Gallery Taik Persons

Helsinki School

Reflections: From Here to There

Rita Anttila | Elina Brotherus | Ulla Jokisalo | Aino Kannisto |  Anni Leppälä | Kukka-Maria Rosenlund | Miia-Mari Virtanen

Opening: Friday, 29 June 2018, 6 to 9 pm
Exhibition: 30 June – 8 September 2018

Gallery Taik Persons proudly presents it’s upcoming group exhibition Reflections: From Here to There, a selection of six artists who have all been associated with the Helsinki School, spanning four generations beginning in 1995.

This exhibition is a very personal insight into how these artists translate and process their feelings and memories into their own rooms with a view.

It’s said, hindsight is 100 percent true, as we use our experience to see what our eyes can’t. Looking inside ourselves to understand what surrounds our being from one moment to the next, is the challenge we all face throughout our lives. To contemplate the past, future or the present, everybody utilizes a sensibility that’s unique for each individual in their process of maturing and discovering who they are. This exhibition presents six different perspectives in how these selected artists define their concept of identity.

Elina Brotherus, the most celebrated Finnish photographer of her generation, has spent her entire career using herself as the raw material, exposing her strengths and vulnerabilities in the pursuit to interpret the various stages of her own life. Whereas Miia-Mari Virtanen uses her body as a platform to study the fragility of being. Virtanen uses medical imaging and recording techniques to explore the electrical signals that trigger ones heartbeat as the starting point for her photographs. Kukka-Maria Rosenlund on the other hand, uses cycles of time as the main character of her work. This process is based on her interest in the visible and invisible worlds and their borders, that are rooted in her families’ history as a joint collective memory. Another perspective, which reads far more like a poem than a photograph, are Rita Anttila’s images as they capture the very thin balance between who she is, where she comes from and where she dreams to go. Anni Leppälä, who also works in a similar vein of thought, though dramatically differing in the way she reinvents her own history, pictorially unfolds her families female history through the use of several generations’ forgotten clothes, cutouts, toys and ancestral homes. Aino Kannisto has been creating staged photographs of fictive scenes with herself embedded as solitary protagonist for almost twenty years now. Her compositions convey emblematic situations, constructing complete visual worlds. It is her way of depicting the passage of time and where she is within it. And finally, one of the most inspirational artists who has in her own way influenced all the above throughout her 40 year career is Ulla Jokisalo. Jokisalo, who many consider to be the Louise Bourgeois of the Nordic region, has pursued her sense of storytelling through her approach in defining and defying the various stereotypes that women have been portrayed in from her earliest memories to the present.

All these artists project a very poetic touch in their realization of what anticipation to contemplation looks like from the inside looking out.

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Niko Luoma – Content is a Glimpse of Something

Opening: 27 April 2018, 6 – 9 pm
Exhibition: 28 April – 23 Juni 2018

On the occasion of Gallery Weekend Berlin, Gallery Taik Persons has the privilege and pleasure to introduce Niko Luoma‘s most recent works in the exhibition Content is a Glimpse of Something.

The title of the show stems from an interview between Willem de Kooning and David Sylvester from 1960 unfolding the method by which the painter approached his paintings prior to and during the process of realizing them. Luoma, who uses one of de Kooning’s bronze sculptures Head #4 as a subject piece in the exhibition, was drawn to the title by this discussion because of his own fascination for the process of doing, specifically in how it utilizes the act of trial and error as a way to unleash the unexpected. Luoma‘s uniqueness is based around his system-based experiments where the negative becomes a record for its own realization, for the compositions of overlapping planes of color and dimensionality. In his most recent series Adaptations, he reinterprets masterpieces from art history, spanning his inspirations from Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflower series (1887–89) to the iconic swimming pool paintings by David Hockney from the 1960s.

„I choose my paintings in terms of how interesting they are in regards to their space within: the direction of the lines and the elements contained within,“ Luoma states. He is no longer interested in what‘s going on in front of the camera but what‘s going on inside it. The content of his work is all about light as it touches the film. The exposure becomes his dance, revealing the music from which he is inspired. He translates space by using light through multiple repetitions over the duration of time. His work is very much like jazz: “First you compose a theme, then move to improvisation and the unknown, then back to the theme to complete the performance.“ Luoma says. Influenced by the experimental music of John Coltrane and Alvin Lucier, he incorporates the properties of chance into the process of his working, using it as his fuel to enhance his attraction to the unknown. The works from the series Adaptations are not meant to be direct interpretations but more like extensions to how he feels, hears and senses his choices from art history.

Niko Luoma has played a key role internationally for the past twenty years with his experiments in photographic abstraction through his approach of multiple exposures on the same negative by using light as a raw material. As a senior lecturer at Aalto University, he has pushed the parameters of how we perceive, think and use the photographic experience to create a new visual language, which has established him as a true innovator of analogue photography.

Riitta Päiväläinen – River Notes

Opening: 16 February 2018, 6 – 9 pm
Exhibition: 17 February – 21 April 2018

Gallery Taik Persons is highly pleased to present Riitta Päiväläinen with her solo exhibition River Notes. Over the past two decades, Päiväläinen’s unique works have become internationally renowned through their idiosyncratic language and style based upon her deep sense for story-telling. Essentially, the visual imagery of Päiväläinen’s compositions can be boiled down to two elements: nature, and textiles. Combining nature and a poetic use of textiles, she creates a stage on which to reenact memories of their passing.The artist’s strongly process-oriented method of weaving together natural landscapes and manmade fabrics reflects an approach both literal and narrative. In the deserted atmospheric vistas she creates, there are lodged intimate stories, told in a language that feels oddly foreign and familiar at once. They evoke a complex range of resonances within the beholder, subtly changing between comfort and protection, and unease and alienation.

For the exhibited works, water sanctuaries surrounded by forests have been intertwined with long, broad ribbons previously cut and sewn together by the artist. In these temporary installations, special emphasis lies on site-specificity. Each location was chosen carefully by Päiväläinen, who traveled through Finland’s woodlands seeking to capture the essence of different places, their characteristic dispositions, and particular moods. Drawing into the given landscape by means of ribbon bands, she enters into a dialogue with the place, aiming to unfurl and expand, and ultimately reveal the inherent natural qualities residing in it.

Päiväläinen’s landscapes animate and make present the fabrics as carriers of human traces; the fabrics in turn achieve to unveil and enhance the landscapes in their essential condition. The intricate, labyrinthine ribbon formations reminiscent of cobwebs and nests appear as if they had grown out of their environment naturally, they seem organically interwoven with it, sometimes even camouflaged. In these works, exterior and interior landscapes are bound together; the title River Notes thus conceivable as diary-like notations taken while traveling in nature: “Landscape is not only a topographical, objective phenomenon. For me, it is personal and subjective. Working with a landscape means going into it: experiencing and sensing the place, finally being one, equal part of it. By bringing the landscape and ribbons together, I create a dialogue–an interaction. My aim is to suggest and bring forth potential stories, mental images and associations.” (Päiväläinen)

The installations however provide only one part of Päiväläinen’s creative process: their arrangements serve as preconceived settings for the photographs then taken to physically frame specific moments and atmospheres in time and space. The works’ titles, often ambiguous, give hints at their underlying themes and meanings, inviting the beholder to access the depicted scenes and open up possible interpretations.

The bipartite work process combining installation and photography reflects double layers of capturing and narrating reality. Indeed, the very theme of reflection–including aspects of echoing and mirroring, illusion and mirage; further, of presence and absence, and the transience and transformation of images–questions the truth of what we see, or believe to see, and the ways in which we do so, whether consciously or subconsciously. In this context, the element of water, and particularly the form reflected on its surface, holds special significance in Päiväläinen’s River Notes. As mirrored images, natural landscape and ribbon mold into a visual unity, seemingly made of the same substance, and yet always at risk of dissolving and vanishing with the slightest ripple of water. The artist’s act, then, of framing the scene through a photograph, further seals together different perspectives of the landscape, both objective and subjective. The resulting picture thus not merely presents a documentation of the temporary site-specific installation, it is moreover a creative translation thereof: “What is real? When wind blows, the view changes continuously. Reflection can disappear in a blink of an eye.” (Päiväläinen)

Shao-Lan Hertel