Marjatta Holma, Hertta Kiiski, Ida Lehtonen, Anneli Nygren, Eeva-Maija Pulkkinen, Viivi Saikkonen, Sauli Sirviö, Anna Torkkel, Antti Turkko
Nuottaranta, located by the sea on Satava island in Turku, is a unique courtyard built on the basis of a Japanese garden and a villa that has never been open to the public. This spring during the time of the cherry blossoms a site-specific contemporary art exhibition AVANTGARDEN will take place there.
The garden and the villa are the lifework of Jaakko Lindberg whose work as an art collector has provoked even conflicting reactions in the Finnish art world. The new owners of Nuottaranta are now renovating the long-neglected house and the garden surrounding it. During three weekends in late spring 2021 nine artists will spread their work over the site.
AVANTGARDEN consists of site-specific installations, paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos, text-based works and a work-in-progress performance. The artworks interact with the place, its history and each other. Throughout the year open discussion and spending time at Nuottaranta have played an important role in the artists’ work process. Artists have also utilized materials found in the villa and garden.
Over the years nature has taken over the garden but the vegetation and structures are still preserved. Nuottaranta is rich in rhododendrons, several magnolias and other rare plants originating from the traditional Japanese gardens. There are nine tea rooms, terraces, water themes and sculptural stone arrangements in the garden. Japanese influences can also be seen in the interior of the more than 200-square-meter villa designed by Aarne Ehojoki in the 1960s and expanded by Olavi Laisaari in the 1980s. The exhibition spreads both indoors and outdoors.
The exhibition has been supported by the City of Turku.
Solo exhibition atSIC and release of a photography book “The Glitch Collector” (2020) 31.10.-29.11.2020.
The existence of art is often justified by saying that it helps us see the world in a new way. Our present moment (2020) is characterised by algorithms that condition us to experience only what we already recognise, understand and accept. In the midst of infinite access to information, our conceptions of the surrounding world are surprisingly difficult to change.
When I look at Sauli Sirviö’s artworks, I find myself thinking about the position of art in relation to these competing influences. Does art still have the ability to change our views on the world (if it ever did)?
Sirviö’s pieces seem to emanate from a time that could be defined as the past, but that is still present. A kind of transition, where the recent past and the future blend together in the now in a very particular way. This semblance of anachrony is especially available to experience in places that are left waiting for the time they are to make way for the new. They take possession of the present like a ghost. Partly forgotten, but refusing to leave before they have to.
The exhibition seems to illustrate a complex societal phenomenon without naming it or commenting on it directly. At the same time Sirviö appears to observe the nature of photography – what it is and what it can be. By deconstructing a photograph to its component parts (light, its effects on matter and time), he combines the mimetic character of the image with the materiality of its subjects. Like anachronistic places, the pieces refer to the past but there is also something of the future detectable in them. They are precipitating something.
Photography is well suited to the observation of time. A photograph can stop time. It can mix, shape and organise it. Yet the meaning of images has changed decisively in the course of the past decade. We produce an unprecedented amount of images, so looking at them is perhaps more difficult than before. Sirviö would seem to bring this change in looking to the fore, searching for an answer: How to show the world differently?
Text: Sakari Tervo , Translation: Maija Timonen
The exhibition is being supported by Olga and Vilho Linnamo Foundation and Arts Promotion Centre Finland.
“The Glitch Collector” (2020) is being supported by: Alfred Kordelin Foundation, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Finnish Cultural Foundation and Finnish Cultural Institute in New York.
In the former Museum of Literature and Music, Riga, Latvia September 4 – October 4, 2020
The eleventh edition of the festival is titled Being Safe is Scary and will be curated by Katia Krupennikova.
Being Safe is Scary takes its title from a site-specific piece created in 2017 by artist Banu Cennetoğlu for documenta 14. The phrase comes from graffiti on a wall of the National Technical University of Athens, noticed by Cennetoğlu around the time of the signing of the EU-Turkey refugee deal in March 2016. Violating international law on refugee protection, the contract forced every irregular entrant to Greece to be handed over to Turkey, causing reception facilities and temporary camps on the Greek islands to be turned into detention centres. By adopting this heavily charged title, this edition of Survival Kit connects itself to wider, ongoing discussions around security and political violence.
The notions of safety and security are central to today’s political imagination. They are used to provide rationales for wars, nationalist agendas, racism and inequality, and to legitimise and normalise extensive surveillance and self-surveillance, aggression, hatred, insularity and other reactionary attitudes and policies. The politics of fear feeds upon precarity. Whole systems of domination are built upon the fierce illusion of protection, encouraging brutal competition and enforcing both financial and moral indebtedness.
It is usually the most marginalised members of society that are classified as threats: those stigmatised due to sexual identity, race, class, religion or gender. The figure of the migrant, as deployed in populist discourse, is one of the key phobic objects of our time. In addition, those who organise and participate in resistance against the status quo are often viewed by the state as security threats. If these people are threats, who are the endangered subjects that need protecting? And what are the real threats and dangers that are covered over and pacified by this construction of social dangers?
This exhibition aims to explore why it’s urgent and necessary to transform the suppositions that undergird such discourse and calls for safety to be reconnected to practices of love, intimacy, sharing, commonality, mutual support, attention, care for each other and for the environment, and social alliances.
Survival Kit is organised by Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA), the largest institution of contemporary art in Latvia that curates and produces contemporary art events of national and international scale. As of 1993, it has researched and curated contemporary art processes both in Latvia and abroad to provoke critical reflection on issues topical for contemporary society. We are widely recognized for our annual international contemporary art festival Survival Kit, regular exhibitions at the Latvian National Art Museum, as well as Latvian participation at the Venice Biennale, São Paulo Art Biennial, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Rauma Biennale of Contemporary Art. LCCA holds the only archive of Latvian contemporary art.
Artists: Alevtina Kakhidze, Omar Mismar, PEROU, Pilvi Takala, Polina Kanis, Robert Gabris, Sabian Bauman, Karin Mischalski, Saskia Holmkvist (with Ellen Nyman & Corina Oprea), Sauli Sirviö, Sigrid Viir, Silje Figenschou Thorensen, Yazan Khalili, Muhammad Ali, Martta Tuomaala, Līga Spunde, Alexis Destoop, Anna Dasović, Apparatus 22, Emma Wolf-Haugh, Envija, Evita Goze, Evita Vasiļjeva, Imogen Stidworthy, Johan Grimonprez, Katarina Pirak Sikku, Katrīna Neiburga, Klara Källström & Thobias Fäldt, James Bridle
“We need oil to breathe“ (2018) painted steel, inkjet print on glass-fibre wallpaper, shaft (found in Turku 2018)
“Two months of black plastic bags mixture II” (2018) newsprint, polycarbonate, synthetic rubber (found in Paris 2018), steel
“Blueprints_silver_room“ (2020), Metal holder for emergency shafts (found in Turku 2018) laser print on overhead projector films, spray paint