JARMO KOPONEN (Minneapolis MN, USA)
Jarmo Koponen is a mostly self-taught photographer, painter and printmaker. He has had careers in military and manufacturing, and has lived for extended periods of time in Finland, Middle East, Central America, India and United States, all of which has had an impact on his artistic practice. He has shown his work in Finland, United States, Mexico and Guatemala.
I took up photography as a means to be creative even during the nomadic phases of my life. It first served as a quick way to record things, but soon became an important part of my artistic output. I do not work on premeditated projects, nor do I set out to create a series of images. First and foremost, I prefer the images to stand on their own merits. No doubt over time, some commonalities between the images start emerging based on how and where I like to shoot, and the aesthetic choices I tend to make. The work submitted here falls under a title “Someplace”. Many of us dream of being someplace else, somewhere different. Seeing something new. I photograph places that make me stop. Sometimes I look for them, sometimes they find me. I am not trying to shock or challenge, but rather to invite the viewer to slow down and reflect. I seek simplicity from the complexity around us.
Practice Statement: How does photographing on film (or using your material photographic process of predilection) inform your artistic practice?
I started photography with a digital camera but soon switched over to 35mm film photography, which eventually lead to medium format, and finally to large format photography (4×5). I was attracted to the larger formats not only by the better tonality and sharpness, but also by the sense of craftsmanship they offer. Making photographs rather than taking them. Creating something tangible to work with to create a final print. It is that tangible nature of film photography, and the simplicity and timelessness of the mechanical cameras, that keep me away from chasing the latest digital gear.