Wednesday, December 8, 2010


..a little something special before the end of the year...

Harald Karsten: view of the installation Merry Christmas all the Year (Säynätsalo 2008)

Äkkigalleria presents: Harald Karsten’s installation: Merry Christmas all the Year on December 21st and 22nd, from 3:30-8pm, at Galleria Hoppa.

Äkkigalleria has chosen to present this installation on the winter solstice to celebrate the rebirth of light. The week before Christmas has often become a hectic time of preparation and general consumerism. Just for one moment Äkkigalleria invites passers by to step into another universe, a place of magic, hope, beauty and chimes.

Äkkigalleria, in cooperation with Galleria Hoppa and Vakiopaine, wishes you all a very festive season.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Äkkigalleria 6 - thank you

Once again we would like to thank everyone for helping make Äkkigalleria 6 a truly fantastic experience! Especially special thanks goes to all of the participating artist, to Korjaamo Galleria, all of the volunteer performers for Nastja Rönkkö's piece: Mikko Jäppinen, Jarkko Kaurismäki, Panu Kivi, Ville Mattila, and Ossi Paananen as well as to the dancers from the closing performance: Elsa and Malwiina Heikkilä!
A special thanks also goes out to Ulla Ourila of the Drama Gallery for cooperation in renting the space for Äkkigalleria 6. (and note the beautiful high ceiling-ed, clean space is now available for long term rental)
Without forgetting to thank Äkkigalleria's Assistant Director, Juho Jäppinen,and his full time employer Jussi Jäppinen Ky, who allowed flexible work hours and several days of partial-leave during the preparation and closing of Äkkigalleria 6.
Thank you!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Äkkigalleria 6 - closing performance

Sunday the 28th of November is the last day of Äkkigalleria 6. At 5:30pm Äkkigalleria will present "a work in progress" by Elsa and Malwiina Heikkilä. This will be the very first taste of their up coming duet scheduled for production in 2011. The performance will last approximately 10 minutes.

Everyone is welcome to Äkkigalleria 6, for this free dance performance in celebration of the last day of Äkkigalleria 6!

Äkkigalleria 6 - Images

Äkkigalleria 6

Äkkigalleria 6 - exhibition view on main floor, artwork form left to right: photographs by Heidi Romo, sculpture by Jasu Salmi, sculpture by Eeva-Liisa Sorainen, cereal boxes by Jani Leinonen

Äkkigalleria 6 - live sculpture by Jasu Salmi

Äkkigalleria 6 - Mustard Gas by Riiko Sakkinen

Äkkigalleria 6 - installation by Christelle Mas

Äkkigalleria 6 - reflections of Jani Leinonen's cereal boxes and Eeva-Liisa Sorainen's bread-house, in Heidi Romo's photograph Paradise (2010)

Äkkigalleria 6 - closing performance by Elsa and Malwiina Heikkilä

Äkkigalleria 6 - Christmas table by Pekka Suomäki (2010)

Äkkigalleria 6 - the after math of "Boys" a performance by Nastja Rönkkö

Äkkigalleria 6 window display- cereal boxes by Jani Leinonen

Performance by Nastja Rönkkö on the opening night.

Performance by Nastja Rönkkö on the opening night.

Performance by Nastja Rönkkö on the opening night.

Leipäpuu by Eeva-Liisa Sorainen

photos: Juho Jäppinen

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Äkkigalleria 6 - opening night programme

Äkkigalleria will open on Wednesday the 24th of November.
The exhibition will be open from 1pm until 7pm but the opening festivities will begin at 5pm.
The opening night programme includes the performance "Boys" choreographed by Nastja Rönkkö which will present its world premiere at 5:30pm sharp. This performance magnifies social expectations as it physically shows the degradation of manners and in the artist's own words:

Boys is a playful attempt to de-construct our appropriations of social gestures, languages and etiquettes.

During the opening night Christelle Mas will also offer a low-key poetry performance. And it will be possible to eat some of the art along with the opening refreshments.

Everyone is welcome:
Äkkigalleria 6 - I'm Hungry for Art
Kilpisenkatu 7, Jyväskylä

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Äkkigalleria 6 - I'm Hungry for Art

Äkkigalleria presents its sixth exhibition in Jyväskylä at the end of November 2010.

This exhibition’s eight artists are Jani Leinonen (Helsinki), Christelle Mas (French, living in Helsinki), Heidi Romo (Helsinki), Nastja Rönkkö (Central-Finnish, living in London, UK), Riiko Sakkinen (Finnish living in Cervera de los Montes, Spain), Jasu Salmi (Hämeenlinna), Eeva-Liisa Sorainen (Äänekoski), Pekka Suomäki (Korpilahti).

This Äkkigalleria exhibition coincides with the beginning of Advent. As with most festivals food is one of the conglomerating ingredients. Äkkigalleria has taken advantage of this coincidence and made “Food” the theme for this exhibition. The projects chosen for this exhibition are made with/from edible ingredients, performances made with food and other artwork made about consumption/nutrition.

In congruity with Äkkigalleria’s mission, most of the work shown, in Äkkigalleria 6, is new and none of the work has ever previously been shown in Central Finland.

Jani Leinonen is an established Helsinki based artist. Leinonen works in a variety of media in the development of specific projects that deal with advertisement, fame, consumerism and the representation (and power) of pop icons.

For this Äkkigalleria exhibition, Leinonen presents his silkscreened cereal-boxes which cleverly and subtly alter existing cereal-box designs and the meaning of the designs.

Christelle Mas is a young French artist currently studying in Helsinki. She works primarily with food as subject and material for her creations. Mas is interested in the transformation of food during both growth and consumption, and is particularly fascinated by both the positive and negative effects food can have on the human body.

In my projects, instead of confirming this vital aspect, I want to give food a shadowy or ambiguous appearance. We have heard of genetically modified organisms and food-related health problems, but could it make our own body mutate as well? I envisage food as a flexible fictional material. In how many ways can I transform it?

For this exhibition Mas will show photographic, video and installation work. This versatile artist will also share poems in a low-key performance during the opening.

Heidi Romo is a Helsinki based visual artist working in photography, video and painting. Although staged, her paintings and photographs often allude to an action or performance. The human body is a reoccurring medium for the expression of different subjects.

For this Äkkigalleria exhibition, Romo will show two new series of photographs in which the human presence is represented by plastic dolls. Both series reflect on symbolic and psychological implications of different foods as represented in today’s occidental culture.

Nastja Rönkkö is a young Central Finnish artist currently working on an MFA in London. Rönkkö is interested in the physical sensuality of paint and the romantic history of painting. Alongside painting she also uses installations and performances to explore thoughts of passion and desire. Reoccurring symbols include horses, hair, cakes, and the breast.

For this exhibition, Rönkkö presents a fresh new performance entitled Boys. This piece references traditional Finnish literature as it touches on the theme of domesticating human nature. The performance however, also magnifies social expectations as it physically shows the degradation of manners.

Boys is a playful attempt to de-construct our appropriations of social gestures, languages and etiquettes.

Riiko Sakkinen is an established Finnish artist who currently lives with his family in Spain. His work revolves around potentially volatile subjects, which he knowingly treats in the most innocent way. These subjects are largely about consumption, and consequently in part about food. Sakkinen works in numerous mediums, but is perhaps best known for his drawings, which often represent advertisement and food packaging icons along with various slogans.

For this Äkkigalleria exhibition, Sakkinen will show the sculptural work “Mustard Gas”**. Sakkinen strategically chose this work to be shown in Central Finland during this pre-Christmas period when the use of mustard is most popular.

** Riiko Sakkinen is represented by Korjaamo Galleria. The work shown by Sakkinen in this show has been brought to us through Korjaamo Galleria. Korjaamo Galleria shows new Finnish art and contemporary international art: photography, video work as well as painting. Korjaamo Gallery also commissions and produces artwork in cooperation with various artists.

Korjaamo Galleria’s exhibition programme is composed of emerging artists and established artists. One of Korjaamo Galleria’s missions is to continuously search for and find new perspectives from fresh new artists.

Jasu Salmi is a self-taught artist and artisan currently living and working in Hämeenlinna. His carefully crafted jewellery and sculptures often hint at a darker side of religion. Salmi’s work can be described as having a gothic edge, he often uses ancient symbols charged with meaning: five pointed stars, crosses, crescent moons.

For this exhibition Salmi presents two pieces made specifically for Äkkigalleria 6. In this new work Salmi expresses a strong critique on the consumption of religion and beliefs through the use of shaped jelly, and dead flies.

Eeva-Liisa Sorainen is a local artist currently living and working in Äänekoski. Sorainen comes from a strong background in sculptural work. In recent years she has concentrated on the perfection in leatherwork skills and currently runs her own harness and saddle business.

Although food and edible materials have not been part of her artistic practice, Sorainen rose to the occasion of Äkkigalleria 6 to sculpt and discover new materials. For this exhibition she will present work made from stale bread.

Pekka Suomäki is a Korpilahti artist. His work primarily deals with the passage of time and the transformation of Finnish culture and environment over time. With a photography background, Suomäki’s work often includes transferred images on found objects and usually consists of slightly appropriated ready-mades. Suomäki’s sensitive sense of humour allows him to treat very serious subjects subtly, in a non-threatening way.

For this exhibition, Suomäki will present two new pieces created specifically for Äkkigalleria 6: Christmas Table, and Eat Your Words. Both pieces deal with different aspects of edible art, Christmas Table deals directly with the concept of consuming and consumerism while Eat Your Words is a political commentary on the contemporary controversy of teasing in schools.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Äkkigalleria 5: Nomadic Recoils

Roy Hopiavuori Äkkigalleria 5

Christian Nicolay Äkkigalleria 5 : Nomadic Recoils

Christian Nicolay Äkkigalleria 5 : Nomadic Recoils

Christian Nicolay Äkkigalleria 5 : Nomadic Recoils

Roy Hopiavuori and Christian Nicolay Äkkigalleria 5 : Nomadic Recoils

Roy Hopiavuori and Christian Nicolay Äkkigalleria 5 : Nomadic Recoils

Roy Hopiavuori Äkkigalleria 5 : Nomadic Recoils

Christian Nicolay Äkkigalleria 5 : Nomadic Recoils

The Future Roots play at the opening of Äkkigalleria 5 : Nomadic Recoils

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Roy Hopiavuoren Haastattelu

Äkki: Terve Roy!

R.Hopiavuori: Moy!

Äkki: Olet ollut Suomessa nyt --- vuotta. Mikä on ensivaikutelmasi?

R.Hopiavuori: Olen ollut Suomessa lähes koko ikäni. Teini-iässä asuin jonkin aikaa vakituisesti Tukholmassa isäni luona.

Äkki: Entä Jyväskylästä, jossa olet ilmeisesti ollut merkittävästi lyhyemmän aikaa?

R.Hopiavuori: Jyväskylässä on käyty silloin ja tällöin lapsesta asti. Kaunis kaupunki, mukavia tyyppejä.

Äkki: Olet kokenut kuvataiteilija ja olet pitänyt runsaasti näyttelyitä Suomessa ja ulkomailla. Oletko aiemmin osallistunut taideresidensseihin?

R.Hopiavuori: En. Taidan olla aavistuksen erakko. Näyttelyn järkkääminen ulkomaille/lla kyllä omaa samoja piirteitä, kuin Äkkiresidenssi.

Äkki: Sinut kutsuttiin ensimmäiseen Äkkigallerian residenssiin. Millä tavalla Äkkigallerian residenssi eroaa aiemmista residenssi- ja näyttelykokemuksistasi?

R.Hopiavuori: Aika kotoisat fiilikset. Paljon duunia vähän aikaa. Tuttu tilanne!

Äkki:Pääsit tutustumaan näyttely-ja työskentelytilaan kahdeksan päivää ennen näyttelyn avajaisia. Mikä oli ensimmäinen ajatuksesi tilasta?

R.Hopiavuori: Sitä on paljon!!! Monta huonetta alakerrassa/ maan alla/ kellarissa! Olen aina pitänyt maanalaisista tiloista mikä on vähän ristiriidassa lievän klaustrofobiani kanssa...

Äkki: Tuntuuko vielä samalta?

R.Hopiavuori: Sataprosenttisesti.

Äkki: Tapasit samalla ensimmäistä kertaa toisen residenssiin osallistuvan kanadalaistaiteilijan, Christian Nicolayn. Suunnittelitteko tilan jakoa/käyttöä? Onko tiedossa yhteisteoksia? Muuta mukavaa?

R.Hopiavuori: Jep, tilat laitettiin jakoon ja mahd. yhteisduunit hoidetaan keskiviikkona. Eli tämä on vielä auki.

Äkki: Oletko ehtinyt katua vauhdikkaaseen projektiin mukaan lähtemistä, eli tekisitkö nyt jotain toisin?

R.Hopiavuori: En ole katunut, mutta ensi kerralla roudaan rva Hopiavuoren designtuotteita ympäri kaupunkia näyttelyyn valmistautuessani aavistuksen nihkeämmin ;)=

Äkki: Unettomia öitä, ylityöllistymistä, paniikkioireita, perheongelmia. Luuletko, että Äkkiresidenssillä on muutakin tarjottavaa taideuraasi silmällä pitäen?

R.Hopiavuori: Minulla on jo nuo kaikki muut paitsi perheongelmat. Hahaa!,sitä odotellessa. Vakavammin: Saan varmasti Christianin kautta uusia kontakteja Kanadaan. Niitä ei muutamaa sukulaista lukuun ottamatta olekaan.

Äkki: Ja muutama lyhyt:

Äkki: Suosikkimateriaali?
R.Hopiavuori: Hmmm... mieli?? Okei, olen maalari.

Äkki: Väri?
R.Hopiavuori: Sateenkaari :)=

Äkki: Vaikuttava teos?
R.Hopiavuori: Harryn Fish Island jutut. Panu Ruotsalon The End of River

Äkki: Avajaiset neljän päivän kuluttua. Paljonko teoksia vielä tekemättä/työtä jäljellä?

R.Hopiavuori: Noin 5 kpl kesken, mutta rotta on tehokkaimmillaan nurkkaan ajettuna...

Äkki: Suuret kiitokset haastattelusta!

Interview with Christian Nicolay

Äkki: Hello Christian.

C.Nicolay: Ole Hyvä.

Äkki: You have been in Finland for seven full days now. What were and are your first impressions?

C.Nicolay: Surprised by the nature (in a good way). It kind of feels like home. And, I think the Finnish language is exquisite.

Äkki: And what about Jyväskylä, where you have been for most of your stay?

C.Nicolay: The train ride felt like my hitchhiking experience across Canada: nature, space and quiet. As soon as I got here, I expected it to look older, but seeing is sometimes an illusion and there is a lot of character here. Like any new place it is full of new things and these new things like cracks in the cobble stones, the smell of the weather and it’s all very- I feel very much at home. And the people look you in the eye and I enjoy that because in Vancouver nobody looks you in the eye!

Äkki: You are obviously an experienced/established artist; you are represented by at least one gallery, and you have shown internationally, but have you participated in many artist residencies?

C.Nicolay: No. This is my first international residency. My other residencies have only been in Canada: Toronto, Kelowna, Edmonton. I am about to do my second residency in Taiwan, when I leave Finland. But this is my first.

Äkki: You have been invited to participate in Äkkigalleria’s first artist residency. In what way or ways does this residency differ (or not) from your past experience of an artist residency?

C.Nicolay: Well this is all really new work. Everything is from scratch, everything is made over ten days. It is intense. I don’t have a lot of my tools so I am forced to play with the environment of Jyväskylä and what it provides which is something- it is a process I am exited about. To blur the lines of what is comfortable.

Äkki: You first discovered the residency and exhibition space ten days before the exhibition opening, What were your first impressions of the space?

C.Nicolay: Ole Hyvä!

Äkki: Do you still feel the same?

C.Nicolay: Ummm, maybe it has become more- a lot of possibility for installation because of how the space is compartmentalized like a labyrinth you can get lost in. We went in there and there were all kinds of treasures and smells. It is a space that hasn’t been used in a long time and to have this opportunity to transform it all, it is a nice way of working.

Äkki: A few days ago you met the other residency artist Roy Hopiavuori, how will you share the space? Will you collaborate on a piece or do you have any plans as of yet?

C.Nicolay: time is potentially a fabrication of our current perception of reality. We don’t have a lot of time, but I look forward to any kind of spontaneous collaboration with Roy. I think his work will hit a cord, or frequency with mine. To work with someone collaborating is always fund and stretches my own process.

Äkki: Do you regret agreeing to participate in this short-time-framed-project? Would you do anything differently? Would you do it again?

C.Nicolay: Ole hyvä! I wouldn’t change anything! I’ve been having the loveliest time here and I am still in the process of finding out what is happening with the work. The work is in process so I don’t know if I would change anything- but maybe the weather…

Äkki: Sleepless nights, working overtime, panic attacks… etc Do you think Äkkigalleria has anything else to offer your artistic career?

C.Nicolay: Every person, every moment everything is tied to who I am and of course it offers a lifetime of memory. I never would have come to this part of the world and it is amazing!

Äkki: and some one word questions and answers:

Material: tar

Colour: white

Process: 31-7= 28

Explanation: no mater what, my beard grows.

Äkki: the opening is in four days, how much more work do you have?

C.Nicolay: Two answers: one: Als ist gut. And two: x 2

Äkki: Thank you Christian.

C.Nicolay: Ole Hyvä.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Äkkigalleria 5 Artist Residency for 2

Posted packaged residency material - Christian Nicolay

After almost one year of existence, Äkkigalleria is organizing its first artist residency. Christian Nicolay from Vancouver, Canada and Roy Hopiavuori from Helsinki, Finland will be arriving in Jyväskylä on the 20th of August. The two artists, who will be meeting for the first time upon their arrival, will spend about 10 days creating Äkkigalleria’s 5th exhibition insitu.

Nicolay is interested in sound and process based performance. Experimentation and exploration are important tools in his artistic practice, which is not bound by any one medium. Hopiavuori, on the other hand, is a painter. His expressive, monochromatic painting is calmed by stencils and symbols which remind us of our own mortality.

Although politics are not the focus of their work, both Nicolay and Hopiavuori often make art with a politically critical slant. Their creations routinely express a social unrest, and discomfort, with current political choices. Nicolay’s installations have notably referenced the imbalance of wealth and social wellbeing using and defacing real currency. While Hopiavuori’s paintings hint at an ever present societal violence and the abuse of governmental power. The United States of America, and the United Nations, among others, are alluded to, in both Nicolay’s and Hopiavuori’s practices.

The choice, of content, style and theme of this Äkkigalleria5 exhibition, has been fully given to the artists themselves. Nicolay has sent some raw artwork through international post to be incorporated into his installation, and Hopiavuori also intends to bring elements, for his final creation, from his home in Helsinki. The completed exhibition will be made for and within the Äkkigalleria space with new, unexpected and last minute creations.

The Äkkigalleria artist residency along with the Äkkigalleria5 exhibition will be held in what was previously the Jyväskylän Tanssiopisto on Cygnaeuksenkatu. The exhibition will be open to the public for four days at the beginning of September. The opening will be held on Thursday the 2nd of September. The gallery will be open from 1pm until 7pm and is free of charge.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Äkkigalleria 5 Artist Residency

For its first Artist Residency, Äkkigalleria is inviting two visual artists from two different countries: Chrstian Nicolay from Canada and Roy Hopiavuori from Finland. The concept behind this residency is to bring two unfamiliar artists together within an appropriate space for the duration of (approximately) 2 weeks.
In this residency we are bringing two artists, who have never met, together for an intense period of creation. The artists themselves are free to create the exhibition together or next to each other as they wish. They might each come with their own pre-designed ideas but working with the unfamiliar, the particular space and time will force them to adapt spontaneously.
–Anna Ruth
The space will be opened to the public at the end of the residency for a four-day exhibition. The space for Äkkigalleria has been found and will be announced soon.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Äkkigalleria 4 - Images

Exhibition view, Tuomo Blomqvist's "Matka" in front.

Jaana Kautto's "Ydinvoima" 2010

from left to right: Hannu Korpinen's oil painting "Ydinvoman vastaan"2010, and Down Leikkonen's digital print "Ydinsuomi" 2010

Matti Reivi "Sisu" 2010, and photographs by Juho Jäppinen "Kuvia Suomesta - Tritium" 2010

Tuomo Blomqvist's "Matka" 2010

photos: Juho Jäppinen

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Äkkigalleria 4 - the installation

Three artists were able to come help install the exhibition today, including Tuomo Blomqvist who only just agreed to participate in the show this very afternoon! Tomorrow is the opening and everyone is welcome to come and discuss YDINVOIMA!

Tuomo Blomqvist moving into Äkkigalleria 4 at the last minute!

moving Erika Erre's sculpture into the cellar...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Äkkigalleria 4 : Nuclear Energy

In appreciation to the Suomen Kulttuurirahaston Keski-Suomen rahasto*, Äkkigalleria is making another spontaneous appearance, this time in “Up-town” Jyväskylä. Äkkigalleria is taking a political stance for its fourth exhibition by giving a contemporary and controversial theme to local artists to play with: Nuclear Energy.

The Finnish Government is currently in the process of making a historical decision about national energy production. The Central Party of Finland is pushing towards the construction of two new, additional nuclear power plants and the Green Party is lobbying against this choice.

For this art exhibition we are not guiding the artists to make art for, or against, but rather to make new art openly inspired by the theme of Nuclear Energy. This collection of work is intended to stimulate thoughts, questions and conversation around nuclear energy, its use and its consequences.

Äkkigalleria chose eight Finnish artists (and one collective) to explore the theme of Nuclear Energy. The artists are: Tuomo Blomqvist, Erika Erre, Juho Jäppinen, the JKL-Collective, Jaana Kautto, Hannu Korpinen, Kimmo Kumela, Down Leikkonen and Matti Reivi.

Tuomo Blomqvist’s art is conceptual and poetic. His work often stems from ready-made objects which bloom into installations. Tuomo Blomqvist is interested in the small details of everyday life.

Erika Erre’s uses black humour to treat serious issues of humanity. Her work is audacious and often uses the body, or symbols of the body in dramatic settings. For Äkkigalleria Erika Erre has constructed a silicone form which includes head, arm, leg and tail. In relation to the theme of nuclear energy, this form reminds us of horror stories and menaces disaster.

Juho Jäppinen’s photographs show panoramas of the typical “Finnish Landscape”. In these serene images, Jäppinen plays with the juxtaposition of image and title: what we see and what we the text tells us. Children resident within a 5km circumference of a nuclear power plant have been proven to hold a 117% higher risk of suffering from Leukemia. All 6 images were taken within a 5km circumference of the nuclear power plant near the city of Loviisa.

JKL-collective is a group of politically involved artists. For the Äkkigalleria – Nuclear Power exhibition they are blatantly regurgitating the logo and slogan of the National Coalition Party of Finland in a literal context of the Nuclear Energy debate.

Jaana Kautto is best known for her photographs but she is also gardener. In this exhibition Jaana Kautto combines humour and beauty. Nuclear, nucleus, in a play on words she uses a potato to describe the power of nature and an alternative definition of “Ydin” or “inner-core” power.

Hannu Korpinen comes from a tradition of narrative, expressionistic painting. For this exhibition he presents an oil painting inspired by thoughts on Nuclear Power. The painting was made specifically for this Äkkigalleria exhibition.

Kimmo Kumela uses drawing to meditate. The clam repetition of the gesture in making a drawing allows time and space to study a thought and dissolve negative energy. For this exhibition, he is showing a series of drawings of atomic clouds.

Down Leikkonen is best known for his political cartoons and illustrations in the regional newspaper Keskisuomalainen. His image “Nuclear-Finland” was published in the Keskisuomalainen on the 16th of May 2010. It is not related to any specific event or decision, but is a comment on the current conversation of nuclear energy.

Matti Reivi is a sculptor. The work made for this exhibition is a hybrid of two traditional Finnish objects: a hand-plough and tar-drop candies. With these objects he is using a play on words Ydin Voima, “Inner Strength”, or Finnish Strength.

The exhibition was open from Thursday the 20th until Sunday the 23rd from 1-7pm, at Kauppakatu 3, Jyväskylä.

*Äkkigalleria received a 6500e grant from the Suomen Kulttuurirahaston Keski-Suomen rahasto on the 14th of May, 2010.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Äkkigalleria 3

Äkkigalleria 3 presented a selection of artists at the multimedia edge of the current art scene in Vancouver. The work references the Olympics in a critical point of view, to discuss deeper concerns within contemporary society. Here is a presentation of the artists:

Jesse Corcoran’s piece “Sad Majority” was on display at the Crying Room Gallery before and during the Vancouver Olympics. The graffiti styled drawing, representing four un-happy faces and one happy face, was order to be removed by “officials” in the months preceding the Winter Games. The controversy was however short lived and the piece was re-installed during the Olympics. This drawing directly addresses the imbalance of profit in hosting a “big money” event such as the Olympics.

Robert Gardiner looks at surveillance and use of space in his video “Survailing Airspace”. This video was first shown as part of the exhibition “A Collective Response- a group exhibition responding to the current cultural landscape in Vancouver” at Gallery Gachet. In this piece, Gardiner films an advertisement for the Olympics in an empty hallway that is under surveillance. Gardiner’s work looks at the use of space and security during the Olympic Games through a humorous lens by bringing focus to the absurd.

Rina Liddle is interested in boundaries between the private and public spaces. Liddle’s work is rooted in interactive and new media expression through which she physically puts the viewer in an active position. “We Are Watching” was first shown at the Jeffery Boone Gallery as part of the “Bright Light” project sponsored by the Vancouver City. This project has been modified, from its original presentation form, to suit the space, context and public of Äkkigalleria.

Heidi Nagtegaal’s artistic practice springs out of her background in craft and her interest in social exchange. The performance “Redirecting traffic 2010” was made at the height of the Olympics on a busy street in Downtown Vancouver. This project uses crocheted traffic pylons to help redirect the flow of traffic in a piece that amplifies an artistic temper-tantrum to a dangerous degree while remaining calm. Look at me! Look at Art! Don’t run us down! Pay attention! Nagtegaal’s video symbolically demonstrates the lack of concern and social solidarity in a busy society.

Christian Nicolay’s photograph “20$10” was part of the Artwalk stream of impromptu galleries in Gastown Vancouver during the two weeks of the Olympics. The photograph depicts the fragile hands of a street person holding five 2$ coins. The coins are split into the silver rings and the yellow centre pieces, in much the same way as public opinion was split over hosting the Olympics. Nicolay references the imbalance of wealth generated by the Olympics and hints at other possible uses of taxpayers’ money.

Nola Semczyszyn intertwines light humour with a highly conceptual practice. “A is for Abecedary” is an interactive listing of words used in the Olympics and in Vancouver/Whistler during the Winter Olympics 2010. The list also includes words that are related to the effect of this event on the City and its residents.

Danna Vajda comes from a back ground in writing and fine art which she combines in publication projects. Vajda’s piece is a script/artist book that encourages performance. The text groups athletes, artists and performers in a discussion about modes of representation, the rules of the game and authorship within the Olympics. Vajda has taken advantage of Äkkigalleria to bring her project "olympicsolympicoolympia" into physical being.

The Vancouver De[tour] Guide 2010 is an interactive internet based media-art project. The basic idea behind this project was to offer tourists another side of the “Beautiful British Columbia” Vancouver as advertised by the Olympic committee. The intention of the project was also to rise to the number 1 spot on the Google search list and thereby to compete with the glossy publicity of the Olympics for recognition. The project site for The Vancouver De[tour] is still on-line and active. Visitors of Äkkigalleria are invited to learn about Vancouver and are invited to add any information they might know about the City.

The majority of the artwork in this exhibition was discovered at various venues around the City during the two weeks of the Vancouver Olympics. Several pieces, including Danna Vajda’s “olympicsolympicoolympia”, Nola Semszyczyn’s “A is for Abecedary” and Rina Liddle’s “Working with what is left” came to life for the occasion of this Äkkigalleria exhibition.

By extracting all of these pieces from their original context (the Olympics) the content of the Winter Games is reduced to a pretext in addressing larger and more urgent social questions of security, money and happiness.

Greetings from the Olympics, Greetings from Home!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Äkkigalleria 3 - Images

Äkkigalleria3 was held from the 27th until the 31st of March 2010. This time the exhibition took place in a former electronics/computer-tech storefront of "Tietoniekka" located at Tapionkatu 4, Jyväskylä Finland. The title of this exhibition is "Greetings from the Olympics" and presented work by 8 Vancouver artists.
Äkkigalleria 3's artists are: Jesse Corcoran, Robert Gardiner, Rina Liddle, Heidi Nagtegaal, Christian Nicolay, Nola Semszynczyn, Danna Vajda and the group Vancouver [De]tour 2010.

With a focus on new media, this show presented video, photo, performance, sculptural and drawing based work. The work in this show was made with reference to the Olympics in the city of Vancouver. Several pieces were specifically made for Äkkigalleira3.

Danna Vajda's Script is seen from upstairs looking down through the stairs.

Unzyme plays at the opening in front of Rina Liddle's installation "We are Watching".

from right to left work by Christian Nicolay, Heidi Nagtegaal and Robert Gardiner.

photos: Juho Jäppinen 

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Äkkigalleria 2

The second Äkkigalleria was held from the 16th to the 20th of December 2009.
For this second exhibition, Äkkigalleria presented Jyväskylä based artists: Jussi Heikkilä, Aino Kajaniemi and Pekka Suomäki, along with four other Finnish artists: Terhi Heino, Helena Junttila, John Phillip Mäkinen and Tiitus Petäjäniemi, and Canadian artist Joshua Van Dyke.
The artists were chosen based on the trends of their past work and will present new work related to the theme “Human-animal – where humans and nature collide”. This exhibition took place in a former pet-shop/aquarium storefront.

Tiitus Petäjäniemi's paintings at the opening

Installation by Pekka Suomäki and tapestries by Aino Kajaniemi in the background

Mascara brushes by Terhi Heino and drawings by Helena Junttila in the background

Installation by John Phillip Mäkinen

Antlers by Joshua Van Dyke and side view of work by Aino Kajaniemi

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The first Äkkigalleria exhibition

Jyväskylä artists Hannu Castrén, Jaakko Jäppinen and Tiina Osara, along with visiting Spanish artist Fernando García showed new work for the opening Äkkigalleria exhibition. This group of artists presented work inspired by the theme of “the word- use of letters in art”. All artwork was specifically created for this debutant gallery show.
The Grand Opening of Äkkigalleria took place on Thursday the 24th of September 2009 from 5 - 7pm. The show was open to the public from Thursday the 24th until Sunday the 27th of September 2009 from 1 - 6pm.

image from the opening night

Tiina Osara installing a series of photographs

Hannu Castrén and Fernando García install Hannu's Onkia sign