Essi Maaria Orpana
Such is the Silence
Kunsthalle Turku (Turun Taidehalli)
Such Is the Silence:
There was a room in our grandparent’s house that was called the cold attic. There, dust danced in dim daylight and the walls and floors were filled with objects accumulated over time. We used to explore this place with my little sister as the wonderworld of the past. We dug out old exotic treasures and put on our grandma’s old dresses to play.
Today, in these abandoned houses that I enter, memories from the past emanate through peeling layers of walls, bedraggled furniture, the dust on the floor, and the smell. I walk through rooms and I observe. The windows upstairs creek as the wind blows through their frames. A ray of light crosses one of the rooms. The prowling layers of time in the corners make my mind restless. Downstairs everything remains dark. My series Such Is the Silence depicts a possible fictive world.
In One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez describes a town called Macondo. The long time span and surreal happenings in the book leave the reader wondering if Macondo was really ever real. Such Is the Silence offers reflections on existence and the passing of time. Without any prior connection to these houses, there is a contradiction when I enter the space. I want to illuminate these abandoned spaces with life. As an imagined character I am able to place myself inside the memory of these houses and imagine the changing generations and life as in Márquez’s book. Through my presence, these rooms become alive again.
Essi Maaria Orpana (b.1988) is a visual artist currently based in Helsinki, Finland. At the moment Orpana works mainly with photography and video. Her themes deal with body and presence interrelated to time, space, and identity. Characteristic of Orpana’s work is to perform to or with a camera. Her approach to artistic work is personal, often with an uncanny twist.
Born in 1988, Orpana holds a BA from visual arts from Turku University of Applied Science Art Academy and is currently finishing her MA studies in photography at Aalto University, School of Arts. Orpana has also studied fine arts at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain.
Lately, her works have been exhibited in a curated group show in Latvian Museum of photography, Riga, Latvia (2019) and in Gallery Lapinlahti in Helsinki, Finland (2019), solo exhibition in Ostrabothnian Photography Centre, Lapua, Finland (2017) and her photographs have been published in a book called A book of lies: väritettyjä totuuksia, (valokuvauksen opiskelijat ry, Aalto Books & Musta taide. Helsinki, 2013). Apart from artistic work Orpana teaches photographic workshops and does freelance commissions.