and authorship.
In Marko Karo’s works photographs often function as a meeting place for human and animal, human and inhuman, or at least its possibility. The approach can be seen as particularly communal. Not unlike photography, communities are always about borders and limitations – and thus inevitably also about sharing.
In his new body of work Karo continues mapping the communal nature of photography. The exhibition tells a story about what happens when an estate of a photographer left unknown ends up in the hands of another visual artist.
Behind the works lies a photographic archive of one M.A. Stark (1857–1940), a photographer and a journalist from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A couple of years ago, it happened upon Karo to work on. In many ways, the exhibition is actually a group show between the two men.
Karo’s Book of Stains is an answer in time and space to what kind of dimensions can be found in working with an image when an archive isn’t merely a source of information or a final resting place for photographs. As a starting point and a tool for artistic work, it emphasizes the tangibility of photography and the manual nature of the work.
The works exhibited combine singular images with a constellation of other images, texts and material. The result is a kind of a material community of photography, where a photograph doesn’t only mean a drawing made with light but also a type of biography where the residuality of life is being written on ones skin.
Marko Karo (b. 1971) is a photographer and researcher living and working in Helsinki. Karo studied at the University of Art and Design Helsinki (now Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture) as well as at the Universities of London, Helsinki and Turku. Karo has taught at several art schools in Finland and been involved in curating various exhibitions in Finland and abroad. He is a part of the artist collective Gruppo 111 (Mika Elo, Marko Karo, Harri Laakso), which curated the Finnish exhibition Falling Trees in the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013.
Image: Marko Karo, Girl (in a Butterfly Dress), 2014
31 Oct – 23 Nov, 2014
Book of Stains