If you are a frequent reader of our magazine, you will know that our love for Alexey Titarenko’s ghostly grayscale photography is certainly not understated. His style and eye is so distinguishingly his own that It is rare that we see his works paired with that of others. But the new exhibit at Nailya Alexander Gallery in New York does just that by juxtaposing it with the work of the Finnish photographer Pentti Sammallahti, the Finnish poet Bo Carpelan, and the Paris-based poet, translator, editor, and zheng harpist Fiona Sze-Lorrain.
The online exhibit, City of Hidden Lives, sets forth to encapsulate the feelings of lingering solitude during a pandemic winter. And though for purists like us seeing an art exhibit online is akin to playing a violin with gloves on, the viewing method falls in line with the exhibit’s theme. The theme itself fits, having a certain aloofness in it. Titarenko’s austere photography often captures people in a quiet world of time seeming to pass by with long exposures, and Sammallahti’s imagery holds a certain stillness to them under the drab Helsinki light given life by birds still living in the desolate-looking landscapes. Carpelan’s poetry invokes the cold harshness of winter within a cityscape, while Sze-Lorrain questions time and memory as if while traversing in nature, both complementary crossing into elements of the respective photographers’ work. The gallery proposes that by the nature of the exhibit there is hope to be found in the winter’s inevitable conclusion, however I can’t help but think that perhaps climate change could render these cycles as a thing of the past.
City of Hidden Lives, until April 3, 2021 online at the Nailya Alexander Gallery in New York.
All images courtesy of the museum.