Josefina Nelimarkka:

PRECESSION (screensaver)


PRECESSION (screensaver) is a slow, meditative site-specific installation that has its starting point in the pause; the passive state.

Josefina Nelimarkka works in several different media; painting, text, performance and moving image. Underlying this is an interest in wet painting, and Nelimarkka makes use of its fickle, chaotic behaviour in her work. Her working method involves creating situations in which colours and pigment are activated and in motion. How do the circumstances affect the painting process? On a molecular and chemical level the behaviour of the pigment is directly connected to the prevailing conditions in the space and the material. Her works bring out the transience of existence, and the fact that the world consists of chance occurrences and places that, like particles, move incessantly in time and space. Nor can the painting be fixed at a given point. It is part of a process that cannot be fully controlled, not even by its own creator. Nelimarkka takes on this problem in her painting and, instead of restraining the paint, she allows the picture to emerge out of a non-linear flow.

PRECESSION (screensaver) is an installation consisting of an interactive projection and sound images. The public, either alone or in groups, can modify the material by shifting their position within the stellar constellation in the space. The film depicts pigment in various states. She has used a macro lens and an electron microscope to film colour pigments in close-up and on the molecular level. The resultant material is comparable to astronomical studies of the Universe. Nelimarkka keeps the depth of field shallow, exactly equivalent to the human capacity to see out into the Cosmos. The sound material in the exhibition is based on electromagnetic radiation from outer space, which has been converted to audible sound.
The active points, which the public uses to control the work, are marked out on the floor, their formation based on the constellation Lyra. In Greek mythology the lyre is played by the musician Orpheus. Nelimarkka sees a link between her work and the myth of Orpheus, who brought his beloved Euridice back from the land of the dead. When he is leading her up out of the underworld, he looks back at her, killing her forever. This incident is used as a metaphor for the time when inspiration arises. Here, Orpheus lets go and sinks into the depths to be embraced by the darkness. But he returns later with songs that bring the gods to tears.

Artistic and creative work like this no longer has its own natural place in a world whose basic values and pattern are founded on efficiency and productivity. There is no longer a time and place for reflection and for encountering ourselves. Nelimarkka’s works challenge us to be passive, to stop for a while and, like Orpheus, to dare to let go of routines and security, to allow room for feeling.

Precession is a term describing the wobble, of the rotational axis of a rotating body. This phenomenon also influences the inclination of the Earth’s axis. This inclination alters slowly and continuously. In about12,000 years, its position will have shifted to make Vega the Pole Star. Vega is in the constellation Lyra and is the second brightest star in the sky of the northern hemisphere. The subheading in the exhibition title, screensaver, refers to a computer’s energy-saving and screen-saving mode, which is automatically activated when the user is passive.

Josefina Nelimarkka lives and works in both Helsinki and London. She is just finishing her MA Painting at the Royal College of Art in London and her MFA at the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki. Her works have been shown at the Centre for Recent Drawing, Flow Festival, Ncontemporary, Galleria FAFA, and elsewhere, Her next solo exhibition will be at Oksasenkatu 11 later this year.

Markus Åström

Thanks to: Stereoscape, Delicode, Pro Av Saarikko and Academy of Fine Arts.

Past program