Timo Kelaranta 25.5.–19.6.2022

Many of the photographs in Musicians, Travelling Friends date from the 1970s, with the oldest image originating from 1965. The exhibition, comprised of nearly 30 photographs, centres around Timo Kelaranta’s ‘youth’ years, when he mostly photographed humans. A series of previously unpublished images depicting musicians in Havana, Cuba, were taken during the artist’s Love Records work trip in 1977–a time when he photographed a lot for Love Records as part of the photographic cooperative Saftra. Some of the photographs on display are from Kelaranta’s very first exhibitions held between 1978 and 1980–exhibitions in which his grandfather played a key role.

The term ‘travelling friends’ highlights the fact that nearly all of the people photographed have been, at varying points in time, close to me. As an older person, I wanted to go back to the beginning and see the many familiar images and faces again. I consider this exhibition to be old-fashioned, an old-time photography exhibition. After 40 years, I am amazed by the direct gaze of the photograph’s subject.

I highly appreciate photographers who are good at portraying people, but I have not explored this area of photography extensively. In the early 1980s I returned to what it is that I truly identify as: a free artist and experimenter. I started to make images in which methods and solutions could be questioned, renewed, or changed in direction, and with which I could do whatever I wanted to. Now, when I look at my older portraits, I notice that their style resonates with the black and white, graphic simplification of my later work.

Together with the exhibition, a compilation of essays called 2222, consisting of texts on arts, life, and death, will be published. Kelaranta has been developing this publication for over a period of three years. “First,” he describes, “I would tap the keyboard rarely, then the process accelerated and for a couple of years I would almost write from morning to evening. One topic would create a new one, which would bring about another one, and eventually I could not stop until everything necessary was said.” The book is part of the publishing art project Bokeh founded by writer Antti Nylén.

The exhibition has been supported by Finnfoto and the essay compilation by the Association of Finnish Nonfiction Writers.


Timo Kelaranta (1951) is an Espoo-based photographer. In 1975, he graduated from the University of Art and Design Helsinki (now Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture), where he later worked as a lecturer and professor. His works have been shown in multiple exhibitions since the mid-1970s. Kelaranta’s works can be found in various, international collections, including those of Kiasma in Helsinki, City of Espoo, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, and Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. In 2021, Kelaranta participated in New Perspectives Through Photography at Kunsthalle Helsinki.


Timo Kelaranta
Musicians, travelling friends

Hippolyte Korjaamo (Töölönkatu 51 A-B, 00250 Helsinki)
For up-to-date opening hours, check Korjaamo’s website.