Photographer Harri Pälviranta is both fascinated and sickened by violence. Through his body of work, he confronts places, means and victims of violence head-on, almost in a photojournalistic way. Instead of just recording things happened, Pälviranta’s no-nonsense approach to the chosen subject matter gives his work unexpected power, enabling the viewer to viscerally resonate with the brutal sceneries he depicts.
An important facet of Pälviranta’s work is the pursuit of societal discussion on the topic of violence. For him the image tells the story with a different grammar, and sometimes this is just what is needed to stir debate.
Pälviranta is both fascinated and sickened by violence.
His latest projects are linked to the American culture of violence both thematically and physically. Gun.doc documents gun enthusiasm through images, especially focusing on “practical shooting” where the combatants go through a course that forces them to duck, kick down doors and move hastily, all the while shooting at varying targets. The sport is especially popular in the United States, which ranks number one in the guns-per-capita statistics (90 guns per 100 residents).
In the Choreography of Violence series Pälviranta re-enacts or re-imagines historical press photos of violence. He uses archival photos and studies unifying features used in representations of violence in the news media, and then proceeds to create new images based on old ones. A key element in his work is to underline different ways of depicting touch in the images – be it a violent tug or a pull on brawlers shirt, a soothing hand on a downed victim or a defiant clutch at the weapon.
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