Aalto University Archives

Interpretation matters

By Anni Rupponen
Rare books from the archive special collection
Rare books from the archive special collection. Photo: Kitty Norros

Student Anni Rupponen, Nordic Visual Studies and Art Education (MA),
Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture:

Interpretation matters

How do you archive images today? I am fascinated by printed photographs and original art works made on paper. I print annually a collection of photos from my life and store original hand-drawings to look at and to touch later.

When browsing my collection, I sometimes wonder why I wanted to archive this image – it feels now insignificant. My collection has taught me to see my memories differently. I have archived these images because stories connected to them were meaningful to me at the time of adding the images into my archive. Without my archive I would have probably forgot these stories forever.

It hasn’t been that long since art schools didn’t have paper model teaching materials. I wanted to exhibit a glimpse into a time when printed teaching materials were very rare and valuable in Finnish art schools. The images used in the installation present the collection from the first printed teaching materials of the Aalto School of Arts' predecessor's early years in 1870.

I feel lucky that I found these fascinating images which have ended up under the protection of Aalto University Archives. These images made me wonder how they were seen and used as educational materials, both at the time of their appearance and in the years after.

It is interesting to think how radically paper models have changed the visual art education. How the exhibited images have formatted visual art education’s current emphasis on teaching critical reading and thinking skills. These skills are precious at a time of endless images which we view and interpret every day.

Try out how viewing the same images as printed paper copies and then as digitized ones affect your interpretation.

Interpretation matters view
Photo: Kitty Norros
Re-imagining the Past exhibition Vol. 2 online
  • Published:
  • Updated: