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Tuomo Manninen

Milan Hair Dressers, Katmandu, Finland, 1995

Color print

The persons Maninan photographs are aware of the act of being photographed and take an active role therein. Their pose facing the camera is that of considering the hierarchy they understand and accept, and their wish to record the occasion. 

The photographer’s intervention in their world is ostensibly passive. In most instances, and principally to snap a frontal shot of an organic group working or functioning in a shared environment.

His camera freezes a moment in the life of the group, in its natural surroundings, including the items of clothing that clearly identify them.

From the employees at the dairy in Katmandu to the singers of the Helsinki choir in their resplendent costumes, Maninan manages to record their professional pride and identification with the environment to which they belong. In Maninan’s photographs there is no criticism of this or that reality, nor is such criticism evident on the part of the individuals he photographs.  On the contrary: the expressions of his subjects convey professional pride and motivation, together with responsibility and determination in discharging their tasks.

It is a different, exceptional point of view. It is not a position attacking the establishment or society; rather, the attitude of the individual proud to be part thereof.