Pori biennale II


Suomi kuvaa collective at Pori biennale II 9.-17.7.2016.

The second Pori Biennale by Porin kulttuurisäätö is organized in Generaattori Gallery near Puuvilla shopping mall 9.-17.07.2016. Saatanan kesänäyttely is about the Finnish summer and its expectations, “the summer exhibition” traditions and combines countryside romanticism to urban landscape.

Pori biennale II is curated and produced by Porin kulttuurisäätö: Anna Jensen, Anni Venäläinen ja Eliisa Suvanto.


Porin kulttuurisäätö collective was originally formed in 2013 for the need to protest against “bloody summer exhibitions” that seemed to take over while the Pori Jazz Festival was celebrated. In the last three years our projects have been praised for not being “just another bloody summer exhibition”. After the last years Pori World Expo – which in many ways was the antithesis of the material world of a summer exhibition – a conversation about summer exhibitions and their goals was opened within the group.

So what are the expectations that are affiliated with both Finnish summer and the traditions of summer exhibitions?
The so called “summer exhibitions” are a special summertime feature and various interpretations and facts can be categorized under the title. At the same time it feels like there´s little bit embarrassment involved when talking about them. The word almost seems to become a synonym to something alluring larger audience or not taking art too seriously while “upkeeping the coolness and relaxed atmosphere” and being more entertaining than challenging.
The most relevant question seems to be: can something called a summer exhibition have any sense of credibility?

While there has appeared new and interesting entrepreneurs, it seems that at least some of the credibility has been lost during the last few years. Ongoing debate among artists, curators and critics has revealed multiple problems within the structures and economics behind these annual exhibitions. It is often a lovely summery atmosphere rather than a sufficient pay or production fee is what the artists can expect to get from participating. These facts in mind, it seemed to be a perfect timing to organize another bloody summer exhibition where the existing conceptions and practices would be challenged.

A generalized idea of the Finns might be that we enjoy silence, require a lot of personal space and are not too keen to work inside communities no matter how trending the subject is. Oddly enough the short and luminous summer is seen as an exception when opening our hearts and summer cottages for random visitors is allowed. Also art can be seen an anomaly which opens up new possibilities. Porin kulttuurisäätö has been working as a group from the start and annually creates a new community along with the participating artists. Each year our priority has been in building a platform where working can be pleasant, interactive and at times, also fun. The summer exhibitions tend to commercialize the myth of genius, both artist and curator wise. Choosing a laid back good guy for curator is a jackpot for getting media attention. His nonchalant attitude will guarantee great headlines and perhaps he has a better chance winning over the audience who thinks art is dull and difficult. Sometimes the curator seems to have more value than the actual content. Any exhibition Porin kulttuurisäätö has produced,
has been multilayered artwork which aims to explore the each chosen theme. For the Bloody Summer Exhibition the curatorial choices have been done by selecting artists rather than existing artworks.
We see that the exhibitions are more than its individual pieces: the audience, location, every artist involved and the catalogues with writers and texts each create one part.

For this year´s exhibition a group of artists and collectives were chosen. Both “old friends” and “new acquaintances” who didn´t consider the phrase “group effort” as a swearword. Most importantly, we wanted to find artists who can work together, find new perspectives to an old subject and create a form to support these thoughts. We have spent 12 month to generate an exhibition that lasts one week. During that time has happened a lot.
There has also been times when nothing has happened. The exhibition plan has taken different forms,the location has changed and so have the artworks. The Bloody Summer Exhibition didn´t come into being without any problems and it would be a false statement to romanticize the issues that inevitably take over when working as a group. There were more than one time when the word “bloody” was used in another context besides the exhibition title.

Yet the shared vision and the need to both challenge the conventions and create new ambitious works under the “summer time exhibition” title kept us together. We hope visitors can sense this when exploring the old generator and all the artworks specially made for the space. Instead the firstly intended watercolors, mosquito bites and unpaid interns we present sculptures that comment well-being in our society, an imaginary band, a garden of death, a tropic and a piece that can advance cancer.
We also included a work that simultaneously appears on a “real summer exhibition”. We created a summer exhibition that respects both its audience and creators and because of that, we are bloody proud of it.
Anna Jensen, Anni Venäläinen & Eliisa Suvanto

Artists: Anna Breu, Anna-Sofia Sysser, Erno-Erik Raitanen, Henrik Heinonen, Suvi Härkönen, Suomi Kuvaa collective.

Suomi kuvaa collective: 0-the Fool (2016)
Zero denotes “nothing” and is a warning about living life with the motto “nothing doing”

I’ve heard people say “Let’s not rush, let’s do it just right”. What is this ‘right’? Right for what?
The dictionary definition is along the lines of doing something well, correctly or in a fitting manner.
Up until I was 25, I felt just right, even though some claimed that I was living like a hog in a field. After that, I scrambled around for about a decade, up and down escalators headed the other way – I was looking for just the right thing and enjoying a life without rush. I bought backpacks with bottle compartments and pop-up shoes. I took out a loan and looked people in the eyes. I met acquaintances with whom I’m not acquainted. Empty bubbles rising from the bottom, all the same, drowning in their own importance. People who only inhale when they take a shit.

Let’s not live like hogs in a field, let’s live like hogs and fields. People need to graze – live without ambitions of victory.
Non-ambitious acts… Those are mostly considered a form of loitering. I loiter if I am without ambions and aspirations?
Does the act of doing turn into loitering if it has no ambition? Is the state of just being considered loitering, or does it have any “substance” of its own? What if loitering were to be carried out with ambition – would it be considered ambitious loitering?
A loitering person sits and greets the world like a familiar passer-by. Yet, the world is not going anywhere.

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0-the Fool (2016), Full Hd video, 11:00 minutes.
Installation view, Generaattori Gallery (2016)

Bad Gateways


Johannes Rantapuska & Sauli Sirviö: Bad Gateways at HAM Gallery 11.6.-24.7.2016, Helsinki, Finland

“Everyone should feel somewhat lost on a regular basis-it´s somehow healthy.”

The exhibition focuses on the areas that remain at the perimeter of our corneas, where we do not normally focus: wastelands, track yards, abandoned buildings, construction sites, industrial areas, tunnels, terminals, shacks, backwoods, rest places, dead ends and other non-areas.

When you step into these areas, time and place begin to slide in a liminal state, generating experiences and encounters. This adventure will take form at HAM Gallery as an exhibition where individual works will interpret the moods experienced along the way.

A catalogue will be available in the gallery as an exhibition guide. The catalogue consists of a dialogue between the artists about drifting from the Finnish summertime to Greek ruins, from the Finnish railways to Athens’ underground tunnels.

The exhibition has received support from the Arts Promotion Centre Finland.

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Bad Gateways, The Catalog Risographic-print, 140 x 195 mm, 72 pages, 1060 copies, guest writer: Jussi Kivi

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Kilju-Poltergeist (left: Redi, right: Tripla), digital print on vinyl, both 2000 x 7000 mm

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Folk Heroes & Stories, 10 different lenticular print cards displayed in acrylic card holders, 64 x 89 mm


Useless Exercise, interactive video installation with exercise bike and projector

Basic Photography


Basic Photography at SIC 7.5.-5.6.2016

Basic Photography brings together nine artists and nine different approaches to photography. The artists have diverse relationship with photography: it can be object of research and analyzing or tool for remembering and building an artwork and, naturally, an art piece in itself.

How is photographic thinking generating new forms in visual arts, and how it is affecting on the photography itself? Has the growing visual flood brought photography into inflation or can it be seen as a positive influence for photography and it’s development? The technique, production and meaning of photography have changed during the decades. At the same time the field of photography is under identity change: nowadays many photographers call themselves visual artists, so that the line between photographer and visual artist is fading.

These questions have been in the starting point of Basic Photography exhibition. The exhibition is composed by Sauli Sirviö, Hertta Kiiski and Marko Vuokola. Based on discussions with Andrey Bogush, Asger Carlsen, Ida Lehtonen, Jarkko Räsänen, Maija Savolainen and Kaarlo Stauffer and on the meetings between the working group was formed an exhibition where everyone has their personal approach to photography. The exhibition is also questioning if photography is profoundly 2-dimensional medium or can it help us to approach other dimensions too.

“I really want to bring some structure in the gallery”, Sauli Sirviö told when he was planning his wall painting. Sirviö’s painting is a reference to a piece of land, asphalt, concrete or rock that is corrupted by water, possibly mixed with iron. “The most common wall you can find in tunnels and abandoned places”, describes Sirviö, whose  working is influenced by his explorations and wanderings. “First person who described me this phenomenal was Jussi Kivi and since that I have been collecting various photos of that weird material”. The quote is based on conversations had during the exhibition making process.

SIC-2016-BASIC-PHOTOGRAPHY-003Ida Lehtonen Spider silk (2016), Sauli Sirviö Badgateway 001 (2015-2016)Asger Carlsen HESTER (2012), Marko Vuokola SPACELINER III (2015), Hertta Kiiski Green (2016), Kaarlo Stauffer It takes two to tango (2016)

SIC-2016-BASIC-PHOTOGRAPHY-006Ida Lehtonen Spider silk (2016), Jarkko Räsänen & Samuli Häkkinen +- / hevonen kahdella veneellä /pukukuva hovista (2016), Andrey Bogush *Proposal for duplicated head, purple and grey default cube (ver.2), stretched*, *Proposal for duplicated head, purple and grey default cube*, *stretched* (2016),  Sauli Sirviö Badgateway 001 (2015-2016), Asger Carlsen HESTER (2012)

SIC-2016-BASIC-PHOTOGRAPHY-004Sauli Sirviö Badgateway 001, A reminiscence from abandoned airport of Ellinikon, Athens. Acrylic spray paint (2015-2016), Asger Carlsen HESTER (2012)

SIC-2016-BASIC-PHOTOGRAPHY-005Sauli Sirviö Badgateway 001, A reminiscence from abandoned airport of Ellinikon, Athens. Acrylic spray paint (2015-2016)

SIC-2016-BASIC-PHOTOGRAPHY-010Sauli Sirviö Badgateway 001, A reminiscence from abandoned airport of Ellinikon, Athens. Acrylic spray paint (2015-2016)

SIC-2016-BASIC-PHOTOGRAPHY-008Sauli Sirviö Badgateway 001, A reminiscence from abandoned airport of Ellinikon, Athens. Acrylic spray paint (2015-2016)

SIC-2016-BASIC-PHOTOGRAPHY-007Sauli Sirviö Badgateway 001, A reminiscence from abandoned airport of Ellinikon, Athens. Acrylic spray paint (2015-2016)