Suomen pellot värikuvina
Fields of Finland in Colour is a summer exhibition curated by Veikko Halmetoja including artworks from six Finnish artists. The exhibition is mainly comprised of photography, but also includes some collages, sculpture, and video art. It is often said that Finns have a special relationship to nature, but is that really so? The artworks in this exhibition both criticize and lampoon this artificial and constructed human-nature relationship.
Anni Kinnunen‘s photography bears a complex relationship to nature and the surrounding reality. Even though they criticize the demand for naturality, they also criticize humans’ estrangement from nature: Where are we headed and why; are we running away from something? The lavish artificiality in Kinnunen’s artworks is at times amusing, but for the most part, the approach is serious.
The photography series of Eetu Kevarinmäki is the eponymous work of the exhibition. He has grabbed screenshots at a moment when the search engine’s image search has not finished downloading the images. These search results make up a gently ironic picture of the structural change in Finnish agriculture, but the colour palette of the images takes one’s thoughts to Modernist landscapes from such artists as Eero Nelimarkka or Göran Augustson.
Elina Brotherus‘s photographs build a contrast between the person posing in the landscape and the surrounding nature. Even though the artist is her own model, these are not self-portraits but rather performative acts commenting on the scenery. The video piece by Brotherus, Circus Horse (2017) depicts the human tendency to objectify an animal, subordinating it in a way that today seems embarrassing and ridiculous.
Jaakko Kahilaniemi‘s photography casts a critical eye on the human-nature relationship. The photographs could be seen as the notes of a forester or scientific forecasts. Kahilaniemi manipulates the images, building ambiguous conceptual layers, but despite this, the end result is also aesthetically interesting.
Marja Patrikainen utilizes found, donated and dumpster-dived materials. She works in a way that aims not to encumber our environment. Still, the recycled materials remind us of unsustainable consuming by their very presence. Patrikainen’s sculpture is like a fairy-tale horse, mysterious and colourful. It is visually amusing, but the mournful message of the materials cannot be ignored.
Terhi Heino‘s collages are unassuming interpretations of the pages of an old herbarium. At times, the weathered plants are seen in their more conventional setting, at times they are constructed into a more narrative motif. The collages can be seen as gloomy reminders of the endangered Finnish meadow flora. At the same time, they depict people’s desire to organize and catalogue nature in order to make it more manageable.