The two exhibitions I saw at Huis Marseille during the 2015 Unseen Festival were remarkable in their intensity. Both were by photographers who are deeply embedded in their subjects and give special attention to the everyday where you find beauty, humour and sorrow.
‘Emmy’s World’ by photographer Hanne van der Woude sees a young photographer spending five years with an older married couple and their brother. In so doing she shares with us their loves, joys, sorrows and losses. The work gives special attention to Emmy, the 83 year old last remaining survivor. This premier exhibition is a moving portrait, a true and unique document and a life affirming project.
‘Time Flies’, a broad retrospective by Finnish master photographer Esko Mannikko, was also presented at Huis Marseille during Unseen 2015. The self-taught photographer observes events and details in everyday life and tries to find the beauty in every little thing. His work is painterly and a significant analysis of everyday issues as he photographs the remote and most northern reaches of Finland, a place where he grew up. There is fishing, farming, hunting and existing as the photographer focusses on the marginalised communities. To add to the attention and truth there is no manipulation or post production on the images despite their rich painterliness.