Gallery TaiK is delighted to present the solo exhibition of young Finnish photographer Nelli Palomäki, who is a member of the Helsinki School. In her new series Elsa and Viola the artist deals with the tradition of the classic black-and-white portrait. Palomäki sees her portraits as a means of communication. She tries not to be only the person behind the camera but also to actively take part in the process of the picture making, to be present. This presence she also searches within the persons she takes pictures of. She concentrates on their gestures and the diversity of glances. The not completely controllable and independent status of the photographic portrait fascinates her the most: "In the beginning alike, but in the end completely different."
Often Palomäki doesn´t carry her camera with her. She prefers to observe the people around her and to get into contact with them: "My pictures force me to go close to people." This was the way the portrait came into being that has given its name to the whole series - Elsa and Viola. On the tram she had noticed two girls who were much alike. "Although they were playing together, they had sad looks on their faces. Even the greatest laugh would not change the seriousness of the faces. The girls stayed in my thoughts for a long time. After a few months, I saw the same girls again, this time with their mother. I ended up taking a portrait of Elsa and Viola in their home. I stuffed the girls in one big tulle dress to keep them as close to each other as possible for a longer time. The girls sat seriously next to each other and looked the same as they did months before. I´m amused by their seriousness, at the same time there is something sad about it."
Gallery TaiK Berlin is delighted to announce the exhibition with Helsinki School artist Ville Lenkkeri.
Press release in German:
Die Ausstellung zeigt Aufnahmen, die der finnische Fotograf Ville Lenkkeri in der nahezu verlassenen sowjetischen Bergarbeiterstadt Pyramiden auf Spitzbergen gemacht hat. Die Inselgruppe im nördlichen Polarmeer verfügte über reiche Kohlevorkommen, so auch das bis vor einigen Jahren von Russland verwaltete Bergarbeiterstädtchen mit dem interessanten Namen „Pyramiden", das Lenkkeri nur mühevoll erreichen konnte.
Seine Reise zu dem äußerst abgelegenen Ort, zu dem keine Straßen führen und der nur per Schiff zu erreichen ist, glich einer Expedition. Die Einwohner von Pyramiden wurden zu Sowjetzeiten und auch in der russischen Ära danach jeweils für die Dauer von zwei Jahren hier angesiedelt. In der Stadt wurde kein Geld verwendet, da man mit den nötigen Dingen versorgt wurde und der Lohn erst nach Ablauf der zwei Jahren ausgezahlt wurde. Alle waren somit finanziell gleichgestellt.
Zu seiner Überraschung stellte Lenkkeri fest, dass die äußerste Abgelegenheit des Ortes kein Nachteil gewesen zu sein scheint. Der „place of no roads" erschien ihm vielmehr als sich selbst genügende, zufriedene Gemeinschaft.
Lenkkeris Arbeit ist keine „objektive" Dokumentation des Ortes, seines heutigen Zustandes oder der Zeugnisse seiner Vergangenheit. Vielmehr erweist sich der Umgang des Fotografen mit dem Vorgefundenen als kreativ und poetisch. Beispielsweise arrangiert er eine Lenin-Gesamtausgabe, von der, wie er bemerkte, nur die Bände 13 und 53 fehlten, in einem leerstehenden Büro auf einem Tisch unter einer vertrockneten Blume: „I guessed the books must have been there at one time anyway, or at least they should have been." In der Dialektik von Idealisierung und Dramatisierung auf der einen, wahrhafter Abbildung auf der anderen Seite entfaltet der Fotograf das Panorama eines Ortes, der außerhalb unserer Welt zu existieren scheint.
Zur Ausstellung ist ein gleichnamiges Buch im Hatje Cantz Verlag erschienen mit einem äußerst lesenswerten Text des Künstlers.
The photographic emulsion, plate or paper - is an unknown quantity, whereupon one can note with light, as the painter can with his implements.
-L. Moholy-Nagy, 1928
The pioneer of the abstract colour photograms had been already occupied by the same questions, which also distinguish the works of Mikko Sinervo and Ea Vasko: Light, colour and space. Different to Moholy-Nagy, these artists approach from the representational, transferring it into a borderland to abstraction.
Hannu Karjalainen has been chosen in Finland as the artist of the year 2009. His works circle between video, photography and performance. In his videos and photographs he deals with the meaning of certain colors and with aspects of the portrait.
In the exhibition Karjalainen´s latest video installation Blackpool Pleasure Beach (2009) will be presented. On a grid of 66 squares painted on the wall with 11 colors picked from low budget airline companies (e.g. Easy Jet) Karjalainen projects a seascape video shot in Blackpool, the popular tourist spot in Great Britain. The installation is a constantly changing exploration of color - how it changes our perception of what we are looking at and what connotations it can have. Furthermore Karjalainen creates a contemporary motif of transience: low budget airlines that bring tourists to the beaches and who threaten at the same time the existence of these places because of the rising sea level.
Besides that Gallery TaiK is presenting Karjalainen´s large format portraits. Unlike a portrait photographer in a classical sense, he is not interested in giving insight into the mind of the people he photographs. Rather he examines the relationship between painted and photographed portrait while steeping the clothes of the portrayed into paint and from then on fixing them on photographic paper. Karjalainen alludes here the paradigm shift of the nineteenth century when artists using paint as their material were superseded by technical innovation, and portraits were from then on fixed on photographic paper. As a consequence painting and photography overlap, taking on an added sculptural quality from the gleaming wet clothing.
Gallery TaiK is proud to present the solo exhibition by Finnish photographer Janne Lehtinen who is also a representative of The Helsinki School. The artist born 1970 in Karhula, Finland graduated in 2002 as a Master of Arts from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki. His career has included a number of international solo exhibitions. Lehtinen´s work is held in several of the major international photographic collections and he is the subject of a forthcoming monograph Janne Lehtinen - Night Shift, that will be published in 2009.
The exhibition will present his current works entitled Sacred Bird in which the artist refers to one of the oldest dreams of mankind: being able to fly. In a very poetic way Janne Lehtinen's photographs relate to the human desire of flying through the sky like a bird. For all times people tried to manufacture their own wings, like Icarus and Daedalus who used wax and plumes for their apparatus to brave the forces of gravity.
After having already chosen an autobiographical theme for his last series "The Descendants", Janne Lehtinen continues to focus on a topic which is influenced by his biography: His father is a well-known Finnish glider pilot. The dream about flying which became real for the father, remains fiction for the son.
Janne Lehtinens attempts to take himself to the sky are clearly preposterous. Also they fable an adventure, which needs to end inevitably in miserable failure. The artist staging himself as a latter-day aviation pioneer par excellence hangs from a tree, stays on a ledge or a field with rather bizarre looking flight-machines wrapped around his body. These odd situations reminiscently call into mind another tragic story about a man trying to defeat the aerial battle. In the early nineteenth century Albrecht Ludwig Berblinger known as the tailor of Ulm built himself a hang-glider instrument. Unfortunately he could never proof the operational capability of his flight invention while living. The hopelessness of Lehtinen´s vain endeavor to defeat the elementary rules of gravity is startlingly honest. Though behind those unequal battles one will find concealed the indestructible courage to pursuit obsessively one´s dream.