torstai 20. syyskuuta 2018

In the Midst of Burned Black and Red
Kari Yli-Annala | Turku 27th November 2014 | Translated from Finnish by Jukka Kullervo Kymenvirta

An essay on Jarkko Räsänen’s exhibition New and newest age II (Finnish: Uusi ja uusin aika II)

The old monetary mole is the animal of the space of enclosure, but the serpent is that of the societies of control. We have passed from one animal to the other, from the mole to the serpent, in the system under which we live, but also in our manner of living and in our relations with others. The disciplinary man was a discontinuous producer of energy, but the man of control is undulatory, in orbit, in a continuous network. Everywhere surfing has already replaced the older sports.
(Gilles Deleuze: Postscript on the Societies of Control)
New and newest age II refers to the two periods of Europe’s political history. The new age starts somewhere midst the turn of the 16th century. Its launch is affiliated by the beginning of the age of discovery through the contribution of the first voyage of Columbus and the reformation of the church. The new age is branded by the evolution of thought that paved the way towards a modern society. The newest age on the other hand is the period from the French revolution up until the end of the 20th century. It features the struggle for self-governance for peoples, societies, sexes and ethnicities and the bloody wars that at times ensued from these struggles. Both of these ages are stigmatized by genocides of indigenous peoples, wars between nations and the transatlantic slave trade in addition to democratic progress.
The premise for Räsänen’s digital photography ensemble “New and newest age II” is the work published in 1929, a Finnish language history book which unknown students have upgraded by sticking comic book character faces to cover the features of pictured historic figures. Räsänen has extended this process by digitally scanning and burning the pictures red on canvas using a jpeg algorithm. In this sense burning means compressing an image to its utmost limit. Result being the thing which is qualified by the Digitalocene to be worth seeing.
A film based image and moving picture with its exposure and montages is connected to the fossil fueled machine or apparatus and its parts. The adepts of the 1920s montage movement (Eisenstein, Pudovkin) are proof of how much the merging of images and its consequences was pondered. The films of the latter part of the 20th
century took these methods to the extreme by piercing the oil and selluloid based film. The idea was not only to utilize the image itself but its foundation, the molecular processes on the surface the image was printed on.
Unlike the image based on oil based celluloid and solar power, the digital image is based on existentialism powered by paremeters, Schrödinger-esque “to be or not to be”. It either exists or it doesn’t exist. A damaged file cannot be seen. With the algorithms of his own design Räsänen can make the process work to achieve his aims. His method can be looked at as a deeply rigorous deconstruction of ordering and compressing of coded material. “The method of burning” takes the image to its logical final, a form reminiscent of a branding.
In the same way as the Japanese composer and media artist Ryoji Ikeda, Räsänen makes the building and functionality principles of the data influencing us visible with a systematic discipline. In a sense it is a resolution to a technological sublime. Stockhausen deconstructed the logic of the string quartet in his helicopter-piece (musician usually playing mellow and intimate music deprived from hearing one another by placing them in separate helicopters). Räsänen deconstructs a self- explanatory image into information columns in his video that endlessly re-construct the smallest of building blocks. The takeover of technology doesn’t need huge technological machinery any longer. As we know from nano- and biotechnology, instead of a telescope the microscopic view on things can alter things in an ever increasing way. The key here would probably be code and the opportunity for systemic aesthetic.
The material re-arrangement of the video in Räsänen’s exhibition is implemented with paremeters witch aid the formed information to change in the ways enabled by the medium. Räsänen compares his works to methods used in the 1990s that utilize the discoveries of algorithmic art and electronic music. According to Räsänen the closest to his method comes the spectral music of the 1970s. In spectral music the micro structure of sound was analyzed using acoustic measuring tools and computers. The found “note pillar” was written down to be played by a living synthesizer, an orchestra.
In 1959 British scientist and author C.P. Snow wrote his book on two cultures and the scientific revolution. According to Snow the solving of the world’s problems constantly fails because humanistic and scientific culture are separated into their own areas. A “Third culture” is the one where artists and scientists can meet. Finnish Erkki Kurenniemi has not only exceeded the gorge separating these areas but has also influenced the
underground scene. It is characteristic of underground culture that by standing up against the mainstream, it didn’t ostracize the “overground” which is culture in its broadest and most everyday form: The systems that control the everyday thoughts of human society with both visible and invisible means.
Having background in the Finnish Demo-scene with endless curiosity towards the web, with recorded material all across his youth, all the way up to living in the surrounding area of the hipster-listed Vaasankatu and interest towards folklore and ancient etymology of words, all define Räsänen’s character. The amount of apparently disconnected interests but the precise return to the immaterial that emulates material form that surrounds us outside the web and create new experiences and the user interface of reality.
Gilles Deleuze’s “Societies of Control” meant the next phase in a society based on discipline, where control is not only external but extends to the smallest details of our private lives. The pondering can be continued to this day. Everyday occurrences can lead in handing over the most intimate of details of our lives to global enterprises. Facebook is a treasure chest of future micro historians. A sort of a 21st century inquisition diary.
In the images Räsänen has “burnt”, the original grid can be seen as a geometric continuum but the color tones have diminished. All that is left is “the information deemed worth seeing by the western digital society”. The pictures printed on fabric paper resemble as if they were branded and the associations from them penetrate the subliminal of visual arts in the 20th century raising forth forgotten embodiments of madness. Perhaps the most crushing of these is the incorporation of the comic book character “Jeff” (from “Mutt and Jeff”), one of the humorous characters in mass culture that have lost their sense and consideration with capitalist phenomena, to the portrait of the Pope Innocent X.
In the history of newspaper funnies, “Mutt and Jeffby American cartoonist Bud Fisher, are one of the longest running and oldest cartoon characters; Mutt is the gambling-addicted homemaker dad and Jeff is Mutt’s friend on the run from the insane asylum, whose imaginative and megalomanic schemes the two characters try to accomplish with feeble success. Wincapita and Sunny Car Center, anyone?
By placing Jeff’s open mouthed head on the reproduction of the portrait of Pope Innocent X (1650) from the book New and newest age, Räsänen creates a staggering connection between society’s unrest revealed with subtle humor and the re-interpretation of the same image. The screaming colorful stripes in the portrait study by Francis Bacon in his “Study after Velasquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X (1953) distantly resembles the deconstructing algorithmic methods Räsänen incorporates in his video piece. With Bacon the idea is
breaking of the strongly official surface and revealing the uncomfortable instability. The material and existentialist plane is elicited behind the portrait of a person who wished his name should depict purity as the representative of spiritual power.
Räsänen’s exhibition New and Newest age II can be characterized by the word kainós. Read correctly! It is not about modesty (Finnish: kainous) but refers to the Greek language word that differs extensively of the word meaning new (néos) of the same language. Through the intermediary word néos means that a new instance of the world or humankind in its scene, but kainós refers to qualitative change. Where contemporary art is used to néos, kainós brings forth new qualities. In a way the new always appears in a modest manner. It doesn’t give everything away at once. It can easily be reproduced, recycle and put into use. This does not happen with Räsänens images. Not at least right away. That is why they bother the mind in a large extent.
The mentioned term kainós acts also as an etymological base for the geology-term -cene, which has been discussed a lot about (sic!) in recent times: Antropocene, Capitalocene, Cthulhucene (Donna Haraway). We could perhaps talk about Digitalocene. In this instance we’re talking about a period in time where old gods have been replaced by new ones. Cenes appear to differ from one another but especially in relation to cultural phenomena, they might overlap. This is when their subliminal becomes an extremely interesting subject for research. My conclusion might be that Räsänen could be said to be looking for the subliminal of the Digitalocene in his art. A bolder statement could be that this limit defines extensively our culture that is aware of its limited resources. The images show the point where its destruction cannot go any further. The point where you can’t go any further. What does it say about our time and our own picture in it, when this point puts us faced with historical figures with cartoonish heads, charred black shadows and burning red, bloody faces?
Translators note:
English version of Deleuze’s Postscript on Societies of Control was retrieved 3rd January 2015
From: societies-of-control-annotated/

keskiviikko 20. syyskuuta 2017

Antichambre (Flow Festival 2015)

The chambre is filled with intimate obstacles: the soundscape consists of noise, sounds, beeps, and occasionally, resonances of piano string machinery.

 Diamond needle of the LP player carves record made out of stone. The sound of silence, the diorite dust amplified through a sound system in Laura Könönen's (b. 1980) Only One and All produces a meditative soundscape around kinetic sculpture from year 2010. "Time is a destructive force of existence. Stone as a material sets the illusion of stability in being in time and space, it is the most extreme silence in the world. There's nothing less than infinity and void, love and death." Könönen graduated as MFA from Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2012, and has been exhibiting in most prominent exhibitions in Finland, as well as been nominated as Ars Fennica candidate in 2015.

A box with it's wooden structures painted with bright colours is ringing synthesized psychedelic noises, accompanied with an animation of the painting process from the screen. The box with the sounds of it's own painting hails the spirit of Eastern European animation with their imaginative soundtracks. Alexei Gordin is a multidisciplinary artist born in 1989 in Tomsk, Russia. He recieved his BA in Estonian art academy in 2011 and currently doing his MA in Kuvataideakatemia, painting department.   His art is mostly characterized by ironic way of expression, inspired by conditions of contemporary liberal society. 

ZERO OK, a human-sized "0" with led light constellation forming letters "OK" above it. Kristina Sedlerova is interested in the inconsistency of the human nature, the attraction of the mankind towards building systems, creating concepts and the need to believe in them. The nocturnal star constellation of led lights emphasize the aesthetics of tribalistic night life that gathers in clubs and other venues around the frequencies that move the mind, the body and the soul. Kristina Sedlerova (b.1987) is currently studying in the MFA program of the Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki in the Sculpture department. Kristina enjoys working both with small- and large scale projects, moving from spacial design to making small-scale kinetic sculptures.

Installation with a speakers, electronics and 35mm optical film loop is hanging on the ceiling. The loop is in motion, rotating and creating an animated form. There is no visual projection of the film but a direct translation of the visual information into sound. The method of this transformation is optical sound, a analog technique used in film projectors to playback soundtrack that has been optically stored on the film. Optical soundtrack is located on the edge of film, besides the visual image. In this installation film loop is flowing freely and gently touching the ground. It is being exposed to air currents, dust and other interactions. This freedom in movement and the exposure of the film material expands the translation outside the original optical soundtrack. Film frames,  perforation, optical soundtrack, scratches and dust take all equally part into creating a changing soundscape. Tero Niskanen, artist and experimental musician, and Jani Purhonen, artist focusing on sound and new media, realised they might share a small part of their brain. They began working on installations using uncontrollable film loops, entities created for further explorations in spacetime.

"Cheeks" - Strangely familiar, skin coloured shape out of silicone is set on a black sculpture stand. It is reacting to bass frequencies from concerts and performances of the exhibition by shaking and vibrating its carnal shapes made out of silicone. The work unites innovatively different materials into an elegant composition of forms, adding an up-to-date layers to the tradition of contemporary sculpture. Electronically prepared butt visualizes the physical force of sound and reminds the spectator where the groove is supposed to hit: shake that thing!  Emma Jääskeläinen is studying the sculpture deparment of the University of the Arts. Her work can be described as playful, physical and to the point. 

In contrast, from the ceiling there is hanging a pendulum made out of iron letters. "Random Letters Found from a Dumpster" - Emptiness, insignificance, decorativeness, hoax, self-deception, ponderous words… A composition out of iron and light, based on more or less nihilistic approach of producing art work. Latin letters can after all be understood continuing the foinicean tradition of notating sound, speech, and in Byström's case, silent exclamation of a young contemporary artist in the spirit of Munch and others. Otto Byström is an artist studying MFA in Finnish Academy of Fine Arts whose works, in his words, "tingle the outstretched and fragmented bubble bobble where you and I unconsciously fumble."

There is also piano, inviting the musical talents to touch it's keys... But one needs not to touch it to play it: Kytömäki's "Untitled" sculpture is a piano prepared with DC motors that is triggered by the precence of the viewer, filling the space with its intervening resonances . The piece playfully comments on the tradition of western avantgarde compositions, automatic music or even the saloons of western films, as well as extends the auditive possibilities of traditional instrument anchored to 12-tone harmonic systems.  Antti Kytömäki is a Helsinki based artist who votes for the Finns Party and makes works about loneliness, politics and the triviality of the art world. He is interested about sound and movement as elements of sculptures.

The sounds of the exhibition are not restricted only to soundwaves! Erno-Erik Raitanen's "Finlandia" is a FM-transmission at 98,0 Mhz, that visitors can listen also through their own cellphone radios. Raitanen has combined interpretations of Finladia symphone from around the globe and mixed them together into a collage that does not sound the original at all, but emphasizes the differences in interpretations. The different tempos result in atonalic masses that carry very different kind of patriotic associations, if any at all. Erno-Erik Raitanen is an artist and photographer. At the moment Raitanen works with sound, installations, sculptures and radios. He is born in Lahti, having studied in the UK and USA before enterint the master program in Time and Space Arts department. Raitanen has participated in various exhibitions e.g. in Helsinki, Pori, Lontoo, San Fransisco and Japan.

Finally, in the back room of the space,  a double-channel video installation, showing a giant loop of students works from Time and Space study program / Prof. Caspar Stracke. ”Macroscapes” by Josefina Nelimarkka, ”On Proposals” by Andrey Bogush, ”Allday Everyday” by Jana Slaby, ”Nausea” by Ilkka Pitkänen and other works by Otto Bystr, Minna Kallinen, Ristomatti Myllylahti, Josefina Nelimarkka,  Erno-Erik Raitanen, Tuukka Salonen and Aarni Vaarnamo occupy the room offering a compilation of artist's moving image from the young talents of the Academy of Fine Arts.

keskiviikko 17. helmikuuta 2016


for  Ida Koitila – crash of air, Finnland-Institut


Eyes on dice, dots on cubes: 4-dimensional maps or braille writing for blind angels? Morse code for dancers or Tetris about to tilt? Yatzee is a game that makes you think while having fun, but Lebensgefahr makes you think that you think you’re having fun, while cabballistic codes and sacred sudokus occupy your submarine brain…

Alarm! The bottom of the sea is blooming; organs without bodies, diverse earth-wide tentacular powers and forces and collected things with names like Naga, Gaia, Tangaroa (burst from water-full Papa),Terra, Haniyasu-hime, Spider Woman, Pachamama, Oya, Gorgo, Raven, A'akuluujjusi, and many many more.
These artworks may contain traces of rituals. Arki means ‘Everyday’ and ‘ordinary or non-special days in life’ in Finnish. Pretty close to arch or arc – the Midas suffixes turning everything they touch into principals. In the misty dawn of their etymological existence they pointed into the sun’s apparent motion in the sky – to bow, that is only the tip of the iceberg. Trigonometrical sin function can be used for drawing ’o', but when time breaks free from the gravity of the origo and continues right on x-axis, a ’ ~’ is born.  Accualy, to crush the head of the snake (Ouroboros)  is to create a torus , also known as doughnut.  The shape of cosiness is circular.
As tipping is not a town in China, you can’t dip in the same wax twice. Unless you are razor sharp blade made for marking borders. In the latter case it magnifies your molecular knots and makes you smooth and soft on the outside, and somehow reminding of a working class delicacy. The way of Asterix becoming an asterisk (*): per aspera – through hardships.  Koitila points out that chemical processes of matter are similar to alchemical processes of language. Her touch of reason reveals geometry of time within the anatomy of everyday. "Forms / forms / forms // basic / basic / forms // basic / basic / basic / basic / basic / basic / forms" (Robert Lax).
#Giantsplayingwithmatchesawareness. Candles have been lit in the wind. Some make-up for barbwires, and voila: tumbleweeds are burning in pastel shades. STage is ready for  Barbababa western to begin– rocket to moon and spaghetti to mouth.
For the ever after taste, I can’t praise enough Koitila’s recipe for the color of the only square on display: mix the blackness of ink with the whitness behind the words. Cosmic latte is also name assinged to the average color of the universe. The “chances” that have not decomposed can be used as focus points for maintaining balance.

(╯°□°)╯ ┻━┻
* Jarkko Räsänen

maanantai 14. lokakuuta 2013

CITRINITAS for hochstr45, Berlin


As is widely known, a yellow ribbon (not to speak of many) tied around the Ole Oak Tree is a good sign when coming back home to your significant other from just another manly odysseia, filled with fights and other notable experiences. It is a symbol for the state of waiting (in particularly good faith, like in traffic lights), but it is also the scholastic symbol for a new future.

Wait a minute - a new future arrives by waiting. Like Godot?

POZZO: I am blind.
ESTRAGON: Perhaps he can see into the future.”

-S. Beckett


"In art this analysis [#new materialism] could be the study of matter and meaning" and "Similar to poststructuralism new materialism considers the future as open to countless possibilities that promise no salvation."
-Iris van der Tuin, Rick Dolphijn

But whose war is it?

"Everything flows" said Herakleitos, and continued: "We must know that war (πόλεμος polemos) is common to all and strife is justice, and that all things come into being through strife necessarily." Foucault: "We must conceive discourse as a violence that we do to things, or, at all events, as a practice we impose upon them; it is in this practice that the events of discourse find the principle of their regularity."

So it is the artist, who is the real soldier - the one who creates, not the one who destroys. In Continuation War, Finnish army valued wood works (puhdetyöt) that soldiers produced while waiting for the war to continue (=to get back home sooner) according to their esthetic properties also: the decorative tactics at hand included painting and burning of the material. Soldiers liked carving so much that they didn’t finish their fortressess, and the rest is war history...

Greek, Nostos ‘return home’ + algos ‘pain’

From the choice of materials to the sensitive processings of it, Koitila's sculptures are compassing around infralayers of meanings that material itself surreptiously trafficks into the minds of the unconscious: "Smell and touch are strong evokers of nostalgia due to the processing of these stimuli first passing through the amygdala, the emotional seat of the brain. These recollections of our past are usually important events, people we care about, and places where we have spent time" –Wikipedia:Nostalgia.

Koitila extracts symbols from narratives, turning them into material counterpoints, compulsive structures and processed surfaces. This chain of reversed alchemy results in metaphysical golems (a clay figure brought to life by magic; Hebrew, gōlem ‘shapeless mass.’), that become alive with surreal weight of spectator's own intimacy - the dream-like memories sunk deep into the neural sea of lizard brain, triggered by the color of that rope, the texture of that fabric, the fragility of those seashells, or the consistency of that candle wax.

Koitila's sculptures carry a peculiar, evidential aura, but not of a crime scene. Rather that of an archeological excavation site – at the ruins of a distant civilization that wanted “to love and be loved in return”, as Eben Ahbez put it in Nature Boy’s lyrics.

The Final Line

After the song became popular, the song writer wanted to change the final line into “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved, just to love, and be loved”, but it was already too late.


* Citrinitas is a term given by alchemists to "yellowness." In alchemical philosophy, citrinitas stood for the dawning of the "solar light" inherent in one's being, and that the reflective "lunar or soul light" was no longer necessary.  In the Jungian archetypal schema, citrinitas is the wise old woman.

* Spider webs around pine trees can be seen in the morning sun. Nearly invisible nets symbolized the feminine. The tree symbolized the masculine. Beard lichen can grow only in pure forests.

* Moral is an elementary particle initially theorised in 1964, and tentively confirmed to exist on 14 March 2013. It behaves that a superposition of states is never actually observed, since the system collapses to a single state at the instant that a measurement takes place.


⁄J a r k k o R ä s ä n e n 2 0 1 3⁄

"A Yellow Ribbon"

Opening 15.10.2013, 7 pm
Exhibition15.10– 29.10.2013 (by appointment only) , Hochstrasse 55, Berlin

lauantai 4. toukokuuta 2013

Jussi Niskasen Saimaannorppa -näyttelyyn Sorbuksessa  2013


"While color derives from the electromagnetic scale that corresponds to the magnitudes of energy expressed by musical pitch, in fact, the neurological occidentals by which we experience color make it seem multidimensional, while musical pitch (not timbre, volume, or duration) is experienced as a linear relationship…" (Harry Rand)

E=mc². Aika on rahaa. Raha on lukusarjoja. Lukusarjat on musiikkia (Jakob Von Uexküll). Jumala ei pelaa arpakuutioilla. Silmäluku platonisella solidilla määrittelee polygonien koordinaatit. Timantinmuotoinen noppa on Niskasen kompassi. Mutta tämä maalaus on yhtä vähän Sattuman (säv. Unto Mononen) kartta, kuin Jed Martinin valokuvat Michelin-kartoista ranskalaisten taidemarkkinoiden menestystarina (Michel Houllebecq: The Map and the Territory). Niskasen maalaukset ovat seismografeja lihan värinästä maan magneettisessa teknoklubissa (Ockels: Aliens And The Illusion Of Time ). Liha tottelee kuria. Aivokuori kipinöi. Orgaaninen ilmestys murtautuu neurotiikan territorioiden takaa. Rakenteet kankaalla virittävät näköhermolle optisia ornamentteja. Fraktaalinen elokuva kestää niin kauan kuin sitä katsoo ja elää.

Jarkko Räsänen

sunnuntai 11. marraskuuta 2012

KESTO curatorial texts


In Finnish language 'Kesto' has several meanings: for example durability, duration, endurance, time frame and run-time.  It refers to ability to stand something ("I can't take it no more" -Theo Parrish), or how long some acitivity will take  ("A great Objection arises from the regular and very lasting Motions of the Planets and Comets in all manner of Courses through the Heavens." -Sir Isaac Newton).

In the exhibition artists present works where Kesto manifests itself in poetic ways through mediums of painting, photography, sculpture, sound and video. 'Kesto' relates also closely to the word 'patience'.  "The name of the game is patience" -Robert Lax.

Artists: Juha van Ingen (FIN), Ida Koitila (FIN), Laura Könönen (FIN), Geno Lechner (DE), Tuomo Laakso (FIN), Antti Nyyssölä (FIN), Kyösti Pärkinen (FIN), Seppo Renvall (FIN),
Marko Vuokola (FIN).

Curated by Jarkko Räsänen in collaboration with Musterzimmer.
The exhibition has been supported by Art Council of Finland.


Like a fly, I get stuck gazing at the colors shining from the curtains at Musterzimmer's window display. The contrast between the dark Berlin winter night and the radiating glow reminds me of heliotherapy. It is a version of video work 'Web-safe' by Juha van Ingen, that presents a slideshow of 216 colors. These colors are a map. They were defined in one of the first diplomatic contracts of the United States of the Cyber World, in a way, that they would look the same on different computer screens using 8-bit video cards in the mid-nineties. van Ingen has produced different versions of the work for different mediums - a fact that emphasizes the transformability (= the capacity to create a fundamentally new system when ecological, economic, or social/ political conditions make the existing system untenable) of media art. In Kesto exhibition the work is re-interpreted again: Video turns the white curtains into a flag of ever-changing minimalistic heraldry, or into a quasimodo fashion doll of augmented reality, that reminds about the link between the pan-optical frames-per-second-spectacle & the early information network called 'city'. The flickery LCD-projection brings the colorscape back to the crime scene, to the original urban screen, to the ultimate interface known as 'window display' of the half-private, half-public microcosmos of a 'salon'. Even Walter Benjamin understood city as part of art's  significance field, and also how new technologies shape the perception abilities of people.

Inside: Old fashioned vinyl player plays the snap, crackle and pop. A virus sculpted out of Finnish ground-rock: granite. A mythical substance addressed with qualities of durability and adamance to the extent that deep geological repositories for nuclear waste are made out of it. Diamond needle is scratching the surface of the disk, amplifying the friction into the sound of silence played back on home stereos. The dusty soundscape evolves slowly as the needle endlessly digs the track deeper, creating rhytmic patterns of organic noise. If the Earth could talk, this is closest I can imagine it would sound like. Audiologist Jonathan Hazell states, that our hearing system developed in a sound-rich environment, with nature sounds ever present, and it is adapted to this type of sound background: "It is only over the last few hundred years that buildings have effectively excluded these sounds. Modern architecture is one very important cause of the present increase of tinnitus and hyperacusis." 

In the photograph by Geno Lechner a sculptural figure out of flesh and water covers his face with his hands. There appears to be nearly calligraphic writing in his arm: "analog". Skin as the ultimate notebook! I do have friends who write the most important reminders on their hands instead of electronic memos or sketchbooks. In Christopher Nolan's film Memento, main character with anterograde amnesia uses tattoos and writings on his skin as tool for recollection. The text "analogue" could remind the character that he is not digital. On the other hand, writing is lying for viewer that the person in the photograph is analogue, even though the person is simulation; a printed digital photograph. Ceci n'est pas une pipe? In the world of lucid dreaming, looking at your hands is a good reality check, and also a way to stabilase your dreams. As some sufi mystician suggested, "if you are not yet awake, go back to sleep."

Kyösti Pärkinen's painting is a dazzling combination of photographic presicion resulted by crispy and contrasty flakes familiar from decorations of the floor panels commonly used in official buildings, and smoldering reddish background divided by thin white mathematical grid - with a hint of a gentle gradient suggesting another dimension within the flatness of the paint: a perspective, a landscape, or even a horizon. The paradoxical elements wake the painting into a hallusinogenic moving image – like life on film that flashes front of your eyes, before you hit your face to the floor, just before entering into the unreal twilight zone of the Self, between sleeping and waking, like that in the Nabokov's short story from 1920's Berlin, the Eye. A frozen moment before the crucial encouter with the Ground. A moment, when you realize at the same time how beautiful the floor panels are, and that soon it is going to hurt. Time and perception are subjective after all. The world maybe illusion, an illusion or my illusion, but as poet Robert Lax ends his insight: "(…)the / world / is / one / of / my / illusions".

Is it Jacqueline Kennedy? Or how do you spell her name? Is that a photo or is it a painting? Antti Nyyssölä's untitled mixed media work is taped on the wall with adhesive silver duct tape, what they call in Scandinavia "Jesus tape" (because it saves you in all situations). The surface of the image is made out of shiny brown packing tape - this one is a tool of transportation, not fixing. Behind the surface there is a smeared print of a woman's face. As if the mysterious face would have been transferred on the glue tape almost by accident, sometimes in the past. Like the Shroud of Turin, eternalized like an insect inside amber. Nyyssölä's artist book also carries similar qualities of silent, hieroglyphic uncertainity: paintings, drawings, sketches, receipts - almost any/everything! - but ordered with static, passionate and systematic structure. A holy book in forgotten language? Or maybe a holy book from future, written in some language we yet don't fully understand…

Candles are clocks and lights combined, like sun or moon. They used to be the primary source of light and time measuring. Nowadays they are mostly used to light special and atmospheric situations, like dinners, conversations and those special romantic moments. As the light disappears, the candle wax remains. In Ida Koitilas sculpture it covers a secret: only fragments of blue ropes and chains - that might as well be made out of the same wax - remain visible. You can touch the soft skin of it, and it confuses you even more. This is a sculpture that escapes names and concepts, even the very primary ones related to touch. Let me try to catch it: It's a heavyweight bowling ball inside the avalanche of phenomenology! It's a core meltdown of the chronosentric clockwork motor of the Heart!

Experimental photography at it's best. Seppo Renvall's unique style in film-making, where honest do-it-yourself attitude has sophisticated into a masterful craftsmanship, is recognizable in his new photographic works. Renvall has made a large format pinhole camera and hand developed the film himself. The abstract first sight of the photograph reveals soon fundamental Finnish imagery that is loaded with pointers to important historical questions: glimpses of pine trees that surround a traditional forest house, with a group of people posing on the front of it - just like in old family portraits from the beginning of the last century. The apparatus of photography confuses the viewer suffering from megapixel myth syndrome and photoshop blinded eye: The small frames spread around the paper like spurts of paint amidst the cloud-like abstract layers of black and white film grain are not spread in time, like in moving image, but in perspective, as the negative is exposed only once with multiple pinholes of the camera. Things that look old are not always old, and old means can be better than a bagful of new ones. 

Two identical photographs from Purnu, almost. There are differences. Actually that's all there is. Marko Vuokola's photographic series 'Seventh Wave' consists of pairs of detailed, large format photographs taken at the same location but at different times. In the realm of obsessive measuring (empirical science) this could be called the shortest nature film in the world: documentary about Finnish [mental] landscape, where everything happens at the same time, but only for the most sensitive ones. The name of the series refers to the film 'Papillon': "Papillon returned to the regular prisoner population on Royal Island after being 'cured' of his mental illness. He requested that he be transferred to Devil's Island, the smallest and most 'inescapable' island in the Îles de Salut group. Studying the waters around the island, Papillon discovered a rocky inlet surrounded by a high cliff. He noticed that every seventh wave was large enough to carry a floating object far enough out into the sea that it would drift towards the mainland." -Synopsis. So how does Vuokola know when to press the shutter button again? How do you count waves of light or waves of air? Seventh wave is a synonym for the right moment, for a decision based on intuition, and that wave is visible only for the third eye.

Vanitas, baroque, stilleben… But obviously Finnish simplicity and… what is that vegetable again? Rutabaga used to be a symbol of damned soul in Scotland, and it tastes delicious. In the contemporary art scene, the extreme simplicity combined with careful dexterity of Tuomo Laakso, who has studied classical painting in famous Russian school is brave, surprising, poetic, and to the point. Realistic painting is more interesting than ever, as it deals with time and space from more anthropocentric view than the lens based media surrounding us: so far only human-beings have been able to interpret a view perceived with two eyes as two-dimensional surface. But doing that is slow and subtle work, as is the decoding (looking) at the painting.  In the other still-life there is still life inside rutabaga: it has started to germinate, maybe during the painting process. I get lost carried away in moving my head around, as the light reflects from different angles to varnish revealing beautiful organic structures of the wood plane behind the image. 

Jarkko Räsänen