“We do not believe in ghosts, nor in photos. We believe in each other.”
Aki-Pekka and Astrid Sinikoski’s exhibition New Ghosts portrays the relationship between father and daughter and their attempts to understand life, change, and the passage of time. The show raises questions about identity, adulthood and childhood, life and death—what kind of role models, ideals, and future scenarios do we create for each other?
When we are young, our fears are often easy to name. We are afraid of monsters, ghosts or, for example, the tree’s shadow behind a window. Often, as we grow older, fears become more abstract—these new amorphous anxieties create new unnamed phantoms, a sort of “ghost” in one’s life which cannot be named. While filming the “ghost study,” Sinikoskis have observed that fears are often revealed in dreams. When one gets to know these apparitions better and tame the faceless figure, they turn into a gateway to one’s dreams.
The body of work on display at Photographic Gallery Hippolyte features the photographic works of two different series: New Ghosts and Ghost Studies with Flowers. The latter collection is on display for the first time and examines mortality, life, and beauty in brief moments. Discussions between Sinikoskis and the “ghosts” act as a starting point for both series. While filming all over the world, father and daughter spent long periods on the road. On these trips, they expanded their “ghost study,” but also organised numerous mini-exhibitions lasting less than a day, and to celebrate transcience. The images presented were mainly printed on canvas. All sorts of public spaces, like emptied swimming pools in the suburbs, were commissioned as galleries.
Aki-Pekka and Astrid Sinikoski’s “ghost study” began in 2011. The series is scheduled to be completed in 2058, when Aki-Pekka turns 80 and Astrid 50. So far, New Ghosts has been presented on three different continents. After Hippolyte’s exhibition, the collection will be seen at the Photo Vogue Festival in Milan, among other places.
Aki-Pekka Sinikoski lives and works in Helsinki. As a portrait and documentary photographer, he is best known for his photo series Finnish Teens (2011) and Last Machos (2016). In his artistic processes, Sinikoski strives to capture the passing of time; as a result, projects are often lengthy and time-consuming. He is not looking for decisive moments but rather the stagnant feeling just after these moments. Sinikoski worked as the artistic director of the Helsinki Biennale from 2006 to 2009. In 2020, he made his debut as a children’s author with his work Under månen (transl. Under the Moon, Schildts & Söderströms). This longingly comforting and philosophical book tells a story of a child’s life after his mother’s death. Sinikoski hopes the book will bring light and warmth to where it is needed most.
Astrid Sinikoski is a seventh-grade high school student. She plays basketball, loves animals, and enjoys drawing. She has a joint punk and techno band with her father, Raidalliset Lapset (Engl. Striped Children). Admittedly, the band has never released anything other than punk, as neither has yet learned to play techno.
The exhibition is kindly supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Finnfoto, and Konstsamfundet.
Aki-Pekka & Astrid Sinikoski
Photographic Gallery Hippolyte
Open: Tue-Fri 12-17, Sat-Sun 12-17
image: Aki-Pekka & Astrid Sinikoski, from series Ghosts Study I
exhibition images: Milla Talassalo