Photography Martti Jämsä
Poetry Kaija Rantakari
Graphic design and binding Martti Jämsä and Antti Nylén
Two-sided roll, cardboard tube
Munken Lynx 200 g/m2 (roll), Fabriano Accademia 120 g/m2 (label)
185 x 1020 mm
Edition of 50 copies
Free Runoff is a book in a roll format, consisting of two independent elements.
Martti Jämsä’s photographs, nine selenium toned silver gelatin prints, are digitally reproduced on one side of the paper strip. These images are produced by a “cameraless” technique, made solely by means of photographic paper and darkroom chemicals. In this case, both the papers and the developer were badly expired and deteriorated. The organic impressions are a result of the contact between clogged developer and the exposed emulsion in a developer tray. This method allows for a certain degree of control and artistic determination.
For a contrast, these moody, seemingly “dark” images include mysterious bright areas, points of paper surface where the developer has not reached, structures where one can apprehend something deeper. The abstract image makes the eye to search for an object. Is not this a typical landscape from the livingroom window in November? Isn’t this realism in the extreme? And is there not a certain peace and comfort in the density of darkness?
From the fluidity of this imagery, Rantakari’s text formulates sensations and feelings that do not rely too much on eyesight. The subject in the verse is on the move, searching for something, probably for a precise thought, or a touch, an encounter; there are “word between fingers”, and “time stops belonging to the clock hands”. Under surfaces there are other surfaces. Intoxication, desire, interruptions caused by thinking…
Even though the images precedented the words, in Free Runoff these two elements are equal. The other side of the roll is occupied by text, the other by images; both are, in turn, the other’s reverse. They are mysteriously unified, not explaining each other.
Free Runoff is a parallel publication of Vapaa valuma, translated into English by Kasper Salonen. Otherwise, the content and design are identical.
Numbered edition of 50 copies.
Both versions, the original Finnish and the English translation, are on sale at Bokeh-kauppa.