Kivet ja me/Stones and us
Gallery Lapinlahti, Helsinki 8–26 November 2017
This solo exhibition was conceived as a constellation of semi-autonomous works that together made up the immediate context of the installation Mitä uutta kivistä?/Anything new about stones? The installation itself was set up as a separate unit in one of the three rooms of the exhibition. As shown in the video exposition, the installation included a text sheet, two photographs, a small table with a stone and a metal plate on it, as well as a sound actuator attached to the window. The actuator turned the window into a sound resonance body. As a result, the sound seemed to emerge from the room. The voice-over was realised in cooperation with Outi Condit. Other works in the exhibition were:
Kivijärven muotokuva/Portrait of Kivijärvi (2017)
This installation was central to the exhibition setting, and it included a series of elements (stones, tied up with strings; sound actuators; the lake’s name [Kivijärvi]) that aimed to establish associative links to Mitä uutta kivistä?/Anything new about stones? Basic documentation of this installation is included here in order to give an idea of how these visual, textual, and material associations were conceived. The installation included sound that was realised in cooperation with Otso Lähdeoja.
This video was projected on the wall to accompany Kivijärven muotokuva/Portrait of Kivijärvi (see the video documentation). Its associative connections to Mitä uutta kivistä?/Anything new about stones? are very loose. Therefore, I will not focus on this work in this exposition.
This photographic chart functioned as a switchboard for visual association within the exhibition.
I have documented this installation consisting of a photograph, a painting, and a video in the exposition Some works and their afterlife published in RUUKKU: Studies in Artistic Research, issue #9. Therefore, I will not highlight it here. I just want to mention that, within the setting of Kivet ja me/Stones and us, the presence of stones in the video part of this installation appeared in a new light to me, and numerous details of the video were effectively drawn into the associative network of the five works exhibited.
In the exhibition handout I wrote:
Walter Benjamin’s methodical remark concerning his Passagenarbeit ‘I don’t have anything to say, only to show’, is also an apt description of Stones and us. The exhibition consists of diverse gestures of showing that invite the visitor to look and listen.
The exhibition revolves around quite ordinary stones. They are present as diverse observations, references, and ponderations weighing human existence. The works exhibited have taken shape in a network of questions evoked by the stones. How do weight and life, context and muteness, place and order, and impenetrable matter and imagination relate to each other? The works follow, both internally and in relation to each other, the logic of soft montage; parts make up their own units and, at the same time, complement each other in a wider setting.
The starting point of the exhibition was an idea of a portrait that would depict a lake in central Finland, Kivijärvi (literally ‘stone lake’), a typical trace of the ice age in the Finnish landscape. Usually, the subject of a portrait is a human person, sometimes an animal. The efficacy of a portrait builds on the thought that there is a separate unit of life behind the visible appearance. A person can only be seen from outside; we have access to the inside only through emphatic identification. A good portrait is thought to offer a means for such identification. With help of a portrait, we have an idea of the depicted person’s life. Small details guide us here: a glint, a wrinkle, a mysterious smile… But how do we read a portrait of a lake?
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I Experience as I Experiment – I Experiment as I Experience. Experience and experimentality in artistic work and research
Exhibition Laboratory, Helsinki 27 November –11 December 2019
This exhibition realised in connection with KuvA Research Days 2019 was curated by Denise Ziegler. It brought together 17 artists and researchers working with installation, sculpture, mixed reality installation, environmental art, performance, photography, moving image, and media art. The exhibition was described as follows on the Exhibition Laboratory website:
The artists discuss how (or why) their artworks relate to their artistic research practice, and what roles experience and experimentality play in their artistic research. These issues are addressed by investigating both momentary experiences (elämykset, Erlebnisse) and experience as something accumulated over time (kokemus, Erfahrung) in the context of the everyday work of artists involved in art-making, artistic research and teaching at the university level.
The publication I Experience as I Experiment – I Experiment as I Experience contains texts written by the 17 artist-researchers in connection to the works exhibited in the Exhibition Laboratory gallery. This publication includes my parasite text ‘LAB-O(U)RATORY’.
The works in the exhibition were discussed during the KuvA Research Days. Discussions were documented on video including the discussion concerning LAB-O(U)RATORY. In this improvised talk I thematise how and why my take on exposing differs from explaining.
The following texts were quoted or paraphrased in the installations Mitä uutta kivistä?/Anything new about stones? and LAB-O(U)RATORY:
Auster, Paul, Oracle Night (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2003).
The Bible, Genesis 28:10-19.
My son's (Ilmo Klein) verbal reactions to the two photographs Mitä uutta kivistä?/Anything new about stones? transcribed by myself. He was 14 years old at that time.
Caillois, Roger, The Writing of Stones, intro. by Marguerite Yourcenar, trans. Barbara Bray (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1985).
Citton, Yves, The Ecology of Attention, trans. by Barnaby Norman (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2017).
Mauss, Marcel, ‘Techniques of the body’, Economy and Society 2.1 (1973), 70–88.
Mullen, Jethro and Popalzai, Masoud, ‘Woman stoned to death in Afghanistan over accusation of adultery’, CNN. 21.47 GMT (05.47 HKT) 4 November 2015. <https://edition.cnn.com/2015/11/04/asia/afghanistan-taliban-woman-stoning/index.html>
Nancy, Jean-Luc, The Sense of the World, trans. and foreword by Jeffrey S. Librett (London and Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 1997).
Sansi-Roca, Roger, ‘The Hidden Life of Stones: Historicity, Materiality and the Value of Candomblé Objects in Bahia’, Journal of Material Culture 10.2 (2005), 139–156.
Peirce, Charles Sanders, ‘The Law of Mind’, Philosophical Writings of Peirce, ed. by Justus Buchler (New York: Dover Publications, 1955), 339–358.
Laitakari, Ilkka, Kivet värikuvina (Helsinki: WSOY, 1975).
Kivijärvi (Kannonkoski), Wikipedia, last modified 14 April, 2021.<https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kivij%C3%A4rvi_(Kannonkoski)>