Kult Books, 2023. Edition of 500 copies. Embossed double-folded softcover, pamphlet stitch binding, 56 pp., b/w illustrated, 225x275mm. Photographs by Aapo Huhta. Design by Heikki Kaski, Aapo Huhta.
Aapo Huhta's book Gravity presents a collection of black and white studio portraits of human figures and shapes combined with imagery of mummified remains from late 16th-century Sicily. In these gently surreal scenes, human bodies float, enveloped in grainy textures from chemical residues and light leaks. By photographing and rephotographing through transparent and reflective objects, Huhta transforms the figures into contorted human-like creatures. He also manipulates the interaction of film, developer, and overly expired photographic paper by hand and re-establishes the unpredictability into a process that is commonly sought to be controlled.
“Gravity seems to take place just outside of the imaginary event horizon of a fantastic black hole, in a limbo where both matter and concepts are altered to the point of collapse. The disintegration of the body is exposed in all its terrifying beauty as Huhta rejects the norms of depicting the human individual. But embedded within the endless night of Gravity's outer space are clues of what lies beyond the final loss of power: the end is an enduring arid landscape. This, then, is what peace looks like.“ -Helen Korpak
The catalyst for the work Gravity was a change in identity that happened after becoming a parent. The result is a subjective interpretation of the complexity and fragility of human life and an intuitive response toward the unknown.