I miss la cupula and fantagraphics and freaks… I got some nice graphic novels the other day, from the local library, but they have mostly Marvel stuff. At Goldsmiths they simply don’t have comics (!) There’s a new tiny shop in the corner, but the variety is minuscule and not completely my style. Too many cute animals and men.
I miss some dark, daily, feminist, troubled, lazy, clever stories with graphics that take me to the time when I hanged out a lot. I like to just hang out, like that girl I saw yesterday at the skate park, drinking a beer and writing in a table full of backpacks while her friends were doing upside down tricks.
A few weeks, maybe months ago, I saw an exceptional exhibition, at Chisenhale Gallery, by Camille Henrot. I wrote about it but didn’t publish the text, which happens a lot (seems like I’m not a very good “blogger” or “dedicated web archivist”). Well, it’s a pleasure to be part of a discussion where her “Deep Inside” is screened.
Beyond that, which is a (relevant) detail, I’m so glad we were invited to this event at Nottingham Contemporary. I’m excited to see how the discussion will develop and curious to hear from people who are currently working with “porn studies”. I myself have been exploring different (yet always related in some way) fields of interest so it’s great to catch up with the latest researches.
Our exhibition – Black Winter – was featured on local newspaper Hämeenkyrön Sanomat.
Here the text kindly translated by Elsa Trzaska and some images:
The tones of the darkness inspire the artists
The dusk falls slowly upon the snowy scenery of Haukijärvi. There is light coming from the windows of Arteles Residency, even though the theme of the exhibition is darkness. The twilight of the winter has inspired the international group of Arteles to approach the mundane phenomenon for Finnish people with fresh perspectives. The northern polar nights has also been the inspiration for the group exhibition called Black Winter which gathers different field of art from music to installations and from poetry to food art.
–The idea for this theme came from the artists themselves. The beginning of the winter was snowless and the darkness was quite a surprise for many of them, says the coordinator Reetta Pekkanen.
However, in the past few weeks the climate has had a radical change, and the landscape has been covered by a dazzling veil of snow. –I love these contrasts. The whiteness of the snow and total darkness creates an interesting symbiosis, says Tsai Chih-Fen. The artist from Taiwan says that first it was almost hard to see anything in the darkness of the northern winter. –In here, there is this kind of tone of shades before the dark comes. That we don’t have in Taiwan at all. Everything is somehow softer and a bit misty. This experience of haze has transferred also onto the artist’s video work where it’s hard to concentrate your eyes on any special detail. It seems like the lights would be behind a curtain of fog.
The stillness of twilight has also opened new perceptions for Sophia Guttenhöfer from Germany whose video work observes different movements and the ambience inside of them. –At first it felt like there wasn’t any colours in here, only grey. But after I wondered around in the vicinity and started to look more specifically I noticed that there is plenty of colours and tones. This dark silence helps to become more sensitive and to concentrate.
The darkness is characteristic to northern winter but the artists are also taken influences from other things related to Finland.
–I’m very interested about structures and of re-organizing them again. One time I saw a himmeli somewhere here and I got excited about its shape, says Mariana PortelaEcheverri. Portuguese artist decided to take a himmeli making class to learn the techniques on how to make one. After that the himmeli bended into many new dimensions with such a diverse, that some of the works was hard to recognize as a himmeli until the artist told so.
Finnish influences and some traces of shadows can also be heard in the sound art of Aki Ito and Jean-Filippe Lambert. The room is filled with ethereal and clean vocal where Eira Stenberg’s poem, called Princess is playing, becomes a trilingual and hypnotic wholeness, which is followed by glimpses of shadowy voice. –I was acquainted with Stenberg in another residency. I was fascinated of her complex and intriguing poem that we used also in this work of ours, says Ito.
From the room of music comes distant singing to the other room which ceiling is covered with a videogame sky with it’s planets and stars. –I like to change places with light. This work is called Sky Night Mother with was inspired by the clear night sky. One of the artists of the residency wanted to see northern light so badly, so I decided to make some with my lights on her birthday, says Canadian PatNavarro.
The artists are inspired by the winter nature in many ways which is shown in the extensive works.
–After a long time I didn’t see the whole landscape as a eatable subject, laughs the food artist Alicia Ríos as she tells about the appearances of the winter scene. Food art is very unfamiliar to many people. Ríos tells that the movement was greeted already in the 30’s. The food art goes in two ways. There is eatable art and there is art made of food, which is not for eating. The Spanish artist herself makes mainly edible art. –I used to be a teacher of psychology. I was interested in the psychology of eating, so at last I wanted to approach it from a more creative angle. Food is art for all the people. It delights also the ones that aren’t experts of art. The food artist also made something else for the exhibition, which isn’t edible. The side table is decorated with many different kinds of hat made out of felt, which takes your imagination to the lands of elfs and goblins. –I like hats because somehow they releases a person. The effect of them in parties, for example, is funny. The person with the hat gets something unique out of the appearance of the hat for themselves.
For the hats in the exhibition the artist has collected material from the woods.
Finally it’s good to settle down with literature. Australian Emily Stewart has approached the black winter in two angles important to her: feminism and ecology. The ecological topics of my works come from my origins. Originally I come from the countryside. It was very easy to get a hold of the work in here, as becoming as one with the black winter itself what I describe metaphorically.
In the afternoon the winter is already getting ready for it’s dark tones but on the residency there is still some lights and shadows dancing on the windows as a promise for the longer periods of daylight.
Picture 1: Sophia Guttenhöfer’s artwork explores movement. Jean-Filippe Lambert (on the left), Teemu Räsänen, Petteri Vainio and Kati Lepistö is listening to the presentation.
Picture 2: The shape of the himmeli inspired Mariana Portela Echeverri who is interested in shapes and organizing them.
Picture 3: The poetry of Emily Stewart (on the right) comes from the topics of ecology and feminism. The introduction of the work is been listened by Tiina and Olli Ahonen (on the left), Kati Lepistö and Petteri Vainio.
The best and the biggest festival for truly alternative porn is here, well, there, in Barcelona, for its 6th edition.
Once again, I’ve been asked to make the poster and once again said “yes of course, my pleasure”. This time there were no watercolours involved but a series of digital procedures. Along body parts, baroque flowers and grids, it’s also included a montage based on an actual structure I built this past summer for The Great Out There (soon to be updated on my website).
We’ll be showing works in progress and selected results from this month here in Arteles.
We decided to call it Black Winter while we were living it. We’re now experiencing the exact opposite, an extremely bright and crystallized landscape. It’s a time and space of extremes this one.
I made the poster from a photo taken one night, naked outside of sauna while it was snowing, and the snowflakes looked a lot like the sky we wanted to see, but it was too cloudy, too dark. So now each one of us has its own star and we are this January’s constellation.