Caj Bremer’s sharp eye on view in new retrospective

Conferment dance on Mannerheimintie, Helsinki, 1960.

CAJ BREMER is one of the biggest names in post-war Finnish photojournalism. His black and white photo reportages have afforded him a storytelling role as a photographer.

The Ateneum is featuring a collection of more than 150 of his photographs, the oldest dating back to the early 1950s, the latest being from last year. The exhibition includes journalistic and family photographs as well as studies of light and nature. Through these themes, the show also traces the development of Finnish society and media over the last 50 years.

In an era when television was taking only its first steps as a source of daily news, Bremer was attracted by the tradition of humanistic photography, which emphasises an interest in people and their immediate surroundings. Humanistic photography respects its subjects and often has a lyrical beauty despite the powerful presence of everyday realities.

Bremer has a precise and insightful eye. He has an unfailing ability to control the light and composition in rapidly changing conditions, being able to extract the essential into a seemingly simple image often characterised by a subtle sense of humour. One of Bremer’s strengths is his flair for capturing joy and good-natured smiles in his images.

Bremer’s exceptional social skills and curiosity have taken him to exploring dark alleys on the outskirts of town or to attend official functions with the political elite. The public figures in his photographs appear to be as approachable as ordinary people on any sunny Sunday afternoon.

Anyone interested in seeing the development of post-war Finland will be delighted to
experience the journey through Bremer’s photographs.

Photographer Caj Bremer
Until 16 May, 2010
Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki
Tickets €9/7

Published in the Helsinki Times on February 25th, 2010.


About Susan Fourtané

As a citizen of the world, Susan began her search for her place in the world back at the beginning of the year 2000. After many travels looking for her place in the world, her soul found that place in Finland in September 2006. She has been living in Helsinki ever since, where she combines fiction and non-fiction writing with Philosophy studies and teaching.
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