MIKKO WALTARI (b. 1966) is a Finnish photographer MA, who is researching the representation of reality and the documentary truth in photography.
Before turning to arts, he was working as an exports manager to Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic States for over twenty years. On one sunny winter-day in early 2011, at the moment of his father’s death, he became aware of being thrown into this world and got to thinking about that.
As a result of his realisation, Waltari got his MA-degree from Vilnius Academy of Arts, Lithuania, in 2017, and he now works in Finland and Lithuania as a freelance artist, lecturer and writer.
At the core of his artistic work are topics relating to social history and to the spectacle. His artistic approach leads to final result which is closer to post-documentary than to classical documentary. However, he calls the style documentary spectacle. Theoretically much of his work falls into practices that can be categorised as documentary. Yet, a single work usually consist of several frames that are merged digitally, thus extending the third dimension in photography: time.
Documentary spectacle relates to concepts such as constructed verisimilitude and dramatised, narrated real. It borrows from the theories and practices of documentary theatre, documentary literature, and documentary film – in other words, the constructed image becomes a trace of the traces of an event.
Waltari's ongoing photographic work is called Tracing Europe, a long-term project addressing to European social change from the late 1980's to the present.