The first part of the exhibition took place on board the M/S Mariella cruise ship in March of this year, travelling from Stockholm to Helsinki. The forty-hour journey gave artists the time and space to explore “the feeling of being at sea, being on board, being trapped or being free” and the work is now being shown with Eriksson’s private collection in her apartment.
How to be being is part of larger series of shows of the same name on studio practice, which opened January 12 and is also running until April 8. In addition, Clarke is also exhibiting solo show This Happened To Me, which also opens on February 23 and runs to April 8.
The exhibition promises to showcase “a polyphony of voices in poetry and visual arts whose common mode of expression is a first-person narrative and a confessional character of statements, while self-representation in language becomes a discursive practice of reflection and questioning and struggle for the artist’s subjectivity.”
Curated by Paris-based collective The Community, the exhibition is a mix of sculpture, print, drawing clothes and audio exploring the individual’s ability to make and is structured through Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”. The epic poem starts from a paradise lost and through different metamorphoses ends up in an era in which despair and darkness reign with never-ending speculations about the future. The artworks in the exhibition address at the same time symbols of security and continuous threat, and get intertwined in the layout of the space, while mythologies join the contemporary discourse in its scenario.**
The show was centred around a text in the press release that looked at Memory through the body of a retired old man, finding peace among chaos:
“His loved ones have passed away and he spends his days organizing his belongings over and over, recreating the memories of his younger hippie days. Main interests include medievalism, skin care, jewelry, listening to trance compilations, meditation, botanics.”**
As part of this year’s 3hd Festival programme, AQNB and Video in Common (ViC) are presenting screening, performance and discussion event, ‘Staying Present’ at Berlin’s Vierte Welt on October 12.
In referring to the title of this year’s festival topic ‘There is nothing left but the future?’ AQNB focuses on the question mark, interrogating what we actually mean by ‘the future’ and whether the past has a role in determining it: What do we gain from thinking about the future in terms of the past? And is the very notion of the future itself little more than an ideological and conceptual fallacy?
The event is inspired by Marta Minujin, Allan Kaprow and Wolf Vostell’s 1966 staged international project “Three Countries Happening”, which took place in New York, Berlin, and Buenos Aires where some of the happenings occurred concurrently and were aired on channel 13 in Buenos Aires. The press release states, “To celebrate this post-digital condition that has changed the way art is practiced, we will stage simultaneous screenings in New York, Beijing, and Berlin, bringing together artists living in the these art metropolises”.
The event is meant to also address how the internet has changed and expanded studio practice into the realm of social media.
Showing their work for the first time in Ireland and Northern Ireland, the Finnish artists explore ideas of “queerness, nonlinear time, and climate change anxiety” with a show named after the Simon & Garfunkel album and song of the same name. That’s except that the trio reimagine the 60s singer-songwriters as time-travelling protagonists who “navigate past, present, and future post-human landscapes”.
On display will be a sculptural installation featuring painting, costumes, and props, as well as new material filmed in Finland and its northernmost, underpopulated Lapland region at the border of Sweden, Norway, Russia and the Baltic Sea.
A solo exhibition by Jaakko Pallasvuo, Kuin puuton ranta, jolle istahdit (‘Like the treeless shore that you sat upon’) ran from November 19 to 29, 2015, at Helsinki’s Sorbus-Galleria, combining painting, objects and text. The room embraces the chaos of a studio, where one idea threads into the next, each building on top of what was made previously.
Bright orange, pink and blue paint covers the walls in abstract shapes and brush strokes. Drawings and other immediate pieces are placed on top. ‘Wistful Watson’ (2015) is a sharpie pen drawing of a muscular man, using an A4 sheet of paper. The homemade jewellery ‘Divining Rod’ (2015) and ‘Mockingjay Pendant’ (2015) hang down from the ceiling. ‘High School Painting 2’ (2015) looks like it has been plucked from a doodle made in a school notebook and the two bits of clothing hung on the wall are titled ‘Dropout Sweater’ (2015). The one finished-looking work in the show is titled ‘Picasso Hopeful’ (2015), and has a humorous presence in the context of the rest.
Rooting itself in a consciously masculine approach to art making alongside references to fandom and popular culture, Kuin puuton ranta, jolle istahdit suspends itself between irony and sincerity. There is no press release revealing further information, except the trailer (above) featuring footage from the installation and soundtracked by ‘Nord Amor‘ from French DnB-heavy metal band VLN (Very Long Nightmare) featuring epic EDM drops and bagpipes. There is also an accompanying text taken from a Finnish poem, also referenced in the exhibition title, with its English translation that reads:
Soi korvissani runot. Kaikki, kaikki. Alue, valtatie ja etäisyys ei enää ole raja askelille. Tie luokse pois
ei johda. Läheisyys on sama tosi: uni molemmille. Rakastit vettä – vesi laulaa nyt. Suluton, vapaa, ääriänsä vailla. Kuin puuton ranta, jolle istahdit kestävät aallot tänään kiven lailla.
– Mirkka Rekola
Poems sound in your ears. Each one, each one. Region, highway and distance can limit the footsteps no longer. The road to you doesn’t
lead away. Closeness is the same truth: a dream for both. You loved the water – now the water’s singing. Without dams, free, without limits. Like the treeless shore that you sat upon the waves endure today like stone.
“What are the conditions in which we operate?” ask Jupiter Woods co-founders Carolina Ongaro and Hanna Laura Kaljo in their letter. It seems a timely conversation to be having in relation to preservation, integrity, risk and “unlearning” within the presentation and curatorial sides of the art world.
See the FB Event page for more details and to read the letter in full.**
Episode #01 of quarterly podcast Status Effect is now streaming on Soundcloud, as part of a programme commissioning new long form audio pieces by artists, curators, arts writers and arts workers, running from November, 2015 to January, 2016.
Focussing on social structures within the contemporary art world, the podcast aims to explore how these collective environments are composed and navigated, and as such is interested in topics surrounding subjectivity, reprioritising, diplomacy, protocol, social anxiety, the possibility for care and empathy, social mobility and labour.
After recent spate of activity in London, including a solo show at Jupiter Woods and a book launch with Arcadia Missa, this most recent exhibition is introduced with a page-long third-person narrative of the banalities of Pallasvuo’s day: The coffee is pretty bad, and he didn’t get the student discount. Along with the artist’s signature sharing of his fears and insecurities—Jaakko is worried about flying, and worried about being among people there. Will they be mean? He feels slow and vague and NYC seems so vertical and sharp-edged.
Before the splattering of Pallasvuo’s thoughts is this poem by Ted Hughes. Nothing comes after.
“Nobody wanted your dance,
Nobody wanted your strange glitter, your floundering
“How long will it take for you to recognise my brilliance?” asks Jaakko Pallasvuo, on a list numbered fifteen, under a title reading “Works”, in a book called Scorched Earth. Most of these ‘works’ are speculative, conceptual art in the form of performative text that reads in sentences like, “I listen to her talk about her work. I nod. That’s nice, I say”. Some of the immaterial pieces exist merely as a blank space on paper, next to a number that’s the sum of a section, that makes up a novel, published in a limited run of a hundred by Arcadia Missa in August.
The book of sorts –an object –consists of a collection of contemplations, fragments, online posts, chat boxes, that are cobbled together from the Finnish artist’s dawsonscreek.infoTumblr account with a quote on the cover by the blog’s namesake, Dawson Leery (“We can analyze this to death later”). Off-topic and out of context, it’s a pull quote made by a fictional character from a turn-of-the-millennium US teen drama, about an artist he doesn’t know. Because how could he? Dawson Leery doesn’t exist. But he also does. He’s an influence on Scorched Earth,along with other pop cultural constructions, Rihanna, Kanye West, Chloë Sevigny, Eddie Vedder. They all compose a highly allusive maybe-autobiographical text that’s based in the circulated image.
“The text is not the work”, insists one of Scorched Earth’s fifteen “Works”. Neither is the artwork the life that’s led; one made up of fragments filtered through a body that is odd looking, neurotic, fat, fictionalised (“either a man or a woman or then not”). Here, the online and the offline are indistinguishable, the internet is the IRL, the image, the reality. Nominating himself a kind of Saviour come to reclaim poor Post-Internet (“I want what no one else wants”) Pallasvuo disavows any idea of authenticity: “isn’t it more authentic to be inauthentic than authentic if you’re inauthentic at heart?”
Purporting to a rejection of authenticity while finding it by the very act of that rejection is as far as the irony goes, though. There’s no distance in Scorched Earth. It recognises the absurdity of its own position as a book about the art world by a persona who doesn’t feel a part of it, but also actually is. Pallasvuo might not make it into Wolfgang Tilman’s Frieze celebrity after-party, but still the open and anonymous Quaker meeting he’s been to isn’t as desirable. “The usual case is that the Wolfgangs of the world don’t want us to come in but don’t want us to leave either”. It also works the other way. As much as the artist doesn’t want to be a part of the art institution, he also kind of does.
“’Scorched earth’ is a military tactic of utter devastation and a video game, and now it’s a book”, John Beeson opens in an adulatory Afterword at the back of the book. The book in turn is a deeply personal account of the art of war in the war of art –a game that can transform a crippling self-reflexivity into a creative strength. “You take everything you’ve got, your failures and insecurities. You repurpose, repackage, relaunch and repeat until they are categorized as successes.” In the case of Scorched Earth, you write bitter fan fiction about an online troll, fantasise about the “marble and vapour” of a New York City art scene, and lambast an opinion piece on the artistic significance of a Berlin-based “friend group”.
“Competitive social spheres appeal to me”, Jaakko Pallasvuo writes, quoting an imagined art figure called ‘Brad’ who’s blowing a guy called ‘Boris’ while attesting to choosing his field for its cut-throat competition under the guise of thwarted idealism. It could be Simon Denny, Timur Si Qin, Daniel Keller, Tobias Madison, or any number of artists and people Pallasvuo names (he does so selectively) in Scorched Earth. It could even be the artist himself. (“Brad swallows”). **