The Immaterial Quality of Distance – Paulon Säätiön kutsunäyttely / The Paulo Foundation stipendium exhibition, Project Room, Helsinki, 10.–26.8.2018
The Immaterial Quality of Distance – Paulon Säätiön kutsunäyttely:
Eetu Huhtala, Saija Kivikangas & Emma Peura, Maisa Majakka, Suvi Sysi
Avajaiset 9.8. klo 17-19
Project Room, Lönnrotinkatu 35
Tämän vuoden Paulon Säätiön kutsunäyttely The Immaterial Quality of Distanceesittelee teoksia kolmelta nuorelta taiteilijalta ja yhdeltä työparilta: Eetu Huhtala, Saija Kivikangas & Emma Peura, Maisa Majakka ja Suvi Sysi. Näyttelyn on kuratoinut Michael Petry, kuvataiteilija ja The Museum of Comtemporary Art Londonin johtaja.
Michael Petry kutsui näyttelyyn nuoria taiteilijoita, joiden viime aikaisissa teoksissa hän havaitsi samanaikaisesti aineettomuutta ja fyysistä läsnäoloa. Yhteistä näyttelyn teoksille on se, että ne ovat ajallisia: Teokset ovat performanssin kaltaisia siitä huolimatta että ne ovat objekteja, kuten Petry näyttelytekstissään kuvailee. Tämän tyyppinen hetkellisyys on ominaista usein juuri nuorten taiteilijoiden teoksille, toteaa Petry, joka näkee sen olevan seurausta varttumisesta internetin vaikutuspiirissä.
Saija Kivikangas ja Emma Peura toteuttavat näyttelyyn valoinstallaation. Kattoon ripustettuun kupariveistokseen heijastetaan videota, ja valo kimpoilee niiden pinnasta gallerian seinille. Teos on jatkuvassa liikkeessä, ja pysähtymätön liike muodostaa muuttuvan visuaalisen tanssin. Vaikka teos on äänetön ja valo aineetonta, teos on vahvan ilmaisuvoimainen.
Eetu Huhtalan teos näyttää tavalliselta puistonpenkiltä, mutta itse asiassa se toimii gallerian tilan viilentäjänä, sillä se on jääkylmä. Alumiinista valmistetun penkin rakenteisiin kätketty mekaniikka tuottaa teokseen aineettomuuden, kylmyyden, joka on teoksen ydin.
Maisa Majakka työskentelee saven parissa. Hänen käsin valmistamansa pienet savifiguurit yhdistyvät teoksissa kymmenien, jopa satojen hahmojen joukoiksi. Yhteen koottuina objektit vahvistavat toinen toisensa läsnäoloa. Samalla syntyy vaikutelma siitä kuin tarkkailisimme niitä suuren etäisyyden päästä.
Suvi Sysi tekee suurikokoisia printtejä, joista suurimmat ovat jopa kymmenen metrin mittaisia. Ne ovat vahvan materiaalisia, vaikka niiden rakenne saattaa olla lähes läpikuultava.
Paulon Säätiö myöntää vuosittain nuorelle taiteilijalle tai työparille stipendin näyttelyn ja näyttelyluettelon toteuttamiseen. Kutsunäyttelyn taiteilijan valitsee vuosittain vaihtuva kuraattori. Näyttely järjestetään elokuussa Kuvataideakatemian Project Roomissa.
For the exhibition The Immaterial Quality of Distance curator Michael Petry has selected five young artists (two who are working together) whose recent work embodies immateriality while at the same time existing in our world. Together the five artists engage the viewer with a fleeting form of experience. The works are almost performances that have a natural time span, yet they are objects.
Press release in English:
The Immaterial Quality of Distance
An exhibition curated by Michael Petry for
KUVA, Helsinki, Finland
9 – 26, August
So many Finns I have met tell me that Finnish artists are lost in the woods, looking deep into the forest, or even trying to escape it into an open landscape. I have often found that I encounter many landscape paintings, photographs and sculptures when I have been there. Many times the works are remarkable examples of the genre, and have updated it into contemporary practise. Perhaps the old Finnish god of the forest Tapio, is stronger than urbanites think….
Jari Silomäki’s photography is well known and his mix of image and text and his mix of images of the natural world with the man made, that is, the jungle of society, the jungle that is other people. On his blog he has posted a series of Previously Unpublished Weather Diaries that perfectly display these multi- layered contrasts. Antti Laitinen’s Broken Landscapes recall the early work of the British artist Andy Goldsworth. Both ‘re-make’ nature in their own conceptual image, working in the land to re-figure trees, leaves or stones and then taking a photograph that documents their actions. Laitinen also makes may performance based land works like Lake Shift (2016) where he tries to move a lake using only two buckets or his Attempt to Split the Sea (2006) where we see the a deep man made gash in the deep snow that covers the sea in the deep Finnish winter. These are immaterial actions that form the art that we, the viewer see from the distance of his camera, and the distance of
It makes no difference if such interactions with the natural world are successful, he did not split the sea or manage to move the lake, but it is the poetry of the attempt that is so striking and moving. Heidi Lampenius paints the memory of places and spaces, and her abstracted works refer to Night Fishing (2016), a Geysir (2016), the Horizon (2016) and being Underwater (2016). The paint is often watery, thin and ghostly, almost immaterial. They are evocative and barely figurative, they seem to float on the wall and in the mind. It is this trace quality, this contingent reality, and the transitory marks they make on a canvas on in the landscape itself that holds the viewers attention. These works are ephemeral and it is a quality that I see in the work of many younger artists who have come of age in the world of the internet, of
fleeting digital images that race around the globe at the speed of light. For the exhibition The Immaterial Quality of Distance I have selected five young artists (two who are working together) whose recent work embodies this immateriality while at the same time existing in our world. These works are sculptural (on a material level) but they speak of their own contingent state as art.
“Saija Kivikangas and Emma Peura have joined forces to make an installation that is pure light. Suspended from the ceiling of the gallery is a large piece of shaped copper (sculpture in itself) that has video projectors focused on to its surface. The light bounces off the metal and onto the gallery space. The light is not static, as neither the metal or the projectors are stationary. The copper continuously moves, bends and deflects the light, creating an ever-changing visual dance. The Finnish god Ukko was the god of the sky and of thunder. Ukko, like the Norse god Thor, had a hammer by which he struck lightning, as the Greek god Zeus did with his thunderbolts. Thunder creates sound and is most often accompanied by a flash of lightning. While Project(ion), the installation by Kivikangas & Peura is silent, it too generates the flash of light that is the art we see, and like all light is immaterial, though quiet it speaks volumes.”
The Finnish god Ilmarien was a blacksmith, and seen as the maker of heaven. In the Greek world Hephaestus was a smith who made the weapons of the other gods (he was Vulcan to the Romans). Hephaestus’ mother Hera (wife of Zeus) cast him out of Olympus as a baby as he had a shrivelled foot. He was extremely skilled as a maker and was known to have created mechanical clockwork beings. EetuHuhtala has also made mysterious mechanical works like his Pallo, a steel ball that is seemingly alive, rolling around the floor, never bumping into the walls (or viewers) as it has its own internal sensor to guide it. His Don’t worry, I’m OK slowly crawls and creeps across the floor, and yet his new work for the exhibition seems stationary.I’ve been outside for way too long looks like an ordinary aluminium park bench yet it is quietly cooling the air in the gallery as it is ice cold. Eetu has constructed the bench so that it is like a refrigerator, it is magically, yet inside the metal is the mechanical
workings that make the work’s immaterial presence, its coldness the heart of the work.
Maisa Majakka works with clay, holding it in her hands, stretching and folding it, manipulating it into a multitude of small figures. She often makes tens if not
hundreds of similar objects that she combines to form one finished work. The notion of the multiple the many is linked to fertility and Lempo the Finnish goddess of it was seen as a devil in Christian lore. Fertility goddesses are like Majakka’s clay objects, they come by the score, which is no surpise as almost every culture has had a goddess that they pray to for pregnancy and help in childbirth. There is Aka (Turkish), Bast (ancient Egyptian), Demeter (Greek), Macha (Irish), Tlaleutle (Aztec) and of course Gaia one of the four primordial gods. Placed in the dark are a multitude of Majakka’s small glazed ceramic pieces for her work Islets crowning. The small physical presence of each tiny object is multiplied and amplified by the large number of them gathered together, and we look at them as if we are seeing them from a huge distance.
The final artist in the exhibition is Suvi Sysi who makes monumental sized prints. Some are ten meters long and for all their materiality are almost immaterial. Sysi prints very minimal abstract shapes on the paper and using oil based inks makes the resultant prints almost see-through. Her new work is best seen in the daylight that floods into the front gallery space. Näkki is a fearsome goddess of pools and a similar Estonian goddess tempts men to their death by drowning, and Sysi tempts the viewer to become immersed in her prints. For the exhibition she will suspend a series of her light consuming sheets in the gallery space. Together the five artists engage the viewer with a fleeting form of experience, they step in and out of the frame of the gallery, the works are almost performances that have a natural time span, yet they are objects. Perhaps it is the viewer who makes the performance in their experience of the work. Whether they spend a few moments or many focused
minutes or even hours, the works will stay with them floating in their memories coming back to the forefront of thought when they least expect it. The distance between the viewer and the artist is spanned by the work, via an invisible thread, an immaterial quality of being.