Sinne opens the year 2020 with Video Weeks, realised in collaboration with AV-arkki, the Centre for Finnish Media Art. Four media art works were selected through an Open Call for the members of AV-arkki. Each piece will be shown over the course of one week.
21.–26.1. Annette Arlander: Day with a Juniper
28.1.–2.2. Sara Pathirane: The Ground Beneath Her Feet
4.2.–9.2. Eeva-Riitta Eerola & Jenni Toikka: Lighthouse
11.2.–16.2. Miia Rinne: Mixed Feelings
Day with a Juniper
In her new work Day with a Juniper the performance artist Annette Arlander takes a step deeper into her studies of the changing landscape. The work is part of a larger project now in progress, which goes by the name Meetings with remarkable and unremarkable trees. The title derives from Thomas Pakenham’s 1996 book about trees. Trees and plants have inspired us in all ages and their diverse properties have been used in art, music, architecture and handicraft. Arlander shifts the gaze away from the forest to focus on individual trees in order to ask questions about what is significant and what is not. On August 3, 2019, she spent a day with an old juniper tree on Utö Island. Every hour from 7am until 9pm, Arlander sat for a while with the juniper. As the day passed quietly, she made notes on her observations and the thoughts that came to the surface. Arlander reading out these notes forms the soundtrack to the work. She has an eye for detail, and creates a whole that reveals itself in a simple, direct encounter with the place and the landscape outside the picture.
Annette Arlander (b. 1956) is an artist, researcher and teacher, as well as a pioneer of Finnish performance art and a trailblazer of artistic research. She graduated from the Directing course at the Theatre Academy in 1981, becoming a Doctor of Arts (Theatre and Drama) in 1999. She was Professor of Performance Art and Theory at the Theatre Academy, Helsinki, in 2001–2013, Professor of Artistic Research at the University of the Arts Helsinki in 2015–16, and Professor in Performance, Art and Theory at Stockholm University of the Arts in 2018–2019. She received the AVEK, Media Art Prize in 2014 and the Finnish State Prize for Multidisciplinary Art in 2018.
The Ground Beneath Her Feet
Sara Pathirane’s The Ground Beneath Her Feet is the first in a new suite of video works in which she studies the human body in the moving image. The work is a paean to the movements of humankind and nature, to the fragility and power of nature’s elements, and to all the women who inhabit this earth. The Ground Beneath Her Feet is a silent video triptych with three characters. The choreographers Iina Taijonlahti, Suvi Tuominen and Laura Pietiläinen move in dialogue with the landscape: an ice-cold stream and a frozen swamp in eastern Lapland; cliffs faces at Petra in Jordan; 300-year-old lava fields on Lanzarote; two-billion-year-old wave patterns in the bedrock at Koli, Finland; and Kung Fu exercises at the foot of Songshan, a mountain in Henan Province, China. Pathirane uses Chroma key compositing to unite body movements and shapes with the landscape. Her work has deep roots in painting; she always first elaborates her ideas in watercolours, and in The Ground Beneath Her Feet she succeeds in retaining watercolour painting’s fluid, spontaneous, intractable character.
Sara Pathirane (b. 1985) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki in 2014. Her working process spans a wide range of techniques, including video art, painting and performance. She is interested in art as part of the built, lived environment as seen from the artist’s and curator’s viewpoint. Her works have recently been shown, for instance, at Pori Art Museum, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, and MUU Galleria in Helsinki. In 2016, Pathirane collaborated with the Sri Lankan Collective of Contemporary Artists (CoCA) to curate European artists for the Colombo Art Biennale. She is currently working with the slack rope walker Vilhelmiina Sinervo.
EEVA-RIITTA EEROLA & JENNI TOIKKA
Painter Eeva-Riitta Eerola and media artist Jenni Toikka began working together in 2017. Lighthouse is their third collaborative project. The film was shot on 16mm film and is part of a larger, site-specific installation made and shown at Maison Louis Carré in Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, central France. The installation also includes photographs, drawings, murals and a paper cut-out. The focus of the work is the house designed by Alvar Aalto near the village of Bazoches. It was completed in 1959, commissioned by the art collector Louis Carré and his wife Olga. The building was erected on an elevated spot with a view over rural expanses, making their home a prominent landmark. Aalto chose to work with local materials and shapes so as to harmonize the building with the site and the landscape. The woods around it have now grown high and the house has become a time capsule, a reminder of its own era. In this peaceful, introverted setting Eerola and Toikka use carefully composed, tightly cropped images and camera angles to construct a work in Bergmanesque spirit, a kind of chamber play with two characters. The house serves as a third person. There are loops and disjunctures in the narrative, the gaze and the characters are shifted around, and the modernist edifice becomes something of a labyrinth. The spoken lines are partly from Virginia Woolf´s 1927 book To the Lighthouse.
Eeva-Riitta Eerola & Jenni Toikka
Eeva-Riitta Eerola (b. 1980) is best known for her abstract paintings. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki in 2010 and also studied at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris. Her latest solo show, The Shape of Things to Come, opened at Helsinki Contemporary in August 2019. Her works have been exhibited internationally in both solo and group shows, including Galleri Bo Bjerggaard in Copenhagen and Gallery Jaus in Los Angeles. Eerola’s works are in numerous collections, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, the Saastamoinen Foundation, Sara Hildén Art Museum and the Wihuri Foundation.
Jenni Toikka (b. 1983) is a Helsinki-based visual artist working predominantly with moving images. Toikka graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki in 2012. She has had several solo exhibitions in Helsinki including at Sinne, Forum Box and Kluuvi Gallery. In autumn 2019, her work was shown in the solo exhibition Reel at HAM – Helsinki Art Museum. Jenni Toikka’s video pieces have been seen internationally in group exhibitions and at festivals. Her work is represented in the collections of the Saastamoinen Foundation and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma.
The site-specific project at Maison Louis Carré is a continuation of Eeva-Riitta Eerola’s and Jenni Toikka’s collaboration that began with the Double Take exhibition at Turku Art Museum’s Studio in 2017. For Eerola and Toikka, the collaboration has opened up new possibilities for experimentation and play, apart from their individual practices. Instead of a single author, all the parts are interrelated as a result of dialogue – a collaboration in which each artist’s words or actions resonate in a new, reciprocal action.
….Mixed Tapes, Mixed Media. For a long time now, Miia Rinne has worked on analogue and digital interweavings of film material. Her most recent piece, Mixed Feelings, is a collage of digital film, screen dumps and hand-painted 35mm celluloid film, and is the last in a series of five works in which Rinne works with the theme of change. Since the start of the project in 2008, she has worked on a 100m roll of 35mm celluloid film, which she has painted. The film roll has been in constant flux over these years; she repaints it for each new film, with remnants from previous films still underneath when the new one is painted over it. Rinne’s compositions are rough experimental films in which the different layers take us rhythmically from slow images to flickering dust and hectic brushwork. She creates films that concretely span different times, forming a coherent whole in which memory flows together with the present, fusing different generations and narratives with what is happening right now.
The soundtrack consists of P.P. Puska’s music and 4-track recordings on used compact cassettes. The new sounds are recorded between the old tracks on the cassette and digitally finished. The use of C-cassettes refers to a time before algorithms, when friends made mix tapes for each other.
Miia Rinne (b. 1973) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki in 2003 and the University of Art and Design, Helsinki in 1999. Her works have recently been shown at the Kino Regina cinema as part of the AV-arkki’s 30th anniversary screening, ValotON light festival in Seinäjoki and Videoforma 7 festival in St. Petersburg. Rinne has been teaching moving image in Aalto University since 2015. Her work contains a lot of movement and transient views, which contrast with microscopic dust particles that were drifting around the studio and were caught on film. Mixed Feelings is made up of layers that have sedimented out over time and reflects a variety of feelings and personal experiences.