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Tag: 2008

Virtual Transcendency 6.12.–11.12.2008

Tomasz Szrama

An enormous ambiguous eye stares from the window. It appears physically and psychologically trapped in the confines of the window frame and alludes to a larger body within. Perhaps it merely observes, maybe it controls, … or positions itself in judgment. Perhaps it’s the eye of a neighbour, Big Brother, or an all-seeing God. Perhaps it is confused.

Tomasz Szrama (b. 1970, Poland) graduated in 1998 from the fine art graphics department of ASP in Wroclaw. Szrama shifts between multiple disciplines, including video, installation and time-based works. He uses a variety of appropriate platforms to disseminate his practice including the web, the gallery space and the found public venue.

Tomasz Szrama lives and works in Helsinki, Finland.


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“Tomma händer – Tomma händer – Empty hands”

Jörgen Erkius | Nordic Residency December 2008 – February 2009


The film “Tomma händer” is based on a poem by the Finnish poet and playwright Josef Julius Wecksell (1838-1907), namely the second of three fragments. It represents an early vision on later modernistic litterature and was written during the time of his mental breakdown. Probably in the year 1862 at the age of 23.

“Tomma händer
Mörka stränder
Sorgsen våg och tyst
Varifrån komma
Ord som blomma
Döden allt ju kysst”


14’00. In the roles of Josef Julius Wecksell: Sue Lemström and Julia Johansson.

The film had its premiere at Ritz, Vaasa, 12th February 2009.


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O! Children! 23.11–14.12.2008

Kalle Brolin | Platform

In a near future, child labourers and working street children have formed their own unions. They refuse to be represented by adults and have organized to demand better working conditions – not an end to child labour. It’s a pragmatic adaptation of the present conditions, where families are dependent on the extra income (as are the street children). Even today there exists a trade union for child labourers in Peru (Manthoc) and one for street children in India (Bal Mazdoor Sangh).

O! Children! adopts the uncomprehending outside perspective of the adults who look on and wish that things were different. The children themselves are not visible, only the traces left by them. In the exhibition at Platform, several works are included:
– a poster series, calling for participants in the first international gathering of trade unions for child labourers;
– a film showing night descending upon a slum where the singing of children can be heard from far away, intertwined with an agitated older worker and union activist attempting to comprehend the new youth;
– traces of a mobile print workshop of working street children, where they have been working on producing a mascot (mighty mouse Pico, printed with woodblocks) and a logo (the second star to the right, sewn over the original brands on different baseball caps).

Kalle Brolin is an artist from Sweden. He has had several solo- and group shows in Moscow, Kaliningrad, Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö, Köpenhamn, London, New York, Buenos Aires etc. He now works with social science fiction, which means identifying a marginal social trend or phenomenon and extending this into a near future scenario, which is then presented through speculative aesthetics.

While in Vaasa, he has met up with school children producing “time travels” to former factories, and has also been inspired by photos at the workers’ museum in Brändö.

More information on this and other works found at


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Ode to The Guard 1.11.-14.11.2008

Stephan US | Platform

George Orwell’s Big Brother was outdated a long time ago. In the 21st century questions like “Who supervises who” and “What are the boundaries of public and private areas” aren’t easy to answer anymore. In this era of mobile communication technologies and global monitoring systems both public and private spaces become controlled and monitored. And the consciousness of this leads humans to change their behaviour.

German artist Stephan US lets the visitor play with these questions in his installation Ode to the Guard. During his stay in Vaasa in September 2008 he investigated numerous monitoring and control systems in the public areas of the city, which will form one part of a three-part multimedia work. The others are a network of monitors and more than 150 surveillance cameras, installed at the Platform gallery. The game nears it’s boundaries: Who is really the guard and who observes who?

Stephan US is based in Münster, Germany, and has since 1994 worked mainly with performance and installation. During November he is artist in residence in Nykarleby.

More information:

Note: Stephan US’ performance nonobody at Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art, Vaasa, Friday 31.10.08 at 20.00 (Museum Night)


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Independence! 6.10.–11.10.2008

A workshop on the politics and economics of independent initiatives 1:1projects, 6 – 11 October 2008, Rome


… from what, from whom, to do what, with whom?!


Keynote lecture by Maria Lind at MACRO

Public presentations and workshops at 1:1projects: Uqbar (Berlin, Germany), Platform (Vaasa, Finalnd), RDW (Reykjavik, Iceland), Färgfabriken (Stockholm, Sweden). Book presentation art-e-conomy [a theoretical reader] presented by curator Marko Stamenkovic.

Even though art is often perceived as the ultimate outsider, its relationship with economic and political systems is becoming increasingly sophisticated and multilayered. INDEPENDENCE! posits a blunt, urgent question: Independent from what and whom, to do what, with whom?!

INDEPENDENCE! analyses the practice and theory of the politics and economies of independent initiatives from Northern Europe. INDEPENDENCE! is an opportunity for the analysis of the language, perspectives and methods of distribution of contemporary culture through a practice-oriented experience: discussing the meaning of criticism, sharing knowledge and networking.

INDEPENDENCE! is organised in two sessions: a series of public events, including a lecture by Maria Lind, a book presentation with Marko Stamenkovic, and four presentations with the invited cultural associations Färgfabriken, Platform, RDW and Uqbar that will present their programmes and approaches; and a closed workshop attended by a group of selected participants from different media and cultural backgrounds: Milo Adami, Guido Affini, Anna Biagetti, Federica Bueti, Fabio Campagna, Gabriella Ciancillo, Giulia Cilla, O.B. De Alessi, Valerio Del Baglivo, Claudia Giordano, Gruppo Estraneo Permanente, Liquidcat, Francesca Manzini, Jacopo Mazzetti, and Zoe Romano.

To illuminate diverse aspects of INDEPENDENCE! 1:1projects hosts three artworks: Situation as of 31 July 2008 (1:1projects Roma), by Anna Scalfi, is composed of the five flags of the countries involved in the workshop, the length of every flag proportional to the number of women in each country’s Parliament; Festyessen (2008), a garland created by Carlo Steiner from newspaper articles about the Thyssen-Krupp case in December 2007, investigates the capacity and destination of socially engaged practices in relation to the art market; Carla’s non heroic jobs (2005), by Carla Cruz, highlights the relationship between the desire to produce ‘art’ and the social negotiations which shape it.

* The graphic design of the project was commissioned to Inclothink, a group of three young designers who collaborate with 1:1projects. Contact:

Conceived and organised by:

Community partner: UnDo.Net

Supported by: Nordic Council of Ministers, Macro Amici, NOMAS FOUNDATION, Ines Musumeci Greco


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Neocredo 20.9-5.10.2008

Paul Murnaghan | Artist in residence September – October 2008

In autumn 2008 Murnaghan travelled through Finland and some of its neighbouring countries on an utopian endeavour, to compose a universal hymn. He set up meetings using arts groups, databases, media and word-of-mouth and asked the question: ’If you had the opportunity to compose the opening line of a universal hymn, what would it be and how would you sing it’?

The concept of a universal hymn is a flawed one, but at the same time it functions as a device or catalyst to begin a dialogue in each new situation. The installation at Platform uses several disciplines as is typical of Murnaghan’s practice. The scale and form of the wooden sculpture evokes some past monumental ideology while the three separated video works construct a triptych of intermittent dialogue. This work continues to explore fragmentary points of intersection between the spiritual, scientific and the psychological.

Paul Murnaghan is a Dublin-based artist, curator and intermittent composer. His practice emanates from a fascination with the psychology of individual and collective memory, the artifice of reminiscence and conditions that contribute to specific belief structures. This process has led him to advertise his memory capacity for sale (Memorious, 2006) or to publish a contract detailing the commission of an artwork that no one would ever see (Auto Da Fe, 2007).

Murnaghan’s projects rarely happen without other people and the generosity of exchange. When viewed as a whole his work can be seen as an attempt to access a universal, subliminal dialogue.

Neocredo is supported by Platform and The Irish Arts Council with assistance from FRAME in Helsinki and The Estonian Acedemy of Arts in Tallin.

Paul Murnaghan


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Alt_Cph 2008

Copenhagen | 19.9–21.9.2008

Alt_Cph is a platform offering a joint public setting for alternative art spaces. This year Alt_Cph presented 18 non-profit art spaces and artistic initiatives from the following Nordic countries: Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

The selection of works presented by Platform at Alt_Cph represent past, present and future visiting artists. The selected artists have in common that their artistic practice can be looked at through the conception of territory. Some works investigate different mechanisms, mapping or visual code that sustain territory, others try to expand territorial borders or even mark and occupy territory.

The ascription of value to a geographical place, that hosts the identification, forms the economical, political and historical base for recognizing territories. And this identification is in itself the actual foundation, platform or mental ground on which territory is claimed. The historical justification or explanation for current relations of possessing, distributing and producing is therefore a self-sustaining, closed circuit… not only in art. Territory must be re-thought as a fictional abstract conception, to open up a new critical view on ever acute political disproportion and create a new substitutional mental ground for identification and value production.

During Alt_Cph Emma Houlihan presented ‘Leg Up’, a new participative performance, whereby she facilitated urban exploration for Copenhagen citizens by offering her services in assisting people over the city’s walls. Leg Up questions our conception of built space and also seeks to investigate how boundaries define us and attempts to map new ways of traversing them. The first Leg Up was done at the Museum of the Harbour Laboratory (a project by Parfyme as part of U-turn).

Barry Sykes did two works on-site at Alt_Cph 2008: the wall drawing ‘Top Secret UK Airbase From Memory’ and the performance piece ‘Someone Else’s Small Hand Dance’ on stage. The wall drawing was an attempt to remember the map of a secret airbase he worked at some years previously. The performance was a re-enactment of the Small Hand Dance (Ceryth Wynn Evans’ original performance, performed at Serpentine Gallery almost a year earlier).

Wolf von Kries works with site-specific interventions that question the functioning of the social, economical or cultural structures which determine the perceptions of our daily routines. For his projects he often merges seemingly incompatible frames to suggest an alternative reading of ordinary objects or occurences which go far beyond their conventionally assigned meaning. In the series Puddles and Islands, he juxtaposes C.I.A. maps of Pacific islands with photographs of puddles which are nearly identical in shape. The result is a curious merge of references: while the origin of the maps suggests a political dimension raising questions of power, territory and manipulation, the corresponding photographs pick up on these elements to enter into a fuzzy, often inverted, dialectic between symbol and object, water and land, micro- and macrocosm or simply the ephemeral and the permanent.

Kalle Brolin showed ‘Roof Girls’, made during a NIFCA residency in Tallinn. It’s a film about teenage girls who climb the rooftops of Tallinn, where nobody dares to follow them. The film is split into three parts, which are also three ways of presenting the story – the girls’ own films of scary stunts and favorite roofs; an animation while Brolin lost track of them for a few weeks; and an interview he made with them when they met up again, talking about family, friends and inaccessibility, things which might drive them to climb the roofs.

In addition we also streamed the performance festival mope08 live that was going on in Vaasa during Friday 19th and Saturday 20th.


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For the third performance festival, Platform invited the artists:

Irma Optimisti (FIN), Pekka Luhta (FIN), Lauri Luhta (FIN), John Court (FIN/ENG), Juha Valkeapää (FIN), Ladyburst (GR), Dimitris Halatsis (GR), Marianne Saapunki (SWE), Marina Ciglar, (FIN/ SWE), Helena Eriksson (SWE), Nina Boas (NL), Rasmus Hedlund (FIN), Stephan US (DE), Mattias Olofsson (SWE), Elina Harzell (FIN), Mark Ward (FIN/ IRL), Herman Hiller (DE), Willem Willhelmus (FIN/ NL), Maurice Blok (FIN/ NL), Seppo Salminen (FIN), Tanja Koistila (FIN), Leena Kela (FIN), Christian Rupp (AT), Fredrik Willberg (FIN),Tom Backström “KÅL”-gruop (FIN), Paul Murgnahan (IRL), Dragos Alexandrescu (FIN/ RO), Peter Lüttge (FIN/ DE), Tomasz Szrama (FIN/ PL), Jaap Klevering (FIN/NL)
and Otzir Godot (FIN).


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