Within my Battered series I have focused my camera to the people who are victims of interpersonal direct violence that takes place in public spaces. In these photograps I have been mainly concentrating in the physical marks that an assault leaves to the body. I have also photographed fights as they appear and the places where fights have taken place.
Batteries and street fights are everynight activities during the weekends in Finland. People have a strong tendency of getting rather intoxicated during the partying and once drunk, people are released from their inhibitations. Aggressivity turns into physical acts, to direct violence.
There is a social awareness on this topic in Finland, the issue is regognized and it is considered to be a severe social problem. But the discussion has mainly literal dimensions, it appears in news headlines and it is discussed in seminars. There are no images from these happenings. By photographing assaults and batteries I wish show the real faces of street violence in Finland. In contrast to the stereotypic portrayals of male heroicism and the worn-out attempts at shocking people I am interested in dealing with the utmost banality inherent in violence. What I find more unsettling than any single representation of physical injuries is the everyday nature of street violence and the laissez-faire attitude towards it in the Finnish society.
Battered is based on social and contemporary documentarism, and visually images are related to crime scene photography (all the way to WeeGee) and police pictures.
I worked with the topic for two years, spending many of my weekend nights in the center of the town called Turku (in South West Finland) looking for fights and battered people. Also I have worked in cooperation with the Turku Police Department, travelling with them in their cars. Battered was exhibited for the first time in its total volume in Gallery Uusitalo in Helsinki from 29.11.?21.12.2007.
Altogether Battered consists of 33 pictures. As finished exhibition pictures they are handprinted chromogenic colour prints mounted on Dipond and laminated.
"Battered" is also part of my PhD project at the University of Art and Design Helsinki.
The project has been supported by Finnish Cultural Foundation / The Regional Fund of Varsinais-Suomi, Patricia Seppälä Foundation, National Council of Photographic art and The Arts Council of Varsinais-Suomi. Also I wish to present thanks to Turku Police Department, and to the people I have photographed.