Markus Henttonen — Silent Night

HelsinkiArt & Culture

Silent Fright

Spooky scenes of suburban L.A. lack Christmas spirit...

It’s the beginning of October, so Christmas decorations will have been up for several weeks in supermarkets around the country, but if you think that is unseasonal, have a look at what happens when somewhere very hot and sunny tries to get all festive – as captured by photographer Markus Henttonen in his Silent Night series.

The folks of Los Angeles try their best – some of the Angelenos’ displays would shame some of the foremost UK council estate examples – but the result is entirely lacking in Christmas cheer. Instead there is an eeriness to the deserted streets, something off in the incongruity of the decorations and their balmy setting, and a sense of foreboding about what lies behind the drawn curtains. Are these houses all abandoned, or are the residents in there somewhere, and what is their fate? Born in Finland and now living in Berlin, Henttonen is returning to the land of his birth with a solo show at Korjaamo in Helsinki, which may provide some answers. Silent Night will run over the more Christmassy period of 29 November this year to 5 January 2014.

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