Admission with Museum Card

Marja Piril: Because of Light

Kunsthalle Helsinki, Helsinki

  • 20.1.2024–17.3.2024

The everyday world in an unexpected light


At the core of photographic artist Marja Pirils exhibition is light and its enchantment. Produced by the Finnish Art Society, the exhibition presents works by the camera obscura pioneer from the 1980s until the present day, ranging from photography to video and three-dimensional camera obscuras.

Piril works in ways that deviate from traditional photography, with particular focus on the camera obscura method, which she has been exploring for 30 years. She uses this technique to map out both living environments and mental landscapes, summoning subconscious emotions into the light of day. Pirils photographic projects span several years and alongside light, they are guided by silence and wonder.

Marja Piril shows us the everyday world in an unexpected light. In order to create her works, she transforms entire rooms, or even buildings, into camera obscuras. In these dark rooms Piril works simultaneously with two instruments from historically disparate time periods: she takes pictures with a contemporary camera inside a camera obscura. The light flooding into an unlit space through a small hole transports reflections from the world outside. When these reflections intertwine with the inner space of the camera obscura, the light creates a third reality in the images. In Pirils works, we witness the diverse and poetic nature of the real world.

The soundscape of the exhibition was created by Tapani Rinne while the three-dimensional camera obscura works are the result of a collaboration between Piril and photographic artist Petri Nuutinen. In connection with the exhibition, Pirils photography book, Because of Light”, which also functions as a camera obscura, will be published.

Marja Piril graduated from the Photography department of the University of Art and Design Helsinki (now Aalto University) and as a biologist (M.Sc.) from the University of Helsinki in 1986. In 2000, she was awarded Finlands State Prize for Photographic Art, in 2010 the Pirkanmaa Art Prize, and in 2020 the Alfred Kordelin Prize for the development, creative use, and popularisation of the camera obscura method. Pirils works have been presented in numerous exhibitions in Finland and in various parts of Europe, North and South America, and Asia.

The exhibition has been supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the book project by Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Finnfoto, the Finnish Art Society, and the Greta and William Lehtinen Foundation.

Share this with your friends!

  • Facebook
  • X
  • Instagram
  • WhatsApp

Museum contact details

Kunsthalle Helsinki
Nervanderinkatu 3, 00100 Helsinki

040 450 7211 (lippukassa)

Museum website

Yhteydet julkisilla

Näytä reitti museolle Matkahuollon reittioppaassa


Katso reitti Matkahuollon reittioppaassa


Kunsthalle Helsinki, Nervanderinkatu 3, 00100 Helsinki


Tai lataa Reitit ja Liput -sovellus

Admission fees

Admission with Museum Card
Admission with Museum Card


Payment methods

Yleisimmt pankki- ja luottokortit
Smartum: Liikunta- ja kulttuuriseteli, Maksukortti, Mobiilimaksu
Tyky: Tyky-online, Tyky-kuntoseteli
Ticket-kortit: Ticket Mind & Body -kortti, Ticket Duo -kortti, Ticket Virike -kortti

Opening hours

Mon Closed
Tue 11:00-18:00
Wed 11:00-20:00
Thu 11:00-18:00
Fri 11:00-18:00
Sat 11:00-17:00
Sun 11:00-17:00

Exceptions in hours: https:/­/­taidehalli.fi/­en/­visit/­

Näyttelyn tekstit kielillä