The Great Escape-Tense Territories


The Great Escape

“The Great Escape”, “Tense Territories-Contemporary Aspects on Territorial Behaviors”
is a set of four personal exhibitions at The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, Finland.

The Tense Territories exhibition, which investigates the concepts of personal space, control, ownership and identity, offers multiple views of new forms in contemporary photography. The exhibition is made up of four solo exhibitions.

Participating artists are Mohamed Bourouissa (Courtesy Gallery Les filles du calvaire, Paris/Brussels), Sini Pelkki, Carrie Schneider and Sauli Sirviö.

Tense Territories – Contemporary Aspects on Territorial Behaviors is curated by Aura Seikkula.

“The Great Escape 2000-2008”
Multi-image series The Great Escape constitutes a colourful collage of personal and intimate stories. Sirviö says:”The series Great Escape comes from the time, at the end of the 1990s, when I began taking pocket-camera photographs of the situations happening around me. I lived in a small Turku suburb and things began to get oppressive, and too many of my friends had decided to switch to a normal life, i.e. to start a family, etc. Those who didn’t want to do that started getting involved in all sorts of other unpleasantnesses, for example, drugs. I was in a situation in which the only option was escape. I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. I began hanging around with graffiti painters, and through that I spent an increasing amount of time in the most amazing places, and I found myself all over the place at different times”.

Tense Territories


Tense Territories, 24.7-30.8.2008, Museum Santralistanbul, Istanbul, Turkey.

Comprising the photographs and video installations by Saskia Holmkvist, Sini Pelkki, Jussi Puikkonen, Carrie Schneider and Sauli Sirviö, the exhibition “Tense Territories” elaborated on the themes “territory” and “dominance”. Curator Aura Seikkula defined the aim of the exhibition as “Over the long period of evolutionary time, humankind has developed a most complicated array of territorial behaviours that range from personal social relationships, to possession of land and physical property.
“Tense Territories” asks whether there is something imperative about territory”.
“Tense Territories” discusses how human behaviour and everyday life is questioned and interpreted by searching and finding the answer of oneself and another. Individuals maintain a multiplicity of territorial belongings that tend to push the traditional forms of identity into the background. This multiplicity leads to a problem of being conceptually undifferentiated and undefined. Identity in the sense of shared processes cannot simply be constructed or instituted as an ideology or hierarchy.
It must emerge as a new tradition of argumentation, consisting in a whole diversity of interdependent territories in which and between which, the narratives are shared and traditions maintained and remade within everyone’s critical understanding, in which and between which, identities are built and selfhoods recognized and in which and between which self and the other responsively and respectively meet. Shared processes have a potentiality of being a great repository of culturally developed resources for the identities to shape and reshape. In between these shared arenas, the operating society takes its form.