Photographic Bodies and Biographical Narratives: The Finnish State Archaeologist Juhani Rinne in Pictures

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Although the new approaches of biographical writing and current theories on photography have similar tendencies, there are also frictions between them. They stem from the commitment of biography to concentrate on a certain person and his or her life course, in my case the life of the State Archaeologist Juhani Rinne (1872–1950). I present photographs of Rinne as a case study and focus on the tensions between biographical narrativity and photographic bodies. The pictures of the Rinne collection seem to be linked to each other only by his name and body. The concept “image-body” is used to denote this discursive setting, where a relation between lived and represented bodies is conceived in terms of knowledge and truth. Rinne's image-body draws attention to work and its constitutive position in performing academic masculinity. It resonates with discourses on nationalism and civilized men. The repeated, orderly poses combined with formal dress go beyond a simplistic dichotomy of private and public.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2012

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