Miia Autio’s exhibition Variation of White deals with the subjective nature of the gaze, facing diversity and prejudices, and the portrayal of otherness. The focal point of the exhibition are the photographs the underlying themes of which are further explored in a documentaristic video piece.
The photographs in the exhibition are negative images of the originals. With the first glance they adhere to the viewers’ preconceptions of the subjects’ appearance, which makes them disregard the logic of the inverted image. The truth is revealed only after closer examination, but the original image is also viewable through an optical illusion. The illusion, a negative after image, is created when the brain is too slow to interpret the information provided by the eyes.
Equally time and closer examination can change our personal prejudices. Variation of White strives to get the viewers to question the way they construct their own reality. What we see is never a direct representation of the external reality but is always born through the synergy of our vision and mind. The subjectivity of our gaze is revealed when an image first perceived as reality is revealed as something else.
Miia Autio’s photographs and the video piece shown with them portrays a minority that suffers from myths surrounding their appearance and discrimination based on them. The video shows us their dreams and their struggles of becoming accepted and equally represented with the majorities.
Miia Autio (b. 1986) graduated as a photographer from the Lahti Institute of Design and Fine Art in 2015 and the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences in 2016. Her works have been previously seen in group shows in both Finland and abroad. Her piece I called out for mountains, I heard them drumming was earlier this year shortlisted for the Fotofinlandia prize and is included in the Homeland exhibition at The Finnish Museum of Photography as a part of the Festival of Political Photography.
In her artistic work Autio is interested in presenting societal issues in a way that knowledge and understanding is born through the interaction between the viewer and the work. In her works she deals with the themes of identity, foreignness and viewership.
The exhibition has been generously supported by the Alfred Kordelin Foundation and the Arts Promotion Centre Finland.
Variation of White
Photographic Gallery Hippolyte
Yrjönkatu 8–10 courtyard, 00120 Helsinki, Finland
+358 9 612 33 44, www.hippolyte.fi
Tue–Fri 12–17, Sat–Sun 12–16