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.

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