At the Heart of it All. A Statement by Petri Juntunen
Conflict produces terror. Having a desire to live, but realising that death is inevitable is managed by embracing cultural structures or systems that act to provide life with meaning and value. The knowledge of this Absurdity of Existence transforms into social constructs and eschatological fantasies that try to make the sense of the ending bearable. On larger scale, societies build symbols: laws, cultures and belief systems to explain the significance and meaning of life.
After my father slow withering away by a hereditary heart condition, I became conscious how it was affecting me as well, this inheritance of mine. Slowly coming to terms with my own mortality, a cognition that I had actively suppressed. What resulted was a regression back to my youth, the time of perpetual displacement, resorting to the very same coping mechanisms; manifesting my internal worlds by recreating, constructing and making them real. To suppress the murmur of everyday and create spaces that solely I inhabit and control. Building places and spaces where time is in stasis, suspended between the Tick and Tock.
At The Heart of It All is a study of the individual contemplating upon his own mortality, how one looks at his existence, at the same time seeing the beginning and sensing the inevitable end. What have been imagined are these Spaces within Spaces, where the remnants of humanity exist in the form of wrecks, ruins and absence. Emblems, where time is made visible and places act as repositories of memories. The images acting as allegorised and miniaturised distillations of reality, reconstructed and scaled down to fit into the field of view, make things comprehensible.
Photographed in different locations around Europe during a five year period, the dark, almost black images act as rabbit holes, linking our collective pasts with our potential futures. Images from the series At The Heart of it All have been exhibited in different galleries and museums around Europe and have been published into a book by Hatje Cantz Verlag.