Iida Ylämäki = Ida Uphill
Poetry and photography Tekla Inari
Design Tekla Inari and Jaakko Suomalainen
Typography Jaakko Suomalainen
English translation Kasper Salonen
Printed by Jelgavas Tipogrāfija, Latvia
Open-spined book, 464 pages
145 x 205 x 27 mm
Edition of 400 copies
Finnish artist Tekla Inari's third photobook, Ida Uphill, tackles similar issues and ideas as her two previous books, Legacy (2015) and The Blue Years (2017). Particularly prominent are the similarities with The Blue Years, which features Helsinki scenery and explores the perspective of the "creative precariat." The new book is dedicated to this specific group of people.
For readers familiar with Inari's previous artistic publications, acute psychological discernment, uncompromising social realism, and a resolute decision not to filter anything through comforting excuses are all familiar features.
However, what sets Ida Uphill apart is the extensive scale of narration, spanning well over 400 unnumbered pages. Additionally, Ida Uphill is explicitly a work of fiction. It consists of a collage of images and verse, resembling a detailed, elaborate, intimate map of the life, dreams, and thoughts of a young woman named Ida Uphill, living in Helsinki in the 2020s. Social issues such as poverty and mental disorders are portrayed in a raw manner. The author herself has described her artistic method as "documentary fiction."
Inari's images and poetry depict Ida Uphill's experiences of persistent poverty, deteriorating mental health, capitalism, power, beauty, yearning, dreams, and art with sympathy and patience. Ida's face is absent from the book, as are nearly all other human figures. What is offered to the reader is Ida's pressured and solitary world, conveyed through words and photographs.
Tekla Inari is not only a photographer but also a writer, or rather, a writer who knows how to wield a camera. These two forms of expression—verse and printed (color) photography—coexist in her new book, equal in authorship. The text does not interpret the image, nor does the image merely illustrate the written word. Hence, one might ask: Is Ida Uphill a work of literature or photography? This is the wrong question to ask. Ida Uphill Ida Uphill is simply a work of art in the form of an offset printed book.
The edition consists of 400 copies, but individual copies have not been numbered.
The author has received support for book production from the Finnish Art Society, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, and the Kone Foundation.
You can purchase the book online at the Bokeh Shop for the price of 38 euros.