Gallery TAIK is delighted to present the Helsinki School artist Niina Vatanen in a solo exhibition entitled Grey Diary. Niina Vatanen´s Grey Diary documents a photographic search for traces, a quest for what is left of the mortal remains of someone dear to you. The result is a multifaceted, but also splintered portrait of the artist´s deceased stepfather that at the same time includes multilayered reflection on someone´s absence.
To do this, Vatanen made use of different forms and media; she photographed documents, such as postcards, pages from a calendar or a map, old passport photos of her stepfather, and places where he often stayed. She then collected the targets that she shot at with his rifle; the result is 157 Wounds, a formally and strictly composed installation on the diversity of the pain of loss. The importance of each single picture in the series is not determined by its aesthetic sensation, but by the personal memory it can conjure up. The most worthwhile of memories can be linked to something as simple as a clearing in the woods.
A special role is played by the target pasters, small stickers marksmen like her stepfather apply to close off the bullet holes in the target so they can use it again. As for their role in the series, Vatanen says: "They are an attempt to mark memories and places, but they also work like a patch: they cover scratches and scars. Attaching the target pasters is also doing the same act my stepfather used to do. There is a wound in a landscape. I want to repair it." Band- Aids close wounds, but simultaneously make them all the more visible.
Grey Diary highlights the complexity of memory and loss. The place that photography occupies in this context was described by Roland Barthes in the following: "With the childhood photo of my mother before my eyes, I say to myself: she will die: I shudder … in the face of a catastrophe that has already taken place." Photography in this sense thematizes death: if something is photographed, the moment has already passed.
In the recent years the 33 year old artist has participated in many group exhibitions worldwide (Helsinki, Paris, Daegu). Her next solo exhibition will take place this winter at the Photographic Center Peri in Turku, Finland. The latest publications of her works are The Helsinki School - Young Photography by TaiK and Daegu - The Helsinki School. Her works are included in numerous museums and private collections in Finland.
Gallery TAIK is delighted to present Finnish artist Anni Leppälä with the solo exhibition Chapter IV, presenting her latest works.
Anni Leppälä has been selected Young Artist of the Year 2010 in Finland. Leppälä (born 1981) is one of the most promising artists of the Helsinki School, whose artists in general aim to redefine the boundaries between the genres. In her oneiric still lifes, Anni Leppälä addresses the impossible wish that the photographic medium attempts to fix instants, to halt the world´s rotating in perpetual transformation.
The themes of recognition and resemblance are substantive for Anni Leppälä´s works, where they are anchored both in time seen as transitory moments and also in visible objects as conveyors of memories and interpretations. Her main interest within the medium of photography is the possibility of creating sudden shifts between the visible reality of objects and locations and the fictional, emotional and inperceptible world of meanings behind them.
For Leppälä photographs are like fixed points in the process of change and alteration. They give a chance of observing and allow the viewer to step closer. One can gather trust and confidence in recognizing them but simultaneously photographs have another kind of nature; a side turning towards the invisible and the unidentified. What finally becomes recognized can be something „outside" of the image, something out of sight or imperceptible. In this momentary experience something is revealed which is not „that has been" but rather something that exists and is present here and now.
Leppälä underlines that "objects and spaces can occur like transparent routes between the inside and the outside, between the seen surface and unconscious content. How to stop a feeling, a memory? By binding it to visible objects, facades of material things, attaching it to a room´s wall. Like translucent skin with unforeseen memories beneath."
In the recent four years the 29 year old Leppälä has participated in many group exhibitions in museums worldwide (Oslo, Helsinki, Tokyo, Paris, Wolfsburg) and galleries (London, Milano, Helsinki). Her latest solo exhibition took place at the Tampere Art Museum on which occasion her first book got released. She has participated successfully in international art fairs (Berlin, Paris, Madrid, Turin) and her works are included in numerous museum collections in Europe and abroad.
-Jenny Rosemarie Mannhardt
Gallery TAIK proudly presents the first Berlin solo exhibition entitled Water Ballads by Finnish photographer Susanna Majuri who is one of the most well known representatives of the Helsinki School.
In Majuri's pictures, water plays a decisive role. It is motif, work material, and symbol all at once. In enigmatic scenes that recall film stills, the artist photographs strangers and sometimes herself in and by the water. Her fascination is fed first of all by the properties of water: it buoys people up; they are apparently able to float in it. Water is colorless and yet can adopt any and all colors; it can reflect light in various ways or absorb it; it can defamiliarize or distort contours.
The disarray the photos radiate is not least of all associated with photography's presumed character of proof that suggests: "Look, these things can happen." And indeed Majuri's photographs of at times unfathomable yearning are yet subtly composed and virtuoso in
In the water Majuri seeks counter or parallel worlds, places outside of convention, vanishing points and dream worlds. At the same time she indicates the ambivalence inherent in the utopia of "another" world: "The logic of color illustrates the fiction. The inner world constructs secrets to be seen. Inanimate things take on the role of the living. A picture of sorrow is a picture of hope."
- Jenny Rosemarie Mannhardt
Gallery TAIK proudly presents the exhibition Equations by Finnish photographer Niko Luoma. Selected works from his two series Cronos (2007) and Symmetrium (2009) will be shown. Luoma´s interest is to visualize time with the means of analogue photography. Therefore he "draws" with light - which fits in well with the etymology of the word photography (gr. photos light, graphein to draw).
Some of Niko Luoma´s basic principles can be exemplified by his black and white series Cronos from 2007. These photographs are based on a series of drawings he made as sketches using light as his raw material. "The drawings are about how daylight reflects from everyday objects on my working table at my studio, and how light reflects off from the corners and edges of empty buildings on the shipyard around my studio. While making a drawing I only draw highlights, the areas where the light hits the hardest on the target creating a flare. Through the movement of the sun they are changing. I draw these highlights as lines, one drawing a day from sunrise to sunset. At the end of a day I had an abstract notation of a day's passage. Because I am interested in light and it's movements, from past to present. I decided to reconstruct these drawings and photograph them. Each line is created and photographed by using a studio flash and a large format camera, one line at a time. The sheet of film is exposed multiple times, until all the lines in the drawing appear in the photograph. The fascination for me is the process of how objects and even spaces could be freed from their physical existence, to be just ideas."
In front of a deep black background are set elegant, minimalist and surprisingly spatial nettings of lines created out of gleaming, erupting light.
A graphical, linear principle can also be found in Luoma´s latest series Symmetrium. These photographs are realized upon a stronger mathematical system. Creating visual equations, based on the colors red and green, again he deals with light. What at first sight may appear as computer graphics is in fact created and photographed in the artist´s studio only with analogue technics. With colour filters and the principle of multiple exposure Luoma creates symmetrical compositions within several weeks time. The symmetry is also used with the colours. There are equal numbers of red and green lines that vary in color and length. About the subject Luoma underlines that "it is inspired by nature in flux, everyday events, chaos, and by accident."
- Jenny Rosemarie Mannhardt
Gallery TAIK proudly exhibits a group show representing the Helsinki School artists Miklos Gaál, Kalle Kataila and Jyrki Parantainen.