Reality in Modern Art
In a way, Arno’s work simply builds on the psychological foundations laid by the surrealist movement.

The surrealist movement really made a big deal out of the art of the subconscious, that we all have this very personal and very special narrative trapped in our minds. We walk around with this narrative. We walk around with this internal reality, and this reality is brought out into the open not to some sort of grand dramatic gesture.

It’s not like you have a lot of people or an army of people acting in an irrational and abnormal way. No. Instead, it’s brought out in how we read this personal reality or this personal take into the banal and otherwise all-too-common realities of our lives.

Accordingly, you could be looking at an apple and it’s just an apple for eating or an apple for some sort of decoration.

Rene Magritte turned this into his stock of trade. You could look at it as some sort of philosophical sleight of hand. You can look at a symbol as just basically an everyday symbol that you see every single day, but if you are of a philosophical bent or you come from a western religious background, there’s a heavy layer of doctrinal, philosophical, symbolic and other meanings that you can put on an object.

That was the whole point is that we can look at all these common everyday objects and walk away with totally different interpretations and what makes Arno Rafael Minkkinen’s work different from surrealism is that surrealism took place in a part of European history where there are still vestiges of the centrality of truth.

Put simply, when you read in your truth into some sort of external trigger, there is some sort of pressure for your reading to conform to some sort of objective or seemingly objective understanding of that greater truth.

Otherwise, you’re going to fall outside or your interpretation is somehow deemed as abnormal or irregular. That’s change. When you look at Minkkinen’s work, your interpretation is not much different from somebody else’s interpretation, and they’re of equal value. Somebody may look at it at a fairly superficial and optical way, and that’s okay.

Somebody might come into the picture with a tremendous amount of textual, subtextual and other types of meaning and guess what, ultimately, they’re equivalent. There’s really no high and low, no up and down, no black and white, no inside and out. Welcome to postmodernism.

This is the sensibility that Mr. Minkkinen’s work brings to the table. He makes a point that what happens inside your mind can happen inside a camera. Ultimately, his camera is just a midwife, if you will, of your thoughts. You are entitled to your thoughts.

VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPHY
Regardless of how shallow or how deep somebody else considers them, they are still your thoughts and you are fully entitled to them. Nobody has the right to dismiss your thoughts as inconsequential, abnormal, weak, irregular or boring. It’s your thoughts.
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Vintage Camera
It’s this democratic space of textual and subtextual reading that’s really exciting about postmodernism and Minkkinen’s work highlights the intersection between postmodernism and what came before it.
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Modern Camera
Now, this is not a particularly 100% safe intersection. There are still some tendencies in the minds of many people to reduce the world to black and white, to reduce the world to some sort of fixed structure that is easy to navigate.
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Technical Photography
Let’s face it there is something reassuring when we can look at the world and all its complexities and all its particular drama in that particular point in time and space, and simplify it into simple matters of right or wrong, justice or injustice.
Realistic Photography Includes...
Vintage Photography
There’s something reassuring about that because it’s very easy to navigate when you have fixed points on the map.
Adjusted Aperture
It can even be looked at as a threat, and this is why Minkkinen says art is risk made visible. It’s risk. It’s taking some point, but that point shifts.
Perfect Lighting
Compare that with what we have now which is everything is shifting, everything is moving and there’s really no top nor is there is any bottom.
Optimised Focal Length
Regardless of what you think about modern art and postmodernism in general, it cannot be denied. You can’t say that it doesn’t exist.
Perfect Timing
This is the art of modern art, and this can be quite confusing as well as uncomfortable for a lot of people.
Shooting Mode
You can’t bury your head in the sand and wish it would go away. It’s not going away anytime soon because it really speaks to the social.
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How to view postmodern photographic art?

Cultural and political economic realities that we live in. It is the spirit of the age, like it or not. This is why it’s really refreshing for Minkkinen’s work to embrace this uncertainty.

Is reality an useful concept in modern art?

Really bring it out there because there is a tremendous amount of power in the ability to read in your personal reality into whatever it is you are perceiving.

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