The Artists: Sami Ala, Taija Goldblatt, Alisa Javits, Anni-Sofia Knuuttila, Juhani Koivumäki, Sara Pathirane / GBF_Kollektiivi, Anni Saijonkivi, Annu Timonen & Kerttu Malinen and Tina Willgren
The summer of video art presents a diverse selection of film and digital video art, experimental film and animation based on digital technology, graphic arts and 3D. The duration of the pieces varies from 30 seconds to 30 minutes. The videos alternate between bright and dusky worlds, inspiring the viewer’s attention to wonder between the mind’s internal and external dimensions. Each in their own way, the artists behind the videos explore change and continuity as well as the circular motion of disintegration and regeneration as the foundation of existence.
The exhibition is curated by Sara Ilveskorpi, Mari Kämäräinen and Julius Töyrylä.
Introduction to the videos and the artists
HD, 09:39 min, 2019
The Wave focuses on the undefined forces outside human comprehension. It explores the emotional state of letting go; a place where we stop trying to control the world around us and start making room for intuition. We cannot see the future or affect what is beyond the horizon. Nevertheless, we end up marching towards the unknown, frightened by the journey, repeating the same thought patterns and actions over and over again. By trusting our intuition, a wave of the subconscious, we can get closer to freedom and learn to better understand ourselves and others.
Francis M. Gri, KrysaliSound – B/ue
The Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike)
Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec
Finnish Artists’ Studio Foundation
The ouroboros is a paradox: a serpent that lives by eating its own tail. A creature that exists by destroying itself. It is interpreted as a symbol of the eternal cycle of life. In the video, the components of life become interwoven and are eaten, born, lost, replaced and returned. The video forms an eternal loop; like the serpent eating its own tail, the piece also grasps its endpoint, only to start again. Ouroboros lives, throbs and flows like water. Digital life is forever reborn.
Anni Saijonkivi is a Turku-based multimedia artist who graduated as a visual artist from the Turku Arts Academy in 2015 and has since worked primarily with video and audio. In her pieces, she explores the touchpoints of the organic and the artificial, creating visualisation for abstract concepts.
The project has been supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland. The audio for the piece was produced by musician Jani Puistovaara.
Animation with carborundum
29 s., 2014
Momentum is an animated piece created by Anni-Sofia Knuuttila in 2014 as her graduation project. In the piece, stationary graphic prints encounter movement in the form of animal-themed animation. The word Momentum comes from physics where it is defined as the product of mass and velocity. In all of its five parts, the achieved momentum of the piece comes to a halt in some way, referring back to the stagnant state of the graphics. The piece is now exhibited for the first time since the graduation exhibition.
At the moment, Knuuttila mostly works with painting. She likes to work on several projects at the same time as variety keeps her in motion. Knuuttila’s pieces are inspired by the artist’s impulsive and experimental approach.
Annu Timonen ja Kerttu Malinen
50 years from now we are gonna run the planet
on sun and wind. If we take 50 years to get there
then the planet we run on sun and wind
is going to be a broken planet. –Bill McKibben
Kerttu Malinen (b.1985) and Annu Timonen (b.1984) have worked as an artist duo since 2016. They both live and work in Helsinki. Sharing a background in photography Malinen and Timonen have found a mutual interest in moving image, sound, light and installation. Malinen graduated from the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture and Timonen from the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki, in 2018.
The piece is based on 14 people meditating with their eyes open in a studio for 20 minutes, after which the director selected an excerpt of each meditation. Läsnäolo (‘Presence’) presents meditation as an experience that brings people together, reaching all the way to the viewer. The piece explores the extent to which reality exists without presence and what presence can mean.
Juhani Koivumäki has worked as a media artist for about 21 years. In 2008, he graduated from the Helsinki Academy of Fine Arts with a Master’s degree in Fine Arts, specialising in moving image. His pieces have been presented in solo and group exhibitions in Finland and around the world. Koivumäki’s subject matters often include ethical and existential issues, manifested in a tangible format. Recently, he has also focused on spiritual viewpoints; Koivumäki completed his Master’s degree in Theology in 2021.
Waiting for Godot’s call
The video is loosely based on Samuel Beckett’s famous play Waiting for Godot. A man is sitting in the dark, waiting for a phone call from a person called Godot. His only connection to the outside world is the mobile phone which he fiddles with while waiting. The video taps into the aesthetics of silent film. The camera remains still, the framing is unchanged, the acting is exaggerated and the events are commented on and imitated by the music. The messages appearing on the phone refer to previous events, similarly to the intertitles in silent films.
Sami Ala graduated as a visual artist in 2002. For the past 10 years, he has focused on moving image. Ala’s pieces are placed somewhere between experimental film and video art while his work is often inspired by literature. Ala’s art has been exhibited in Finland, Europe, Asia and the US.
GBF-kollektiivi (Sara Pathirane, Laura Pietiläinen – Laura the Light of All, Iina Taijonlahti and Suvi Tuominen) describe moments made enthralling by dance; sometimes out on the fields and meadows, other times interwoven with architecture. Parasols features sound artist Sirja Puurtinen and fashion designer Minna Paussu. The location was scouted by Aava Vilinka Kätkö.
Video, animaatio ja webcam-videot
16:9, Full HD
Hidden is a video piece on unplaces and margins, the act of seeing and being seen. The piece features webcam footage collected from the internet: roadsides, parking lots, remote beaches and surveillance camera footage constantly relayed by cameras around the world. The piece combines layers of drawings, animation and video.
Taija Goldblatt is a Tampere-based artist working with video and animation. In her pieces, she aims to see the reverse side of things, cracks and grey areas beyond our field of vision. While Goldblatt’s pieces are digital, hand-drawn images are a strong presence in her work.
Inspired by the lagging dance floors of Second Life, I made the digital world of After Hours in a game engine, and captured the events of it with virtual cameras. It´s a distorted discotheque, populated by fragmented avatars, unfinished 3D shapes, scattered body parts and pieces of clothing, set in motion. During After Hours we might see glitches from the virtual worlds on the verge of disappearing, new ones coming into being, and the dance of all the imperfections of the time span in between.
“I work primarily with moving images from digital worlds built in a game engine. The starting point is often a physically dis-jointed human form that gesticulates, dances or moves through landscapes, among objects that shift in colour, form and texture. The game engine becomes a collage machine where I combine material from many different sources; 3D-models, graphic elements, photographs, videos, animations and sounds, both self-made and downloaded from public domain archives and low budget stores online. I distort my source material, reverse textures, code random functions and work with glitches and technical mishaps. New connections and combinations occur. I think about the work as a way of processing the image flow of the internet era and how images and sounds that reach us via technological equipment interplay with the body, psyche and mind.”
Tina Willgren is a visual artist working primarily with video. She lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden, where she received her MFA at the Royal Institute of Art in 2005. In her videos and installations, she explores the mind and body in relation to the contemporary world. Recent activities include the video projection ”Spårdragning”, Bästa Biennalen, Eslöv, Sweden, the solo exhibition ”Party Boat”, Black Wall Gallery, Vaasa, Finland and participation in “Blaue Stunde X”, Alte Feuerwache, Cologne, Germany and “Cities Exhibition 6: Lydda, A Garden Disremembered”, Birzeit University Museum, Birzeit, Palestine.