Nanna Saarhelo


Nanna Saarhelo: ‘Tuomo R’ sarjasta ‘Sleep with me’, 2007 (yksityiskohta), pigmenttivedos, 37,1×193 cm

“Sleep with me consists of photographs featuring people sleeping the night in my bed. The images are taken straight from above, so that the bed space is entirely visible. I ask one person at a time to be photographed and I place myself to sleep next to them. The camera is programmed to take a picture every half an hour, and each night there are a total of 7-8 photographs taken.

In the Sleep with me –series the photographer places herself next to her sitter – under the scrutinizing eye of the camera – and the space behind the camera is vacated. Thus the photographer exposes herself to the same treatment as the sitter and the unidirectional portrait is disturbed.

The work also includes implications towards people’s relationships: shared choreographies are formed during the night, sometimes the movements appear as if synchronised. However, the people photographed are present in dream world, outside the boundaries of the photograph, and it becomes difficult to define their personal qualities.” (source:

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