ANNA AMERIKAN MUMMU
January 17, 2019
The exhibition “Anna Amerikan mummu” featuring works by Swedish photographer Nina Korhonen will be on view from January 17-February 24 at the Latvian Museum of Photography, Riga.
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According to Korhonen, the show is a story and tribute to her beloved grandmother, Anna. The photographs, made in New York and Lake Worth, Florida between 1993-1999, depict everyday life--sensual, warm, and with much humor. The exhibition is a tribute to an elderly woman who sought a different life and found it. The journey to America had been her grandmother’s dream since she was eight years old and promised to follow her aunt to the great “Wonderland”. Anna was 40 years old, and it was a difficult time in Finland, impossible to find a job. Her husband Kalle had travelled as the chief engineer to all the great ports of the world, now he thought that it was his turn to stay at home. In spring of 1959, Anna realized her life’s dream and alone, with a couple of hundred dollars and no special skills in the English language, she took the airplane to New York. She lived in Brooklyn and worked as a cook in a wealthy family in upper Manhattan. Anna flew to Tampere, Finland every summer and Kalle flew to her in New York every winter. When Kalle died in 1985, Anna gave Nina his camera. A few years later, when she found old colour photographs from their trips, she decided to keep portraying Anna in her own way. She visited Anna regularly for two or three weeks at a time and photographed her in her home and favourite places. Anna called Nina her “back-scrubber,” and Nina listened Anna’s stories and learned about her “Amerikan mummu”. Anna spent 40 years in America. She died from cancer at 83 years old. For the last six years, she had the beloved sunlight all year round. She travelled between her three homes – spring and autumn in New York, summer in Finland and winter in Florida. It was exactly as she had dreamt it would be.