Joakim Pusenius & Matti Harju:

Tomorrow was Magnificent


The Tomorrow was Magnificent exhibition is the first collaboration between the artists Joakim Pusenius and Matti Harju. In their own different ways, their work and visual language already have a number of common denominators, and in Tomorrow was Magnificent their shared interests in philosophy and filmic storytelling come together. They take us with them on a journey into what we might call reality. The film is being shown in a 3.54:1 format. This allows the image to spread across a large surface in the gallery, thus also giving viewers a chance to observe processes that are not in centre focus.

The observant camera registers the subtle nuances in the commotion of everyday life, and leads the viewer through passages that seem to form an invisible network. The footage shifts back and forth between something that we want to see as being documentary observations and something that may actually consist of dramatized scenes. This form of unreliable narrative depicts the state of existence in which we find ourselves. An existence in which we are torn between different truths. We hear the past like a sentimental echo from times when we came together, the future like an answer to our needs, and the present like a silence in which we alone are standing still. Tomorrow was Magnificent was born out of this silence, as an end and a new beginning of nothing – apeiron.

Tomorrow was Magnificent is a work that inhales and exhales slowly. There is no dialogue or obvious rhythm. It is a viscous, fluid stream in which the wavelengths of the sound and image material occasionally resonate together. But this also gives rise to a pulse, and the film becomes a deep-breathing entity. It is possible to detect similarities with films such as Ron Fricke’s Baraka or Jacques Tati’s Playtime, but Pusenius and Harju do not point the camera at beautiful sights in nature or cultures, or at cruelties and absurdities in human beings and their actions. Tomorrow was Magnificent is more akin to the photograph Pale blue dot*, a look at and into human beings and their relationship with the circumstances that really prevail. It asks: What are the forces that shape us?

*In 1990, the author Carl Sagan asked for the cameras on the Voyager 1 space probe to be turned round to take a last photograph of our solar system. In the big, black picture the Earth is a tiny, blue dot surrounded by emptiness and silence.

Joakim Pusenius (b. 1984) graduated with an MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts in 2014. He also holds a BA in theoretical philosophy. Pusenius has exhibited in various venues in Finland and his works have been shown at film screenings.

Matti Harju (b. 1978) Lives and works in Helsinki. He took his BA at the Institute of Design and Fine Arts in Lahti, studied at the National Film and Television School / Royal College of Art in the UK, and is now on the Master’s programme at the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki. Harju has won several international prizes and his works have been shown at festivals around the world.

Markus Åström

Past program