Solo exhibition at SIC and release of 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.