Caj Bremer, World of Dreams
Caj Bremer, Unimaailmani, 2015
Caj Bremer’s ”World of Dreams” series (2015–) is shown at Gallery Ratamo. About this 30-image series, the artist explains: The idea for the images in World of Dreams came about when there was a partial eclipse of the sun in 2015. I didn’t have much time to photograph the eclipse. Or to figure out how. I found a solution and after seeing the result, I decided to continue. That is how ”World of Dreams” began.
My real dreams are strange and that is why I named this series as such. The artworks could be called light-prints, because the light source for each image comes from the sun in different forms. I wanted to show respect to the sun in this way, because the sun the whole reason for this project.
The images were taken in my home environment here in the Sipoo archipelago and they are pure photographs, no photoshopping nor are they manipulated in any way. The details of how these images were made, remains in my knowledge only. The images are printed on thin Japanese Kozo paper and stretched in a frame. The frames do not have glass because I wanted to show the fine texture of the paper. This thin printing paper is no longer in production in Japan and so these images have become unique prints.
About the Artist
Caj Bremer (b. 1929) is a Finnish photographer and academic. He is one of the most significant representatives of Finnish photo journalism.
Caj Bremer learned the basics of his trade as an studio assistant, but formally became a photograph when he began work at the Hufvudstadsbladet newspaper in 1952. After this, he transferred to the Lehtikuva picture agency and in 1957, to the weekly newspaper Viikkosanomat. Similarly to the big American and European picture reports, the Viikkosanomat published reportages from near and far. These reportages played an important role in constructing a worldview for readers, before television took its first steps to becoming a regular source of information.
The weekly newspaper Viikkosanomat discontinued production in the late 1970s, but Bremer had already moved on to become a photographer for the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper. He also photographed fashion both for salons in Helsinki and for the Me Naiset magazine. Later, Bremer took on a position as an art professor.
During the beginning of his career, Caj Bremer associated himself with the tradition of humanistic photography. This tradition was particularly influenced by the French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, who focused on individual people and their immediate environment. Humanistic images pay homage to the subject and are often lyrically beautiful, although hard reality is often strongly present.
Bremer has a sharp and observant eye. His ability to control composition and light in quickly changing situations has never failed. He is able to strip an image down to the essential, creating a seemingly simple image which is often tainted by soft humour.
Humour is what sets Bremer’s photographs apart from the main stream. The emotionally serious tone of Finnish photography never took hold in Bremer’s production, instead he had the ability to extract joy and a generous smile.
Because of his exceptional social skills Bremer has also always been in control of his circumstances, be it in the dark alleys of the suburbs or presidential palaces. In his images, public figures seem easily approachable, like average people.
Text about the artist: Ateneum Art Museum
An extensive retrospective of Caj Bremer’s work was shown at the Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki, in 2010, and at the Museum of Central Finland in 2012.