Gallery Taik Persons

Helsinki School

Niko Luoma – No Debris, No Ruin

Opening: Friday, November 1, 2013, 18.00-21.00 pm
Duration of the exhibition: November 2, 2013 to January 11, 2014

Gallery Taik Persons is highly pleased to present Niko Luoma’s solo exhibition in Berlin, Niko Luoma is concerned, ultimately, not with “what is in front of the camera”, but “what is inside of it”. Focusing on the process as content, his works, based on a calculated, analogue technique of exposing a single negative to lines of light up to hundreds and even thousands of times, delve into the intrinsic qualities of the photographic medium itself. In their composite structure as multi- linear progressive expansions within space, Luoma’s “abstract photographs of time” can be likened to the experience of listening to a musical piece.As explored through his recent series Motives (2012) and Symmetrium (2012), among his intricate systems of premeditated shapes and sequenced numbers, the moment of exposure continues to present the key, for an unpredictable factor of surprise.

Luoma’s newest series Variations on a Standard of Space (2013), conceived as the first part of a trilogy titled Solids, responds to Paul Cézanne’s notion that “All depiction of nature can be reduced to three solids: Cube, Sphere and Cone.” The number of thousands narrowed down here to only twelve exposures on a single negative, each of this cycle’s six works construe and visualize, in their own way, the idea of the cube as a three-dimensional field. Relying on a system of randomized permutation, the series deploys as its parameters a combination of the twelve lines by which the cubic form is structured, as well as the three additive primary colors, red, green, and blue. As a result, and in reference again to the musical analogy, it is through the elements of improvisation, interpretation, and chance, that variations on a common theme are generated. Underlying their estimation of the cube—as an “ideal standard of space”—is the fundamental question of visual representation on how spatial depth may be simulated upon a two-dimensional surface; essentially, an unresolvable one that is bound to collapse into itself.

His new work One Minute in Grand Central Terminal (2013) also on display at the exhibition, is likewise grounded in Luoma’s interest in formulating different ways to document, break down, and reconfigure passages of time through an introspective approach to the photographic medium. For this work, which is “about abstracting one random minute in one random place”, Luoma took fourteen snapshots of people passing through the main hall of New York’s Grand Central Terminal during the course of one minute. He then recreated each photograph in the studio by replacing the human figures with lines or blocks of light, which were photographed onto slide film and then printed, therein taking on the form of black marks. Produced on the occasion of the centennial anniversary of the station, as well as John Cage’s 101st birthday anniversary this year, the work presents, as Luoma describes, “a study of the folding and unfolding of space”. The incidental nature of its fourteen snapshots, isolated movements of passage is what constitutes and yet also fragments the temporal sequence of linear narrative that adheres to the system of the minute.

Further shown are the two drawings To See 1 and To See 2 (both 2012), which can be considered as preparatory sketches for his new work series, and concerning which Luoma says that he “wanted completely to abandon the responsibility of composition”. This is the first time that Luoma shows these kinds of sketches alongside the works that are based on them. They each consist of a set of bundled lines that navigate continuously, according to a randomized scheme, across the paper plane into different directions until there is no unfilled space left on the paper. Intersecting and overlaying each other, the illusion of spatial depth is complete. The drawings’ seemingly shattered time structure resonates with those to be found in the other exhibits, as does their inherent condition of tension between components of rule and repetition, chance and transformation.

- Shao-lan Hertel

Niko Luoma was born in 1970 in Helsinki, where he lives and works today. He studied photography at the New England School of Photography, Boston (Diploma in 1995), The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Studio Diploma in 1998), and the University of Art and Design, Helsinki (MFA in 2003). He is a professor at the Aalto University, School of Art, Design and Architecture and an integral part of the Helsinki School. His works have been widely published. They are represented in numerous collections, including those of the Finnish National Gallery (Helsinki), the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art (Helsinki), and the Danish National Museum of Photography (Copenhagen). His most recent book Niko Luoma: And Time is no Longer an Obstacle was published with Hatje Cantz in September 2012. Luoma is a member of the Union of Artist Photographers, Finland.

[Unless otherwise stated, all text quotes are citations of the artist.]


Mikko Rikala | Towards Nothing

Duration: September 20–October 26, 2013
Venue: Lindenstrasse 34, 10969 Berlin, 2nd floor

Gallery Taik Persons is highly pleased to present Mikko Rikala´s first solo exhibition in Berlin: Towards Nothing.  "What are the possibilities of Man to observe and understand the world beyond the rational mind?

This is the essential question Mikko Rikala seeks to instantiate through his photographic work. Epistemological by nature, Rikala´s enquiry examines the tension between "seeing" – equitable with the realm of physics and its sizeable dimensions as a form of rational knowledge – and "perceiving" – a conscious moment of subjective experience that presents a form of potentially irrational knowledge.

The logic of the irrational is based on his assumption of their mutually inclusive relationship in that "rational experiments can result in the discovery of something irrational". Rikala´s ultimate incentive is to transcend the limitations of human reason and intellect, and in turn conceive and make graspable that what we, on this side, feel is the unthinkable, unimaginable beyond of incommensurable space.

- Shao-lan Hertel

Aixia Li | Hwanhee Kim | Ji Hyun Kwon

Duration: June 6–July 27, 2013
Address: Lindenstrasse 34, 10969 Berlin, 2nd floor

Gallery Taik Persons is thrilled to present a group exhibition with the young artists Aixia Li, Hwanhee Kim, and Ji Hyun Kwon, whose works present three different contemporary approaches to the cultural connotations of language and image.

Nelli Palomäki at Gallery Taik Persons

Time: 27 April– 1 June, 2013
Address: Lindenstr. 34, 10969 Berlin

The two Nordic galleries, Niels Borch Jensen Gallery and Edition and Gallery Taik Persons, are thrilled to announce that they are joining forces in a shared exhibition space in Berlin. For their opening shows during Berlin’s Gallery Weekend, Niels Borch Jensen will present print works by Tacita Dean and Olafur Eliasson while Gallery Taik Persons will show works by the Helsinki School artist Nelli Palomäki who recently showed her work in major solo exhibitions at Ordrupgaard in Denmark (alongside Mary Cassatt) and at the Finnish Museum of Photography, and whose book Breathing the Same Air just was released in February at the renowned publishing house Hatje Cantz.

The immediate knowing of something without the conscious use of reasoning. This definition of intuition found in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary best describes the method Nelli Palomäki uses in selecting her subjects for her photographs. She essentially becomes her own radar collecting other people´s feelings while moving within the streets of the city. Based upon these collections Palomäki selects her subjects more by their sensibility than by their appearance. It´s a language without words where understanding is communicated through a nod of the head, a look in the eye, or a smile at the corner of a frown.

Palomäki is one of those rare portrait photographers who inherently found the ability to emotionally merge with the subject she is observing. She combines her fiery spirit with her charm to create an environment of trust. It is through this bond that Palomäki is able to extract the innocence from her subject. Nevertheless, anyone who has ever met Nelli Palomäki knows it´s far more than that.

Her enthusiasm bubbles with an exorbitant vitality that can hardly be contained. For Palomäki it´s not only about taking photographs as it is about seducing life and in the process, sharing that enthusiasm until it´s contagious for all who are around her.

Diane Arbus, Pierre Gonnord, and Francesca Woodman are all good examples of artists who—like Palomäki—have used their internal compass to navigate through the human spirit. It´s a sensibility based more on the color of one´s heart and the ability to transcend beyond what the eye can see.

(From Timothy Persons´ introduction to Nelli Palomäki´s monograph "Breathing the Same Air")

Joakim Eskildsen – American Realities / Home Works

Time: April 26–June 1, 2013
Address: Lindenstrasse 34, 2nd floor, 10969 Berlin

Gallery TAIK is thrilled to present a first insight to Joakim Eskildsen's most recent series American Realities (2011) and Home Works (in progress since 2005) in Berlin. These series represent two different approaches in Eskildsen's work. While American Realities was initiated through a project with TIME Magazine and took less than a year to complete, Home Works is again one of the artist's long-term projects, like his well-known body of work The Roma Journeys.

Tiina Itkonen - Ultima Thule

Time: 16 February - 20 April, 2013
Address: Bergstr. 22  Mitte, 10115 Berlin

Gallery TAIK is thrilled to showcase works from the Finnish photographer Tiina Itkonen for the exhibition opening on February 15, 2013. The title of the exhibition refers to the artist´s search for her own "Ultima Thule", a term used to describe the concept of a place outside of the "borders of the known world", specifically in the Far North.

-Jenny Rosemarie Mannhardt