Photography Seminar with Arno Rafael Minkkinen and Stefan Bremer



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On September 10, two of the most experienced and celebrated photographers, a Finnish-American photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen (b. 1945) and a Finnish photographic artist Stefan Bremer (b. 1953) will talk about their 3 decades of artist career and photographic education.

Meet and learn from Arno Rafael Minkkinen and Stefan Bremer.

The seminar (12:00-15:00) will take place in the Auditorium of the National Museum of Finland.

Biographies: Arno Rafael Minkkinen (b. 1945, Helsinki, Finland) is a Finnish-American photographer, educator, curator, and writer with over 100 solo shows and nearly 200 group exhibitions in galleries and museums worldwide. “It’s an image made before coming to Finland to teach at TTK in Helsinki and before studying with Harry Callahan at Rhode Island School of Design. I was working on the Minolta Camera account as a copywriter at the time, the agency expert still learning everything about photography and created the headline “What happens inside your mind can happen inside a camera.” The image was made at a summer place in Pachaug, Connecticut in late spring of 1972. I had asked the account executive if I could steal the trash can from the agency bathroom, paint it black, and use it to see what I might create with it. Little did I know, when I waded out in the mucky pond cove of the larger lake with the self-timer bulb in my hand and the trash can by then over my head so I could see out the flap door that I had removed for that purpose, after I took squeezed the bulb and took the photograph, that I had no exit strategy on how to get out of the trash can. Even more potentially fatal a problem would have ensued had I slipped in the mud and fell into the water with all that weight! The fact that I made several tries, back and forth, should have dawned on me how stupid I was and how risky a proposition I had undertaken. Needless to say, getting out of the trash can was nearly impossible until I found two trees at a V shape and slammed my body and the can into it so I could yank myself free.”

Stefan Bremer (b. 1953, Helsinki, Finland) is a photographer,a visual artist and teacher from Helsinki. He studied at the Aalto University in the 1970s. From then on he has taught in art schools around Finland as well as at the Stockholm School of Photography and the Gothenburg University. Quite a large number of young, and semi-young, photographers in Finland are former students of Stefan Bremer. He has lead intensive photography workshops in Europe as well as in Africa and Asia. He has been shown around the world in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and his photographs are part of many public and private collections. At the heart of his artistic production, Stefan Bremer works with people. He has studied the difficulties of being human. ”I wanted to broaden the soulscape of Finnish men and women. I dove into the world of youth and with affinity brought different individuals to light, and studied trends and tendencies of that time. I wanted to study indecisiveness and the collapse of ideals with as much interest as the contagious enthusiasm of life. In my work I also strived to comment and participate in the political discussion of moralism and ideals. I want to polemicise, to use photography as a tool for propaganda and to be an interpreter of the bitter laughter.” Stefan Bremer’s new works address many of the basic properties of photography, studying the elements of time, scale and light. The camera can record a thousandth of a second in an image, a slice of time beyond the grasp of the human eye. The scale ranges from minute particles and studies of ink to a high bird’s eye perspective. Bremer was awarded the Finnish State Prize for Photography in 1988, the title of Artist Professor in 1999 and the Culture Prize of the City of Helsinki in 2011.

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