Welcome to the exhibition opening in the presence of the artist Thursday April 5th from 5 to 8pm.
The exhibition features a photography-based projection and a series of photographs. It examines people’s relationships with themselves, with other people and the urban environment. The overarching theme in the pieces is a transitional stage, emphasising periods of transition and moments in which something old becomes something new and unknown. When combining elements of two images encompassing different worlds, the newly created image is strange.
Photographic projection pursues visual expression to describe the wavering nature of the human mind. Projection also enables the slow and, in the artist’s own words, “lingering” encounter in which two images become another or, in effect, third image. In the centre of the idea is the goal of finding an expression and a style for the mindscape – for thorough understanding. The overlapping disposition and the slow merging of the images incorporates a poetic dimension which carries the mind to the world of surrealism where parallels are drawn between surprising things, where strange encounters occur and new meanings are created. Their everyday nature, as it were, opens our eyes to what surrounds us and what, when looked at again, may be similarly strange and foreign. They sharpen our gaze and our power of observation but also open new meanings that play a role in making the world an interesting place.
Saku Soukka is interested in the viewer’s experience during this time of constant change processes between indoor and outdoor spaces, private and public areas. The impact of the Internet is a decisive factor in this as the tangible, physical reality has a nearly unbroken connection to the online world. These two worlds are interlocked in our everyday lives where the periods of transition, in other words in-out-public-private, control our experiences. Soukka has taken photographs both indoors and on the streets and outskirts of the city. In all its minimalism, the empty, blue advertising space, only displaying the product code, is simply waiting in a transitional stage for a new ad, a new temptation for consumers. Things fade away and are replaced by new images that shape our world. This process is never-ending. Art that visualises this process communicates with our inner world and its happenings.
Saku Soukka describes the backgrounds of the exhibition:
“I’m particularly interested in the formation of the urban space and the alternate reality created by the advertising imagery in the space as well as the act of comparing it to the alternate online reality where the avatars we have created swim in an ocean called the Internet. The mind is an ever-changing window where the breeze blows both in and out. There is a glass-like surface between the inside and outside world, searching for its true form.”
Social media creates some of the identity-related imagery of our time in various ways and acts as a mirror on which be build our self-images. The online world is a type of alternate “reality”, and the models it offers shape both our way of being in the world and our relationships. The images in this exhibition travel through close relationships, through intimate encounters between two people and moments in which a person reflects on their own existence.
Soukka chooses to slow down and, at the same time, deepen the gaze. He aims to show that, inside and behind the banal objects and phenomena of everyday life and in the various levels of seeing, there are always deep layers related to the entire being of people. The photograph with the text “This is not about winning or losing” features a bunch of wilted tulips in a glass, as if to remind us that in life, you cannot “win” or “lose” as we are all biological beings, bound to time and its laws. There is no choice, at least yet.
Saku Soukka (1982) is an artist residing in Helsinki. His primary medium is the photograph which he combines in various ways with text, audio, video and installations. Numerous sub-themes come together to form the main theme of the pieces: identity. They mirror the concepts of self, otherness and hybrid. Encounters and dialogues between internal and external; stagnation and movement; and organic and industrial are present. Soukka graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts two years ago. He has had exhibitions in Finland and abroad and he has published a book of photographs and poems, titled Paperipeili (Noxboox 2016).
Exhibition is supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland.
Still picture from photoprojection Ikkuna Välissä (Talvi), 2017