Backlight 2023: Julmaa valoa / Cruel Radiance


Cruel Radiance  

What kind of evidentiary power can we associate with images in a world where man-made crises and conflicts have long since exceeded human proportions? How does matter, our material and elementary surroundings, record evidence of violence? What kind of roles do such non-human visual actors have in bearing witness to our pernicious actions?  

Cruel Radiance, the 2023 edition of the Backlight festival, examines the evidential aspects of matter through photography and the moving image. From the omnipresence of particle pollution to the lasting legacies of nuclear weapons, from sub-zero temperatures to the residues of the mining industry, the exhibition sheds light on a whole variety of material elements as visual actors with singular testimonial capacities. In so doing, the stage is set for diverse visual dimensions and temporalities of violence ranging from slow cumulative processes to more abrupt conflicts. True to its title, Cruel Radiance invites the viewer to engage with a material repository of our ways of being together.  

Festival exhibitions: 

3.6.-2.7. Gallery Koppelo | Veli Granö 

3.6.-2.7. Gallery Saskia | Anaïs Tondeur, Ali Akbar Mehta, The HNV Collective

3.6.–31.7. Photographic Centre Nykyaika | Susanne Kriemann 

7.6.–30.7. Demolition Art House Pinni47 | Nykyvaloa / New Rays, international student exhibition 

17.6.–15.10. Tampere Art Museum | Fiona Amundsen & Kanariya Eishi, Solmaz Daryani, Noelle Mason, Anastasia Mityukova, Susan Schuppli, Toshio Fukada, Eiichi Matsumoto  

Backlight´23 Photo Festival Julmaa valoa / Cruel Radiance has been curated by visual artists Harri Pälviranta and Marko Karo. The exhibitions of the Backlight Photo Festival have been produced in collaboration with the Majaoja foundation and Tampere Art Museum. The exhibitions have also received support from Arts Promotion Centre Finland, the City of Tampere, Finnfoto and the Patricia Seppälä foundation.