Alma Peltola // Say Cheese
Pispalan valtatie 131, Tampere
Avoinna / Open 24/7
Say Cheese, 2016
School photography is a ritual that for most is a part of childhood and growing up. It’s an event that evokes a lot of expectations, but what as a routine can be really straightforward and even have an artificial feel to it. Its continuity can feel almost comforting. The look of the class photo is iconic, the pictures with rows of faces looking at the camera has stayed very similar for decades. The class photo as a type of photo is unquestionable and safe. It’s the mac and cheese of photography.
School photos are a national archive. They show a lot more than just the amount of students in each class. A look at an old school photo is enough to recall the hierarchies, from who were the besties to who were left out at the part where you take portraits with friends.
Finnish schools don’t have school uniforms. In some school photos the dress code is Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors. In my grandmother’s class photos from the 1930’s Hungary some children don’t have shoes to wear.
School photos are photos of class.
Alma Peltola (b.1990, Tampere)
Lives and works in Helsinki.
Alma Peltola (BA in Art, BA in Social Sciences) is doing her MA in Art Education at Aalto University of Art and Design. She’s of Hungarian-Finnish origin and has a background in journalism. She likes to address social themes from a grass roots level or through personal experience or memories.
Say Cheese is a part of the series Class photos. The works in the series are based on school photos from the 1990’s Finland.
Yösäilö (eng. Night Safe) gallery is vitrine gallery founded in 2016. The gallery is located at the entrance of Tampere Kunsthalle. Each exhibition is curated by one of the members of Tampere Kunsthalle. Works that consider the historical, political and economical context and the public space surrounding the gallery are emphasized in the curating process. Yösäilö gallery is free of charge for the artist.