Arno Rafael MinkkinenSandy, Connecticut (1971)

My familiarity with Minkkinen pertains more to his seminal Helsinki Bus Station Theory.

Yes, I would take issues with a few of his tangents but his analogy is otherwise lethally on point.

Given that I was so moved by his words, I was put off by my ambivalence for his images. They reminded me of Jerry Uelsmann–for whom, as someone reasonable skilled in photo manipulation in a traditional darkroom, I have a great deal of respect but whose work does fuck all for me.

Mostly because I’m lazy but also due to the fact that I’m impatient, I didn’t bother to dig deeper into his work.

As it turns out, that was an appreciable mistake. If someone manages to make something that not only speaks with you but connects with you, it’s very rare in my experience that there’s not something similar animating the rest of their work.

Will I ever be into the in-camera optical illusions that typify Minkkinen’s work? Hardly. But, the man really has a knack of translating the feeling of physical intimacy into something visually manifest. That’s no small feat.

Also, I can know see a thread running from Minkkinen to Ahndraya Parlato; a thread that once observed serves to amplify the effect of both.

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