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It was a deliberate choice to portrait the mental ill patients the way I did. I started with that project working with a 35mm camera trying to make a documentary of the hospital and the patients. I realized very soon that it was impossible for me to stay objective and I wanted to turn the question around. To produce a series of work that is possible to do with photography. You can portrait a person in so many ways and what is the truth? The image remains as the photographer’s interpretation in every case. So, I depicted those strong faces, so to see if mental illness can be seen in an image. As soon as I understood that there was no possibility for me to be objective, the whole work became a sort of photographical essay on norm. On that 60th of a second a lot of expressions can take place. I chose the ones that for me could present anyone. To make the unseen be possibly seen and to question the norm we carry.

Arja Hyytiainen

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