NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

The exhibition Kertin Vasser 2020 will be open to visitors in the Museum of Photography’s project room. The exhibition gives a summary of Kertin Vasser’s past year of work. He is known as a fashion photographer. Clearly distinguished in the framework of the portrait year, his vision of the genre represents an intertwining of the elements of pop culture and social photography.

To characterise himself, Vasser laconically says that he is a photographer. Nothing else. In the context of his creation, information about his year of birth and the schools he has completed or, indeed, any list of his achievements is irrelevant. He is his creation.

The exhibition is assembled based on the principle of unity of the visual and the substantive whole. Vasser made the selection based on the existing material from 2020. The design of the exhibition follows simple logic. Everything starts with a picture in the middle (a portrait of Tommy Cash) that evokes contextual reflections with other works presented in the exhibition. All the photographs presented have a common part in the whole, which is not only visual, but also substantive. The keywords are outer space, fall, decline. Vasser doesn’t give too much detail because he doesn’t want to figuratively constrain the nature of the series for the viewer. Everyone has their own view. The image invokes a contemplation over whether it is irony or something that is real. There is a contemplation of the real and the illusory – which is real? Says Vasser: “The viewer decides what matters the most. If they consider the photo in the middle to be it, then that is their choice. I myself see more the reflections between my photographs. The essence of my photography can be realism, but in terms of content, I like to walk the border.” Something is very ordinary in his visual language, but the viewer is more likely to sense a dreamlike quality.

Modern photography has, at times, become more of an art of words. Contrary to the trend, Vasser is not a fan of words. For him, visuality is important in photography. The photo should speak for itself. Says Vasser: “Today’s art of photography is off balance; texts are often stronger than photos. Meaning is important, but there needs to be a balance between visual and verbal. If the job doesn’t speak itself then I don’t read the text. I’ll study more about the author if the photo has visually fascinated me.”

In Vasser’s creations, the predominant genre is fashion photography: “It’s the most expressive genre in commercial photography. The fashion photo has its own industry standard, but creatively there is always room for play here. I also like the practical output of fashion photography – its existence serves a purpose. Someone needs it. Plus the aesthetic side – the decorativeness, is important to me. Third, the social paradigm – the fashion photo has its own target group to which it is directed and here, as a genre, the fashion photo provides an opportunity to address social groups. To influence values and to be critical if necessary.”

Gallery name: Tallinna Fotomuuseum

Address: Raekoda 4/6, Tallinn

Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Sat 11:00 - 18:00, Sun 10:00 - 16:00

Open: 05.11.2020 - 11.01.2021