Upcoming! The exhibition In The World But Not Of It by Tim Smith will be on display at the Malmitalo Gallery May 16 – June 8, 2024.
Welcome to the exhibition opening on Wednesday, 15 May 5–7pm!
Kuva Tim Smithin valokuvateoksesta.
Image: Tim Smith – Hutterites
Tim Smith: In The World But Not Of It
Beginning with a chance encounter, Canadian photographer Tim Smith has been documenting and building relationships with Hutterite communities in North America over the past fifteen years. An Anabaptist group whose roots trace back to Tyrol, Austria in the wake of the 16th century Radical Reformation, Hutterites live communally on colonies throughout western Canada and the north-western United States. Their culture continues to be preserved through deliberate separation from mainstream society and economic self-sufficiency.
The Hutterites are currently in the midst of one of the most successful periods of their approximately 500 year history. Facing no overt threats from the outside world they have prospered and their population has grown to approximately 50,000. Members are provided for throughout their entire lives and on the whole experience less of the loneliness and isolation prevalent in the modern world. The importance given to engagement in family life, social life and spirituality, and the defined purpose for their lives means Hutterite communities meet many of the requirements to be considered Blue Zones; area’s where health, happiness and life expectancy rates are higher than average.
Hutterites are often either romanticized or denigrated as simple, backwards, quaint and/or old fashioned. The reality is that their society is very complex. Smith uses photography to document the breadth and complexity of the Hutterite experience as well as to show how colonies navigate the need to respond to the external pressures of the world around them while holding on to key traditions central to their faith.
Tim Smith’s photographs provide a contemporary and nuanced view of the Hutterite colonies – delving into complex decisions at the heart of the everyday. They offer a glimpse into the continuously negotiated sites of Hutterite life. Many of the images focus on the youth culture in the colonies, where expressions of rebellion, respect for tradition, and maintenance of strict gender roles all create a sense of dual resistance – at once against the pressures of the outside world and against tradition. Having devoted fourteen years to this ongoing documentation, Smith’s understanding of the Hutterite communities creates a possibility of showing their complexity in ways that are responsive to how they wish to be seen.
Smith’s work is among the broadest and most extensive visual documentations of Hutterite culture ever produced. It has been published and exhibited throughout the world, including recent gallery exhibitions in Germany, Austria, Italy and Canada. Smith was the 2022 Donggang Photo Festival Artist of the Year and a featured speaker and exhibitor at the 2023 Xposure International Photo Festival in Sharjah, UAE. Portions of his work from his prairie and Hutterite projects are part of private and public collections. He is currently working on his first book.
Malmitalo Gallery
Ala-Malmitori 1, 00700 Helsinki
Opening hours: Mon–Thu 8–8pm, Fri 8–6pm, Sat 10–4pm

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