It is night. A lonely woman is sitting in a hotel room, with only a television to keep her company. She is in one of the most interesting, buzzing metropolises in the world – in the city that never sleeps. The woman is not sleeping either, but is sitting close to the television, pointing at the screen with a long camera objective.
The image is from Visual Artist Anu Suhonen’s photographic series Intimacy (2011), which surveys urban loneliness and the primitive human longing for love and closeness. The viewer can either identify with the woman or be distanced from the intimacy she is trying to reach by looking at tiny people on the television screen.
The effect of alienation in Suhonen's photographic series is dual. The woman not only distances herself from the actual reality by concentrating solely on the screen, but the alienation is also made visible with the pixellating, breaking reception of the television image.
Suhonen is fascinated by big cities and ideas related to them, such as controlled chaos, formation of structures and experiencing loneliness in the metropolitan crowds. Distances between people and places are a recurring theme in her work.
Suhonen says she is more interested in similarities than differences between places and people. She is curious about the ways people adapt to their habitats and settle down somewhere. She believes we tend to develop a blind spot to certain features in our familiar environments. This is why a change of scenery is important for her as an artist. Where routines break down, there lies a chance to see things differently.
http://www.fciny.org/residency/janne-laine http://www.fciny.org/residency/kari-soinio http://www.fciny.org/residency/minna-pllnen