Two visions from the northern most latitudes, the photographs by Pentti Sammallahti of his native Helsinki, and those by Alexey Titarenko of St. Petersburg (presented by Nailya Alexander Gallery), are portraits of two cities that share the same light but create strikingly different experiences for the viewer.
Sammallahti's intimate tableaux breathe life into a dark and icy world, while Titarenko's long exposures grant us the vision of ghost-like images, a haunting commentary on the frailty of human existence and the transient nature of life.
Sammallahti's photographs seem unanchored in time, eternal, while those of Titarenko depict a gloomy period of economic catastrophe following the Soviet empire's collapse. A sense of peaceful tranquility, even security, seems to define Sammallahti's images, while Titarenko's light is a symbol of hope as it reveals the city in its eerie, melancholy beauty.
The one world image and the other, a few miles apart, are profoundly different yet strangely compatible.