In Various Stages of Ruins

1.11.2019

THE EXHIBITION/SCREENING – event at ASI (Agency of Singular  Investigations) space at FABRIKA 4.9.2019 and ZARYA Center for Contemporary Art, VLADIVOSTOK 21.09.2019

As a part of a project ’IN VARIOUS STAGES OF RUINS’

[INFO OF THE PROJECT: This screening, and the event of exhibiting, is a part of a project that deals with the concept of knowledge – its formation and distribution tactics – and the notion of a ‘ruin’. The method that the project has focused on is exploration – conducted as a set of visits, tours and trips – but linked integrally to the element of thinking about what ‘artistic practice’ entails; What kind of form of knowledge production it is? And how does the element of installing and presenting the activity as the artefacts connect into the field of factual knowledge formation? With these questions in mind we have embarked on to form some ‘outputs’ or ‘outlets’ – which this event is one part – that we have chosen to formulate some commentary to these issues.]

CURATORIAL NOTES by MIINA HUJALA

In a life-cycle of materials, as chemical, structural compositions, they are in fact never ‘ruins’ as they constantly shift, reform – become something else. This reaction, readjustment, regeneration in the composition –  like that of the compost making constant dissolutions, transitions, metamorphoses – is a situation that to remain as a ruin, something must be up-kept as a ruin – the decay has to be so slow – or so instant as in destructive event (a blast) – that to be visible as a ruin ‘now’ (contemporarily). Evident in the notion of a ruin – is past present as visible.

Dreams and dreaming can enlarge and cultivate the present consciousness by stripping this same consciousness of its tangible present –  in ‘dreaming’ the inability to attach onto something points to a meaning that evaporates consciousness.

Consumed by constant daydreaming (with its consumerist materiality) with its corrosive neglect – things demand our attention and desire but only to be discarded – thus it is to be asked who looks at the waste, notices the ruins of “our times”?

Noticing a ruin as a ruin of interference – a standstill – (to borrow a temporal term from Benjamin) – is to look at something that has stopped reproducing, that has remained, been left without a time of continuity, that is “out-of-time”.

For Jung the archetypal symbol was a sort of “left-over”, a piece of the past that lingered, brought in conscious presence within a dream’s blooming symbolism but without a fixed interpretation.

There is no entity to be built with fragments, there are just fragments. To be depicted and to be interpreted. We escape to the “virginal past”, because seeing the decaying presence makes us feel dirty and sick. But we are (everything that is alive is) dirty and sick by necessity. We decay, ‘remain’ but in traces, always when we clean, we clean “purposefulness” to be visible. Remove the unwanted or unneeded in the reference to something pursued.

Museums are filled with the remains of other (older) times mostly excavated from garbage dumps and graves. Our incessant focus on value as something “brand new” hides the traces of it always being of some form of material past.

History has no purpose, so placing things we “discover” on a setting is always a creative act, it’s an act of storytelling, of placing things on a relationship with the notions of trust. Believe is a component of trust, trust is a component of truth, knowledge is a formation of trustable perceived truthful.

Works:

Maija Timonen: ‘Total Atmospheric Mean’, 19min 15sec, 2010

Total Atmospheric Mean recounts a dream. A video essay on the topic of mediation, it stages a cinematic experience of and about improvised means.

Sauli Sirviö: ‘We need oil to breath’ (2018) painted steel, inkjet print on fiberglass wallpaper 

The photograph depicting a terrain (with traces) is accompanied with a shaft that is meant to be used in public community shelter space in case of need for oxygen using diesel motor ventilation system.

Anni Puolakka: Timanttimaha’ (Diamond Belly, 2018), 11:15, HD 16:9, single channel

Staged as a conversation with an artificial intelligence chatbot, Timanttimaha (Diamond Belly) explores love and companionship between a human artist, the bot and mosquitos. The human offers her body as a nourishing ‘baguette’ to the diamond-bellied mosquitoes, envisioning their bio-chemistry in complementary with her own haematic cycle. 

Elina Vainio: ‘Crossword’ 

Vainio utilizes signage (as words, letters) in her practice – in this occasion the Cyrillic alphabet – and by removal of threads from a fabric makes manifest connections between materials and formations of meanings.

Eero Yli-Vakkuri: ‘Mineral Water Exploration (with electronics and taste buds)’

Yli-Vakkuri’s presentation will illustrate how mineral waters are formed as rain passes through the soil. The characteristics of different waters will be explored using electronic gadgets, by short narratives, and by preparing a batch of mineral water for consumption.

Jussi Kivi: River Styx Main Stream Under The City, River Styx Northern Ranch, Subterranean Fountain, photographs

Kivi has done for several years various exploration trips venturing into the remains of different hidden sites and routes underneath the structures of a city or to terrains that are present but not seen – or allowed to travel. This series of images taken from inside of sewage systems.

Iona Roisin: Image on the poster and Instagram stories

From Iona Roisin we deliberately asked for an image to be used as a poster for this screening/exhibition event. She has participated as a part of the research trip group – on our previous Trans-Siberian train trip in 2018 alongside our trips to Karelia-area and Vyborg and she has stayed at the facilities of the Finnish Institute in St. Petersburg. She uses the instrument of a camera and documents – also through images posted online – on these journeys. She has edited together all of her Instagram stories from three trips, totalling two hours, these are running in the space on a phone. We felt that with this activity she captivates something very essential in the project, with the act of observing and the method entwined.

Sauli Sirviö: ‘We need oil to breath’ (2018) painted steel, inkjet print on fiberglass wallpaper The photograph depicting a terrain (with traces) is accompanied with a shaft that is meant to be used in public community shelter space in case of need for oxygen using diesel motor ventilation system.