For its 5th anniversary, the Finnish nomadic art gallery, Äkkigalleria, is venturing outside of its hometown Jyväskylä to present work by 7 Finnish artists in the exhibition Materialized out of Finland.
This exhibition shows recent work by artists from all over Finland. The selection of pieces is delicately balanced between the two strong roots of Finnish culture and economy: wilderness and technology.
Much of the work is process based, and involves various degrees of intense labour. Be it the physically demanding work of destroying a boat (Jukka Silokunnas), cutting up a frozen lake (Antti Laitinen) or chipping up a log (Emma Lappalainen). Or the more fine motor skills of wrapping wire around twigs (Leena Kangaskoski), the meticulously cut paper flowers (Nabb & Teeri) or building self-sufficient kinetic sculptures (Lassi Ursin). All demand a certain determination and sacrifice proudly known as “sisu” in the Finnish language. Even the small hand-printed, silver gelatine prints (Maija Holma) require careful technique.
Each piece has an intimate story as well, reflecting the solitary nature of Finns. The lone, physical and technical involvement in each creation is reflective of the Finnish relationship to nature.
Finland, meet Vancouver.
Vancouver, this is Finland.
The artists of Materialized out of Finland are:
Maija Holma b. 1971, (photography) processes and prints her images on repurposed materials. Her work often juxtaposes material and image; using found (rejected) objects such as broken plastic or chunks of cement, combined with imagery from her environment. For subject matter, Maija Holma is drawn to architecture, in nature as well as in cities. Maija Holma is also a photographer for the Alvar Aalto museum of Finland for which she has documented the architect’s work all over the globe. Her most recent exhibition was in Teheran, Iran.
Maija Holma’s work in this exhibition, Ballad of a Standard, 2012, is a series of silver gelatine photographs on repurposed “A4” paper.
Leena Kangaskoski b. 1982, (sculpture) has worked with a variety of materials and practices including sculpture, performance and video, but her most recent work appropriates natural objects, such as sticks or pinecones, and transforms them into new entities. For this exhibition Leena Kangaskoski is showing work from her new series Mind Token 2014, which visualizes a concept of neurons through the manipulation of natural found objects.
Antti Laitinen b.1975, is known for his projects of endurance. His physically demanding processes, immersed in nature, are documented and shown as photographs and/or videos in the gallery setting. For this exhibition Äkkigalleria shows his video work Lake Deconstruction, 2011, which documents his process of removing ice from a frozen lake, cube by cube, and building a large ice block on land. Through diverse projects, Laitinen considers human relationship with and in nature along with concepts of time and work.
Laitinen was the Finnish Pavilion representative at the 2013 Venice Biennale.
Emma Lappalainen b. 1976, (sculpture) is best known for her black and white, pinhole photographs and prints depicting mysterious landscapes. Upon recently inheriting a forest she began working in a more sculptural form: Her forest had been infested with a beetle known in Finnish as the “typographic printer” (Ips typographus) – a similar name to her own profession as a fine arts printer, this was also the profession of her late father. It was this connection with the beetle that inspired her to work with wood more physically as a material and not just a means to print.
Emma Lappalainen’s Trip 2013, is an installation/sculpture made from a spruce tree log.
Janne Nabb & Maria Teeri b. 1984 & 1985, (installation). Janne Nabb and Maria Teeri are an artist couple who have been working together since 2009. Their collaborative work is propelled by their efforts to avoid painting. This may seem a bit contradictory seeing as both artists began as painters, however their motivation for “not painting” is rooted in their desire to go beyond paint: to continue painting without the use of paint. Currently their non-paintings are made with found materials (in this case calendars from the 1980s) videos, and manipulated photographs. Their installations are always site-specific creations, although at times certain elements might be re-used in a new context. In this exhibition they are showing a new version of their piece Sonar 2010, 2011, 2014.
Nabb and Teeri were chosen as the 2014 Young Artist of Finland award. This award is an annual cash prize and exhibition given to a Finnish artist under 35 as a reward of merit in the arts.
Jukka Silokunnas b. 1982, (video). Intrigued by disruption of order, the stop-motion videos and photographs by Jukka Silokunnas often represent the dismantling of objects, emphasizing the absurd, or reversing common expectations. His video Disemboat 2013, shows a typical Finnish row boat crumbling, in stop motion, seemingly without human intervention. Jukka Silokunnas is also known as a specialist of Finnish Street Art. He is currently working at the Finnish Arts Promotion Centre – Central Finland Branch (formerly known as the Arts Council of Finland), for the promotion of Public/Street Art.
Lasse Ursin b. 1983, (media art) experiments with found objects and motors to produce his kinetic sculptures. He considers existential questions about art and challenges the authority of the artist by creating self propelling objects that can produce their own drawings and/or paintings. For this exhibition Lasse Ursin’s Too Much Coffee 2014, is a new work created for this Äkkigalleria exhibition. The object is a scalp massage device attached with small cam motor equipped with pens which draws random, agitated lines in an uncontrolled composition.
Lasse Ursin is an active member of his community, involved in bringing creative activities to isolated groups on people, particularily those in governmental housing.
For this exhibition, Äkkigalleria will occupy the initial gallery space for four days in between programmed exhibitions. This new collaboration with an established gallery space is an exciting expansion for the Äkkigaleria concept which, up until now, has primarily appropriated vacant commercial spaces.
Äkkigalleria takes over the initial gallery space
2339 Granville Street