An exhibition at Platform and also an artist run publisher in Switzerland.
Poissa. Joni Partanen works in different medias. In Poissa he used old drawings of penises, which he copied so that only details could be seen; a white string running through a black paper. The copies he used for papering the first room of the gallery. It looked like a forest of birches – a three that is a popular symbol of Finland. On the floor there was a metal sarcophagus, which also was used on different locations in town; the “box” had the shape of a humanlike body and two holes for the eyes. Partanen used this “box” in performances where he would lie inside unnoticed until someone looks down through the holes and sees his eyes.
The second room was an video installation picturing some homeless people living in a back yard; drawings of faces on big papers in rolls, standing by themselves on the floor; and the garbage produced during the construction of the exhibition was left on the floor, strengthening the stinking atmosphere of a shabby backyard. racetrack.
Jouni Partnanen is a finnish artist based in Lahti.
Both artist are German and had a residency during a longer time in one of the Nordic countries, Maja Rohwetter in Finland and Gabriele Kûnne in Sweden. Both dealt with their new environment specifically on a modern urban basis. Rohwetter combines photos of different small towns in Finland in photoshop and uses these collages for her paintings. The results are paintings of seemingly recognizable places where everything looks familiar but something is different, you just can’t point out what. Künne deals with roads and bridges, highways and viaducts seen as enormous sculptures in the cityscape. She uses these shapes for making sculptures.
Parallel to Fictional Hometown a 3-day seminar was arranged on city planning, the city as living environment and the place of art in the city, inviting a tenant association that deal with the parks in Vaasa (Jaakko Vainiopää, Kantakaupungin asukasyhdistys ry), an association of shops around the town square (Tuula Wägar; Vasa affärscentrum rf) that usually arrange some strange occasions on the market square where they put up a fence around it and you’ll have to pay to get in, the town architect (Kalle Viljanen) and a researcher and architect from Helsinki (Panu Lehtovuori) and an architect from the neighboring city Jakobstad (Roger Wingren).
The first exhibition Platform showed was called Nordic light. It consisted of work from three Nordic artists – Elina Brotherus, Jörgen Erkius and Oskar Lindström. The common aspects of these works were that they contain the aspect of light, dealt with deliberately or not – in various ways.
Jörgen Erkius showed a video, which looked like a homemade puppet theatre; a cardboard box with a snowy, symmetrical landscape. In the middle there was a hole where the artist stuck his dick through and glued a yellow paper sun on it. In the video the sun is rising and sinking, for three days in ultrarapido.
Oskar Lindström showed a video where he sings Twinkle, twinkle little star. He is not a good singer and every time he does a mistake somebody – you see only the artist’s face and a hand – slaps him on the cheek.
Elina Brotherus showed atmospheric photographs of nightly city landscapes; for instance an illuminated bridge shot on a foggy night.
For the first exhibition the local atmosphere almost required something you easily identify and relate to. The romantic aspect Nordic Light implies, gave the exhibition a connection to themes frequently used by other local and national and Scandinavian art institutions. The exhibition questioned if these artist have, or even if there is a common Nordic background in relation to art history. It felt important to show a variety instead of pointing out similarities, though the common title still remained. As we saw it, due to the chosen thematic local – global, Platform should start close to the local.