Gallery Taik Persons

Helsinki School

Aino Kannisto - Hotel Bogota

Opening: Friday, October 17, 2014, 6 – 9 pm
Duration of the exhibition: October 17 2014 – January 10, 2015

Gallery Taik Persons is pleased to present the exhibition Hotel Bogota with previously unseen works by Aino Kannisto on the occasion of the 6th European Month of Photography in Berlin.

Aino Kannisto works within a photographic tradition that combines a documentary style with the dream-like vision of filmmakers. Kannisto uses staged photography as "a way to give meaning to life by sharing a part of the world which otherwise remains private". Her cinematically influenced photographs depict internal emotional landscapes with an eerie tension, a self imposed catharsis.

In 2012, Kannisto was invited to the emblematic Hotel Bogota, artists pilgrimage sight in Berlin par excellence, to live and witness the last days of the hotels existence. Abandoned by the artists and guests that had brought the hotel to life for the past 40 years, Kannisto took the opportunity to breathe in the kaleidoscopic range of rooms, electric past and niches bearing witness to all its history, as an inexhaustible inspiration for the series Hotel Bogota.

– Shao-lan Hertel

Aino Kannisto was born in Espoo, Finland, in 1973. She lives and works in Helsinki, Finland. Kannisto graduated from the Photography Department of Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture (formerly the University of Art and Design Helsinki, 1993 – 2010) in 2001. Notable recent exhibitions include Delicate Demons, together with Satu Haavisto, Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki (2014), the solo show Encontros da Imagem, Museu Nogueira da Silva, Braga, Portugal (2009), as well as the group shows Shifting Identities, MACRO, Rome, Italy (2014), That’s me: Fotografische Selbstbilder, Marta Herford, Germany (2011), and Contemporary Art from Germany and China, Wuhan Museum of Fine Arts, People’s Republic of China (2009).

Maanantai Collective – Between the Flashes of the Lighthouse

Opening: Friday, September 12, 2014, 6 – 9 pm
Duration of the exhibition: September 13 – October 11, 2014

Gallery Taik Persons is highly pleased to present Maanantai Collective with its exhibition Between the Flashes of the Lighthouse in Berlin for the first time. The show displays selected works from the series Nine Nameless Mountains (2012–2013) as well as a new set of so far unexhibited works.

Maanantai Collective’s body of work is the product of creative processes pursued by “one common author and sixteen eyes”. The group of eight artists represents a young generation of Helsinki School exponents that questions and challenges the notion of authorship. It therefore comes as no surprise that individual names remain in the background of Maanantai’s public presence as a collective whole. Catalyzing the group’s initial formation in 2011 was the shared experience of a joint trip to the Lofoten Islands in Norway; its aim being “to escape North”. Whether in connection with the sailing trips across the Southern Finnish archipelago or the nightly wanderings in the Swiss Alps which followed, the poetic and absurdist exploration of natural topographies, scale, and distance, and with this, the condition of human relationality and the self as a terrain of both known and unknown environments, prevails as a theme in the works that have evolved since 2011. Investigating the very idea of travel and navigation itself, the reassurance of secured routes and fixed destinations is deliberately discarded by the group—which prefers to consult Rebecca Solnit’s book A Field Guide to Getting Lost as its programmatic map and itinerary of escape into the wild.

Maanantai’s series Nine Nameless Mountains takes form as both the documentation and experimentation of a venturing into the classic genre of the road trip. Next to the mountain as a visual leitmotif, further recurring natural elements, such as waves, sand, and clouds, are incorporated. The series’ assembly of works reveals the intertwinement of many stories: the material used was passed on from one artist to the other and thus generated and interpreted collectively. Weaving together an eclectic array of literary references, different objects, and multiple mediums and techniques, including analog photography, video stills, laser prints, drawings, and mobile phone shots, the works reveal the traces of unforeseen incidents, random observations, and improvised happenings.

The new works exhibited delve further into the undertaking of abandoning the mundane and setting foot within the outlandish. Rather than portraying the picturesque landscape in form of a single image, seemingly insignificant fragments are recorded. In between these snippets and glimpses slumbers the potential emergence of a new and other, hitherto unbeheld view of the landscape. In reference to the exhibition title, the Collective states that “the dark moments between the flashes were indeed a sign of the possibility to step into the unknown part of the familiar”. An artistic endeavor thus lies in testing and contesting the capacities and boundaries of the (interacting) self—be it fleshly or imagined, contained or collective. It is conceived in all its constraints, resistances, and moments of dissociation, yet also in its contingencies and expanses; to be touched, inversed, and at times even dissolved in its interiority and exteriority. While the metaphoric lighthouse at first aids us in orientating ourselves, the longer the intervals between its flashes persist, the more accommodative and intelligible does their darkness become, even to the extent that the flashing beacon is perceived as an interference. What seemed to be known may transform into the uncanny; and yet, at the same time, that what was estranging into something suddenly homely.

– Shao-lan Hertel

Maanantai Collective was founded in Helsinki in 2011. All eight members live and work in Helsinki and studied or study at Aalto University School of Art, Design and Architecture. Recent exhibitions were held, among others, at Gallery Monopol, Warsaw (2014), and the Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki (2013). In 2013, Maanantai Collective’s book Nine Nameless Mountains won the gold award as Best German Photobook 2014.

Maanantai Collective would like to thank Frame Visual Art Finland for their support.

Richard Winther

Opening: Friday, June 27, 2014, 6 – 9 pm
Duration of the exhibition: June 27 – July 31, 2014

Richard Winther (1926–2007) was a Danish painter, sculptor, lithographer, ceramist, writer – and photographer. For almost 70 years he explored, interrogated and worked with the medium with an incessant curiosity. Winther was a pioneer in the evolution of experimental photography.

In Denmark, Richard Winther (1926-2007) was a well-known artist. He was a painter, a sculptor and a graphic artist. He made installations, wrote books and taught younger artists. Since his youth, he had also been interested in photography and taken many pictures.

Until the mid-1960s Winther’s photographs were fairly traditional. He documented his travels abroad and visits to the studios of artists he admired. Giacometti was one of them and he made, but did not publish, a photobook with pictures taken in his studio (a facsimile has been published posthumously). In 1966, he – along with other artists and photographers – was invited to take pictures in Thorvaldsen’s Museum, Copenhagen. They were asked to give an interpretation of Thorvaldsen’s works and the museum in which they were housed for an exhibition to be shown there later. This changed Winther’s view of photography. He spent months photographing the sculptures, mostly from various unorthodox angles and trying out various chemical processes in the dark-room. He was no longer interested in making “good” pictures. Instead, he was attempting to create new kinds of images.

From then on, Winther’s approach to photography was experimental. He tried out different types of cameras with special lenses and even started constructing cameras himself. He studied the early history of photography with great fascination for Daguerre and Nicéphore Niépce in particular. They became his “heroes” – or at least important predecessors to whom he wanted to pay tribute. As the painting in the exhibition shows, he often did this in a very humoristic way.

The exhibition focuses on the experimental work and includes photographs from different series. Some are the results of the technical experiments with cameras and lenses. Female models were often the focus of his experiments with photographs taken of them in various poses and different lighting. He would also set up tableaux to try out compositions, sometimes in view of paintings he was working on. Thus, in many cases the photographs fed directly into his work in other media, such as painting or sculpture. He never became a “professional” photographer, one indication of which is that he never printed editions of his works. Almost without exception each print is unique.

Anneli Fuchs, art historian and researcher, has curated the exhibition which is presented in collaboration with the artist’s heir Tobias Winther and Galleri Tom Christoffersen in Copenhagen.

Santeri Tuori – Time present and time past

Opening: Friday, May 2, 2014, 6 – 9 pm
Duration of the exhibition: May 3 – June 21, 2014

Gallery Taik Persons is thrilled to present Santeri Tuori’s first solo exhibition in Berlin. The show exhibits photographs from the series Sky Prints (2011– 12/2014), as well as a video from the Forest series (2009).

Santeri Tuori is one of Finland’s leading contemporary visual artists. As an exponent of the Helsinki School, he has become well known for his innovations in merging the media of photography and video art. The combination of still and moving images in Tuori’s works weaves together multiply layered com- positions that present more than the mere sum of their productive parts. While the subjects of his series have various origins in classical genres of human portraiture (e.g. Bogeyman [2001/2004], 35 Minute Smile [2002], Karlotta [2003/2004]), traditions of landscape painting (as with the works now on display), or in more abstracted, minimalist depictions of nature and natural environment (e.g. Sea [2004], Waterfall [2006]), all have in common that space is never organized according to the straightforward linear logic of temporal order and movement habitual to our practices of seeing – not only in viewing nature, but also art.

In Tuori’s Sky Prints, for example, our gaze is directed towards the autonomous theme of the sky, which is unframed from its usual context of the ‘total landscape’.Tuori’s video works consist of single photographs and moving image segments of the same landscape motif. Both sets of images are superimposed onto one another. The final video sequence is projected onto a photographic print; sometimes this is done via rear-screen projection, so that the technical devices remain invisible to the viewer, effectuating the photographic still to ‘awaken’ to life through the motion of the videotape. In another method, the still photograph is vice versa incorporated into the moving image with an editing program; both are combined in a single video file. Aspects of technical and creative production go hand in hand with each other, Tuori explains: “My works evolve very much with the working process. I might have a starting point for a work, but many times, no idea how the final work will look like [...].”. In any case, the melding of color video with black-and-white photography alters significantly the way the image will look. Though the final works can still be discerned in their elements as videos and photographs, they bring forth something new, a third image; one that in its surreal quality is perhaps most suitably compared with painting.

In Tuori’s Forest video works, which are edited in a continuous loop, the techniques of projection, blending, and fragmentation question the conventional representational truths often established through the fabric of photographs and films. Instead, there emerges from them a transient, subtly flickering image of the landscape, which slowly unfolds its billowing seasons of change along a very own, complex structure of time. Under the subdued light of a visually stratified picture space, an asynchronous, somehow disconcerting story is quietly narrated. As viewers we receive the chance to inhabit and, in turn, be enlivened by the myriad expansions and compressions of presence and place, and to escape, at least for a prolonged moment of a work’s duration, the safe and reliable home of common clock time as we know it. Gently consoling is the continual soundscape of gusting wind and rushing water that surrounds and accompanies our lonesome journey; and yet, uncanny, too – conjuring the remote pasts and distant fu- tures that will never become known to us.

-Shao-lan Hertel

Santeri Tuori, born 1970 in Espoo, Finland, lives and works in Helsinki, Finland. He received a Master of Law degree from the University of Helsinki in 1999, after which he obtained Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in Photography in 2000 and 2003, respectively, at the University of Arts, Design and Architecture Helsinki. Solo and group exhibitions since 1997 have continuously shown his works in numerous countries in Europe, North and South America, Russia, East Asia, and Africa. His works are included a.o. in the collections of the Espoo Museum of Modern Art, the Finnish Museum of Photography, the FRAC Haute-Normandie, the Malmoe Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, as well as numerous private collections worldwide.

Pertti Kekarainen: TILA/Spatial Changes

Duration of the exhibition: 15th March – 26th April 2014

Gallery Taik Persons is thrilled to present Pertti Kekarainen’s first solo show in Berlin: TILA/Spatial Changes.

Pertti Kekarainen’s series TILA (since 2004) has been evolving over the course of the past ten years and consists of some 130 works in total. This extensive scope conveys well the inexhaustibility of meanings that adheres to the Finnish word tila after which the series is named. In its primary sense, it describes an architectural space, a room, or an interior space inside of an object; moreover a space or distance between different objects. At the same time, tila refers to a conditional state of a phenomenon as well as certain state of mind. Its connotations reach into various life spheres of social, cultural, and political significance. Just as meanings of words are always construed anew relative to the things they signify, so do Kekarainen’s works remain in a constant state of flux. His TILA are elusive, open structures, through which the partaker may experience and make sense of his own understanding of space. Whereas the works embody formally static entities as flat, hung images, their three-dimensional depth can be perme­ated visually by the perceiver whose compositional comprehension of the images slightly rescales and refocuses with each new pictorial element that he comes across.

Testifying to his initial training as a sculptor, earlier works of this series like the TILA Passages (2006– 2008) or TILA 1-4 (2012) illustrate Kekarainen’s objective to carve out spatial depth by means of over­lapping semi-transparent surfaces, and incorporating graphic elements such as lines, blurred dots, and circular or rectangular ‘holes’ (in the sense of looking holes or points through which to enter the space which reveals itself behind), as well as effects of color, reflection, and shadow. As he explores the maze-like arrangements of layered planes and spatial compartments, the recipient’s fragmented perspective is continuously shifting. At times distorted and disoriented, his eye moves in and out of focus, and a multitude of “pictures in the picture” is created. While the older compositions center on architectural interiors and especially images of doors and windows, in the newest works (2014) of Kekarainen’s series human presence features as a prominent visual component. In defining relations of space, distance, and scale within a larger whole, here, human figures or individual body parts fulfill a similarly constitu­tive structural function. Rather than communicating a fixed, portrait-like representation of a person or personality, Kekarainen’s interest lies in the mutable qualities of human action, gesture, posture, and movement, and how they become perceivable in space as rooms, areas, or states of the mind.

The perceiver’s experience embraces more than merely a visual dimension of the works. It is also in­formed by haptic and sensory aspects evoked through associations of touch, smell, motion, scale, and light. Crucial to this experience are the physical surroundings of the exhibition space as well as the materiality of the photograph as an object, which ambivalently provide a face-to-face encounter not only between the viewing person and the photographed person, but also between the viewing person and his own, transitional reflection seen ‘in’ the picture. The formation of the exhibits assembled on the gallery walls further sets up a dialogical connection among the photographed figures. Whereas the new works of Kekarainen’s TILA series shown in the exhibition are of relatively small format, his large-size works of a near-to 1:1 scale measure up to two meters in height, bringing about the life-like quality that is a signature trait of Kekarainen’s works.

– Shao-lan Hertel

Pertti Kekarainen, born in 1965 in Oulu, Finland, lives and works in Helsinki, Finland. He is a long-time influential exponent of The Helsinki School as well as member of the Association of Finnish Sculptors and the Union of Artist Photographers. Kekarainen was educated at the University of Art and Design Helsinki (now Aalto University – School of Arts, Design and Architecture) (1984–85), the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki (1985–89), and the Vrije Academie van Beeldenden Kunsten, Den Haag, Netherlands (1989). Since the 1990s, his works are to be found in numerous international collections and have been shown in both solo and group exhibitions worldwide. Among these, were Enschede, Netherlands (Villa DeBank, 2013), Milan, Italy (Photology, 2012), Seoul, Korea (Daegu Photo Biennale Korea, 2010), Wolfsburg, Germany (Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 2009), and New York, USA (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009).

The Return of the Real: Joakim Eskildsen, Olafur Eliasson & Adam Jeppesen

Duration of the exhibition: 18th January – 8th March 2014

Gallery Taik Persons and Niels Borch Jensen Gallery & Editions are delighted to announce a collaborative exhibition featuring the works of three Danish artists: Joakim Eskildsen presented by Gallery Taik Persons, and Olafur Eliasson and Adam Jeppesen presented by Niels Borch Jensen.

The title of the exhibition is borrowed from Hal Foster’s book from 1996, ‘The Return of the Real’, in which Foster discusses the conceptual genealogies of the avant-garde that engage in a historical and social conversation. The notion of environment and our perceptions of it are at the core of this exhibition, explored through the sensibilities of three Nordic artists.

Eskildsen, Eliasson and Jeppesen each present photographic perspectives of expansive nature, which, when viewed in dialogue with one-another, reveal the malleability of our perceptions. While their techniques, visual foci and final structures differ; the artists’ works collectively capture the dynamism of the nature to which they pay tribute.

Olafur Eliasson’s Cartographic Series IV (2007) is a group of 25 birds-eye view landscape photogravures that explore our deeply personal perceptions of scale and time. Eliasson omits people completely from works in an attempt to shift the focus of the viewer from representation and observation to the experiential phenomena of light, space, weather, and the effects of nature on the senses. He considers the shift from nature to landscape as the point at which we form a relationship with it, and by leaving humans out of his photographs; we are obliged to form this relationship independently, instantly. Eliasson systemizes and frames our way of looking at the disorienting aerial views by presenting the images in tidy grid.

Joakim Eskildsen’s Nordic Signs series (1989-1994) introduces the viewers to the beginning of his career, exposing his deeply rooted curiosity for the power of nature and man’s relationship to it. ‘Nordic Signs’ is a poetic reflection on the intrinsic qualities of a rough, and sometimes harsh, terrain, filled with the sensations that these environments contain. The close relationship forged between people and the nature that surrounds them is intimately documented through Eskildsen’s insightful sense of the vitality of the North.

Adam Jeppesen has been greatly inspired by the works of Eliasson and Eskildsen. His photogravure ghost prints nod to Eliasson’s systemized landscapes, and yet by presenting only one landscape in each series, re-printed repeatedly without new ink until the image fades to nothing, Jeppesen relinquishes control of our interpretations and allows the process of photogravure to be as documented as the landscapes themselves. His works, as do Eskildsen’s, emerge from long journeys spent exploring life away from the urban.

The varying artistic executions and presentations of the landscapes in the exhibition create an awareness of how deeply personal, and variable, our modes of seeing are. The artists photograph the realities they encounter without staging or manipulating, and yet the outcome is nevertheless an interpretation, an insight into their sensibilities.

– Shao-lan Hertel

Olafur Eliasson was born in 1967 in Copenhagen, Denmark, of Icelandic parentage. He attended the Royal Academy of Arts in Copenhagen from 1989 to 1995. Eliasson has participated in numerous exhibitions worldwide and his work is represented in public and private collections, including the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Deste Foundation, Athens and the Tate. Recently, he has had major solo exhibitions at Kunsthaus Bregenz, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and ZKM (Center for Art and Media), Karlsruhe. In addition, he also represented Denmark in the 2003 Venice Biennale. He has been working with Niels Borch Jensen since their first print project collaboration in 1996. He currently lives and works in Berlin.

Joakim Eskildsen was born in 1971 in Copenhagen, Denmark. He trained with Royal Court photographer Mrs. Rigmor Mydtskov and gained his MA from the University of Art and Design Helsinki (now Aalto University – School of Arts, Design and Architecture). He is represented in public and private collections including The National Museum of Photography (Denmark), The Museum of Contemporary Art KIASMA (Finland), Fotomuseum Wintherthur (Switzerland) and The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (USA). Eskildsen has published several monographs including Nordic Signs (1995), Bluetide (1997), iChickenMoon (1999), and The Roma Journeys (2007, Steidl, with an introduction by Günter Grass). Steidl will also publish American Realities and Home Works in the near future. The Danish National Museum of Photography will present a retrospective of Eskildsen‘s works in 2015. Eskildsen lives and works in Berlin.

Adam Jeppesen was born in 1978 in Kalundborg, Denmark. He studied photography at Fatamorgana in Copenhagen, and has subsequently had several exhibitions internationally, distinguishing himself with the Wake series, which was published as a book by Steidl in 2008. Jeppesen has been nominated for Börse Photography Prize, 2009 and KLM Paul Huf Award 2009. He is represented at The Denver Art Museum (US), The Danish Arts Foundation, The National Public Art Council, Sweden, The National Museum of Photography, Denmark, Huis Marseille, The Netherlands, CO Berlin, and in several private collections. Jeppesen featured for the first time at Art Basel in 2013 with a work from this project, which is his first collaboration with Niels Borch Jensen. Jeppesen lives and works between Copenhagen and Buenos Aires.