Photographer Anja Niemi, hailed by Art Review magazine as one of the 'Future Greats', currently exhibits her latest works in London.
Her exhibition 'Portrait of the Invisible' runs at the Riflemaker gallery in central London until 10 February.
Of her photographs, Niemi says: "I merge myself into the interior of rooms filled with layers of decay. Houses and buildings with a past but no future. Their stories are written in the walls, and mine emerges in the interaction with them. When I stand in these empty rooms, their walls screaming out for my pity, and me screaming out for theirs, I try to remember that sweet moment of holding my breath. Then I take the picture.
I once crawled through a pitch-black basement searching for a staircase up to rooms with daylight. There was nothing in sight but a ripped-apart Barbie doll, and a baby’s chew toy; both objects lit by the narrow shaft I went through to get in. The uncertainty of whom or what might be hiding in the darkness makes my heart race in a very familiar way. It is my reality, but it is invisible, unless it is photographed"
To achieve the movement and dual imaging effect, Niemi uses a particular method. "The photographs are taken with a Hasselblad camera loaded with medium format negative film. The movement and dual-imaging is made possible with a long exposure, it varies from around five to twenty-five seconds. Some of the effects, such as disappearing body parts, have also to do with were the light source is coming from, and lightness or darkness in the clothes and backgrounds. But they are all one exposure, one moment," she says.
Anja Niemi, born in Norway in 1976, was educated at London College of Printing and Parsons School of Design in Paris and New York.
Anja Niemi: Portrait of the Invisible
79 Beak Street
London W1f 9SU
Phone: 020 7439 0000
‘Pigeon’, 2005, C-Print photograph mounted on aluminium, 75 x 75 cm
Photo: Anja Niemi