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ANJA NIEMI | NEW PHOTOGRAPHS NOW AVAILABLE

November 15th 2014
Anja Niemi’s photographic works gained a fantastic response when we first introduced them back in July. Below Angie presents four new images from the series, which sees the artist cast herself as the leading character in order to explore varying female roles within society.

In her ‘Starlets’ series, Anja Niemi combines the idea of the self-portrait with that of a staged narrative by placing herself in her own photographs, sometimes more than once, and creating imaginary scenarios that look almost like film stills or movie posters.

Working alone, she sets the scene so there’s a vague story present, but leaves room for interpretation, and although the tales painted are fictional, she says there will always be a little part of her in each and every one as she draws on personal experiences and influences. By often multiplying herself so that she appears as her own ‘twin’, she creates her alter ego, drawing on the contrasts between the person we come across as to others and who we actually are, and bringing attention to how we present ourselves, and how that can differ to what we’re actually feeling deep inside.

The highly stylised images possess an eerie, unreal quality, often combining tragedy with humour. In The Socialite, for example, the two characters Niemi presents herself as sit in a red and white bath in a matching red room wearing identical feathered and netted hats that a ‘socialite’ may wear to a high profile event. One subject stares blankly at her ‘other self’ who is laid, presumably unconscious, with her head rested elegantly on the side, still perfectly groomed without a hair out of place, as Niemi combines dark notions of ‘giving up’ with suggestions of a life of perfection.

In The Receptionist, Niemi displays a work scenario showing herself reflected in a mirror that sits on a desk against a wall. Straight-faced and well-presented, she stares blankly at the viewer. To the left in the foreground, a gloved hand - the arm dressed in identical clothing to the reflected subject - reaches for the telephone from the floor as if attempting to call for help. On the wall is a drawing of an inspirational office tower block. Again, this image at first glance could be an interior shot from a fashion and lifestyle magazine, but on closer inspection, Niemi’s attempts to comment on the underlying reality of the monotonous and unfulfilling career of her starring character become apparent.

See The Socialite, and The Receptionist, along with the other two new pieces The Bride and The Roller Girl and more works from the Sirens series here.
ANGIE DAVEY
Creative Director
ANJA NIEMI
The Socialite
 
ANJA NIEMI
The Receptionist
 
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