LM Salling is presenting solo exhibition, MIKI: Scene 39 at Helsinki’s at Sorbus Galleria,opening July 12 and running July 30.
The event comes hand-in-hand with an interview held between Sorbus and the Finnish artist and posted in full on the FB event, acting as a form of information, or a distraction, perhaps, that circulates the exhibition, which comprises of a sculpture featuring an image of Disney’s Mickey Mouse, as well as some new paintings.
As the interview discusses, MIKI has been elsewhere, in LM Salling’s MFA degree show for one, and there is a sense that the coming exhibition in the Helsinki space —that has recently hosted Jupiter Woods and artist Anna Zett —is investigating the endless potential, and its variants, in symbolic values and materials that may be used and found in a single art work, or indeed symbol.
The press release includes two quotes that talk of the death of punk and alternative culture, and of the usefulness if humans could distill alcohol in their bodies in the cold and dark times, like the crucian carp fish found at the bottom of anoxic seas. The trailer for the exhibition (below) features a startup group that plans to use the alcohol produced by the Northern European as a business enterprise.
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.
The London and Vienna-based space will take up residence in the Finnish capital for ten days, as a collective off-site project by four of Jupiter Woods’ six founding members: Hanna Laura Kaljo, Lucy Lopez, Carolina Ongaro and Cory Scozzari. The time-based exhibition and events programme will include artists Sanna Helena Berger, Rob Chavasse, Maria Gorodeckaya, Emily Jones, Josip Novosel and S E I D among others and draw on the titular geographical process involving the movement of sediments along a coast at an angle to the shoreline: “swash and backwash”.
The aim of Longshore Drift, opening on the Friday April 22, will evolve over the following weekend with a series of commissioned objects, gestures and acts by the 10 participating artists —also including Viktor Timofeev, The Mycological Twist, Matilda Tjäder, and Holly White —and focus on the “embodied experience” of curators and visitors within the installation that draws on “the physical infrastructure of Jupiter Woods’ London and Vienna locations.”
Mikko Kuorinki‘s Skitsystem exhibition is on at Helsinki’s Sorbus gallery, opening January 15 and running to January 31.
The Helsinki-based artist currently runs collaborative platform for programming, exhibiting and publishing, Ruler, with Diego Bruno, which has show at HIAP and SIC gallery and works with the likes of Ola Vasiljeva, Hito Steyerl, Kimmo Modig, Lisa Holzer among many more familiar names.
Taking its title from the Swedish crust punk band, Kuorinki claims no other connection with the Skitsystem exhibition other than that, instead recommending the writing of Robert Creeley, Lisa Robertson, Robert Grenier and Hannah Weiner and other as supplementary reading. The press release also comes with a quote from Japanese Zen Buddhist monk ‘Ikkye’ (see: Ikkyū):
Through both Zett and Vaahtera’s scientific research, Research Drama explores the entanglements of “science and fiction, bones and imagination, entertainment and politics” through their respective subjects, or characters, of prehistoric dinosaurs and the recently discovered fossil of a ‘fishapod’ called the Tiktaalik roseae.
Sorbus Gallery will be hosting a five-day video and film screening series called Sorbus Video Week at their Helsinki space from May 20 to May 24.
The program is compiled by curator Attilia Fattori Franchini, artist Jaakko Pallasvuo and the Sorbus working group, and is divided into five evenings of screenings, many of which will have their Finnish premiere.
The line-up brings video and film work by around 20 different artists and artist groups, including Pallasvuo, who has programmed the opening night on May 20, with ‘Self-Accusation’ (2015) and Keren Cytter with ‘The Victim’ (2006), both screening on May 20, as well as Ben Russell with ‘Atlantis’ (2014) on May 22, and Dominic Watson with ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ (2014), Jala Wahid, with ‘I’ve got a burning desire (come on, tell me boy)’ (2014) and Johann Arens with ‘Marte e Venere – A Hand Held Monument’ (2013) on May 23.
The art world would mostly be preoccupied with the 56th Venice Biennale in the week beginning May 4. Highlights at the prestigious Italian art fair including Burger King Venezia, Pizza Pavilion, The Internet Saga and SUNSCREEN online initiative listed in our short summary here of some things to look out for.
There are still things happening in other parts of the world, including an national election in the UK, along with parties and gatherings to celebrate/commiserate. There are new exhibitions at Arebyte Gallery, Millington|Marriot and Rod Barton, as well as the third in a series of events supporting the Multiverse Spring Residency at Wysing Arts Centre and Morgan Quaintance in conversation with Gery Georgieva around her Solo Romantika exhibition.
A complaint often registered by members of regional art scenes is the hegemony of western-centric aesthetics and ideas centred on its own creative capitals, essentially importing and exporting art in its own image. It’s a problem that’s mirrored in other global markets, where rather than offer a platform for growing local business as promised, free trade and networked connectivity only aids in the expansion of already existing corporate monopolies.
As a London-based editor and writer visiting Helsinki, there’s a certain draw to the familiar that means any experience of art in Finland comes strongly coloured by that bias. Whether it’s in LA-based artist Amalia Ulman’s Prognostics lecture at the University of Helsinki’s Exhibition Laboratory or a particular penchant for Samantha Conlon’s tabloid and Tiqqun-referencing ‘The Young Girl Blames Herself’ (2014) at Node Gallery, mine is an interest that’s thoroughly centred on the Englis-speaking. But then, with English being the language of the imperial artform concerned with popular culture, the internet and economics –along with how they’re all related –it’s only natural that I’d be drawn to the cross-cultural Kylie Minogue-referencing I Was Gonna Cancel by Kimmo Modig and Georges Jacotey.
Conceived and recorded in Athens where Jacotey is based, the video features the two artists lolling about a Greek beachfront crying and rapping to sloppy-slow instrumentals while a German Shepherd howls and Modig rhymes, “The ghosts of your networks/ will haunt you till the day you die”. This plays from wall-mounted speakers in the Sorbus-galleria, which is otherwise empty aside from a canine plush toy at the window and an iPad on the ceiling. With no instructions on what do and the invigilators hidden from view, it’s hard to know that the handheld mirror next to the visitor’s book is what’s meant for watching the video rather than craning your neck and reading a flashing “G and K” on the distant screen run backwards rather than forwards.
A more lateral-thinking mind, perhaps, would read the short play-as-room-sheet that comes with the I Was Gonna Cancel lyrics and a character called “KYLIE” inflates and flies away as “DRAKE EX MACHINA” saunters into Sorbus, depressed and narcissistic, as he looks at a mirror and kicks the stuffed dog aside (“if you’re reading this it’s too late”).
Objects and their functions are things that concern the exhibition at artist-run SIC Space, a cold and concrete bunker-like structure in a defunct cargo port on the third floor of a post-industrial warehouse building. As part of the nomadic curatorial programme Ruler, “ruled” by Diego Bruno and Mikko Kuorinki, the latter’s dark blue ‘Sun Tracker’ (2015) boat cover and gray ‘Truck Carpet’ (2015), appears in the sparsely furnished and well-lit side room, along with gestural sketches and a sculpture by Ola Vasiljeva. Kuorinki and Carl Palm’s ‘Menu (True Blue)’ (2014) stands in the main room projecting its list along “Hamburgers & Tools”, “Sleep Over”, “Extra Toppings” from an LED-lit aluminium lightbox. Bruno’s Galindez (2015) video, inspired by the theatre play by Eduardo Pavlovsky questioning the social function of psychoanalysis in subjective constructions within capitalism takes the centre. Except that the back of the screen faces the entrance and the three torturers are absent as Pavlovsky himself narrates excerpts from the original text: “There cannot be a dictatorship without the complicity of civilians”.
Complicity is a point that Amalia Ulman addresses at her Prognostics lecture as she recognises the possibility for change by taking agency over, rather than mimicking, gender stereotypes as previously performed in the online artist-as-circulated-representation of Excellences & Perfections. A live narration of her recent ‘The Future Ahead’ (2014) video essay follows a PowerPoint presentation of recent work as its focus shifts away from the filtered self-mediation of a particular point of privilege to aestheticising violence in the sophisticated cinema of terror through Stock Images of War (2015).
Perhaps it’s a violence that can drive us together rather than apart as expressed via the At the party, I write words on balloons exhibition at Node featuring video by selected artists from the Cork-based Bunny Collective and Tampere’s Areole. Where Conlon’s images of ET interviews and Gothic Lolita’s in ‘The Young Girl…’ for the former barely crosses cultures to Hinni Huttunen’s body becoming fragmented across the H&M catalogue of ‘Koko-opas / Fitting Guide’ (2014). “The Young-Girl is good for nothing but consuming…” Conlon writes, quoting Tiqqun’s Raw Materials for a Theory of the Young Girl in the At the Party… photocopied catalogue. The Helsinki gallery’s website quotes the Oxford Dictionary in defining its name on the About page: “Junction, intersection, interchange, fork, confluence, convergence, crossing”. Given its proximity to Russia, Estonia, the ‘east’ and its ties to the Nordic and European Unions, Helsinki presents as a uniquely integrated economy and a global art scene in kind.
Exhibition photos, top right.
The exhibitions + events mentioned ran at Exhibition Laboratory, Sorbus-galleria, Node and SIC Space, opening February, 2015.
Header image: Kimmo Modig + Jacques Lacotey, I Was Gonna Cancel (2015). Installation view. Image courtesy Sorbus-galleria.