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Tag: Platform gallery

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George Orwell’s Big Brother was outdated a long time ago.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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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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Maja Rohwetter, 16.8.-17.8.2008

In collaboration with the KulturÖsterbotten residency programme at Stundars, Platform arranged an artist talk/opening with Maja Rohwetter, an artist based in Berlin.

Starting from a suite of paintings referring to experiences made from computer games, such as immersion, discontinuity of space, rendering problems and transitions from 2D to 3D, Rohwetter created an interactive 3D model. The painting process was translated to spatial constellations, layers and bodies.

The show at Platform presented a video of a camera flight through this 3D environment, in addition to four paintings – based on screenshots of the model – that she realised during her stay at Stundars. In the video, the tracking shot forces the spectator into an often uncomfortable movement through space, permanently deconstructing the picture. The four paintings explore similar aspects, oscilliating between the recognizable and the unknown.

Maja Rohwetter


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Avaruuslakana 24.7-7.8.2008

Wolf von Kries


Berlin-based artist Wolf von Kries’ public installation and the accompanying exhibition at Platform are derived from his immediate surroundings in Vaasa, namely the old soap and candle factory and the nearby forests. Using the raw materials at hand, he formed sculptures that seem to resemble surreal landscape models or islands. Made of chemicals, wax and lichen they are all results of a research about defining or claiming territory: a floating island made of wax that defies all notions of location, crystal gardens growing in sodium silicate, a chemical which Goethe believed to be the missing link between matter and life, and finally lichen which was one of the first organisms to survive on land, growing on bare rocks. These different strategies of defining or claiming space all come together in the flag project, a public installation, in which von Kries converted a silver space emergency blanket into a flag, which is now flying from the 15-meter flag pole in front of the vast empty lot on Sepänkyläntie. The silver sheet containing no symbol or colour only reflects the sunlight and the playing of the wind, neutralizing all notions of identification and territorial claim inherent to conventional flags. This work is also mirrored in the exhibition space itself, where a similar flag, suspended from the ceiling, moves in the stream of air caused by the open doors of the space.


Wolf von Kries


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Tree hugger 8.3.-23.3.2008

Barry Sykes | Artist in residence February – March 2008


Platform is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibition by the London-based artist Barry Sykes, our current artist in residence. All the works have been conceived and completed in the five weeks since Barry arrived. Barry works with a wide variety of methods; primarily sculpture and drawing but also singing, stealing, fitness, forgery and lies. Recent projects have led him to impersonate a part-time police officer, make a series of sculptures blindfolded and redesign British currency. His work asks questions about usefulness, experience and appropriate behaviour.

The title of the exhibition, Tree Hugger, is used deliberately out of context. Usually used as a derogatory term for ecologists and extreme nature lovers it is instead used to raise questions about the approach, intentions and possible benefits of the works. It also describes a desire to interact with your immediate surroundings and the absurdity of some of the activities this has involved.

For this exhibition Barry has devised a number of strategies to create new work in reaction to the expectations of a residency model. His only pre-planned tactic was to involve two collaborators working from London, each in very different ways. For the project ‘The Dad Directives’ Barry has sent his father – a keen amateur photographer – 6 short instructions every weekend to take one photograph and send it to him in Vaasa. These have included ‘Go out of the house after dark and photograph any house with a window that you can see someone through’ and ‘Take a photograph of a photograph you wish you had taken’.

For his research project with i-cabin gallery, Barry has undertaken a long email conversation about importance, usefulness and philanthropy. This epic text will be available to read in the gallery alongside a large hand-drawn map of Vaasa produced by i-cabin based on Barry’s description of the town and exactly €100 worth of adapted wooden handicrafts purchased from the Vaasa prison inmates shop. Other works in the show will include a blatant rip-off of another artist’s work, a design for a new font and a sculpture of two imaginary wall brackets.

Barry Sykes was born in Essex, England in 1976. He gained his Masters from Chelsea College of Art, London in 2000 and lives and works in South East London. His recent exhibitions include Evolution de l’Art, Bratislava (2007); Itchy Park 1,2,4 & 5, Limehouse Town Hall, London (2004-2008); Putting spark back into your relationships, Gallop design studio, London (2006); Romantic Detachment, PS1 New York and Chapter Arts Cardiff (2004), and Déjà Vu, ProArtibus, Ekenäs, Finland (2006). In 2006 he was nominated for the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Visual Arts for his collaborative work with the artist Sean Parfitt. Tree Hugger is his first solo show in Finland.

Barry Sykes


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Message 22.9.–7.10.2007


Artists: Igor Przybylski, Anita Pasikowska, Ryszard Lugowski and Jan Mioduszewski.
Curated by Eulalia Domanowska.

Igor Przybylski obsessively documented the public transport buses in Warsaw. Some of the results of this, and his contribution, were a video and a computer game.

Anita Pasikowska and Jan Mioduszewski set their minds on communicating with the local inhabitants of Vaasa during their week-long stay in the city. Pasikowska had the mission to draw pictures of windows of people she managed to establish contact with and Mioduszewski confronted the flâneur with the street painter. Mioduszewski showed slides taken during these walks in Vaasa and Pasikowska showed drawings resulting from her meetings with the locals.

Ryszard Lugowski introduced self-made coins from bronze and a film about the moon.


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“é tudo sobre o passado/it is all about the past” 6.5.-10.6.2007

Camila Rocha


A lot has happened to me in Vaasa, a lot about the past.
I discovered that one part of my family in Brazil originally comes from Venice, at the very moment Hüseyin is sending four traditional wooden barns to Venice and I am getting one, the oldest one from the Laihia region, for my exhibition at the Platform Gallery in Vaasa.

Making a home abroad from an old barn, which once sheltered the animals and perhaps the wheat. Kirsi, barn mama, has shown me the old “Money Tree” in the region, which was once on Finnish Mark coins.

I look at the old photographs of my grandparent’s parents from Venice as the anonymous people in the postcards found in an antique shop.

Here I am in the loft of the abandoned soap-factory, listening to Caetano Veloso’s exile song “London, London” and the ice is melting down.

Camila Rocha is a Brasilian artist, based in Istanbul.


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Fear+Desire 10.12.–21.12.2006

Carla Cruz


Carla Cruz lives and works in Porto (Portugal). She is the guest-artist during October – December at KulturÖsterbotten’s Artist in Residence -programme at Ateljé Stundars.

Every year thousands of people leave their home towns and countries in search of a better life, a bearable life. These people normally travel from the countryside to bigger towns, from poorer countries to richer countries, from countries at war or with totalitarian regimes to democratic and peaceful countries. These people – emigrants – are the motor of several high income developed countries that wouldn’t be able to maintain the level of production and quality of life without them.

After having been primarily countries of emigration for more than two centuries, many countries within the European Union gradually became destinations for international immigrants. One of the factors connected to migration is undoubtedly economical. Most of the first 15 members of the European Union have already faced the displacement of their major industries to countries with a cheaper labour force. The same will happen, sooner or later, to all the new members. As the quality of life rises and salaries become higher, international or even national companies move to wherever they can produce the same thing for less money.

Finally, in this millennium Europe is a continent at peace, at least within its boarders. But that hasn’t been so for the last centuries. European history is also a narrative about self-determination.

This apparent peace is kept together with a constant state of fear und urgency. But what are we most afraid of? Loosing someone dear to us or one’s life, for sure, comes first but apart from that, what are Europeans afraid of?

We are afraid of the unknown, uncertainty and insecurity. We are afraid of those who frighten us. Those who want the same as we do. Those who desire security and peace. We are afraid of those who invade our boarders to live our way, but not quite the same way, afraid of those who in their own boarders want to live in their way, not our way, but being subjected to our ways anyway.

Still, what we acknowledge as being frightening are the big cataclysms: Third World War; environmental collapse; pandemic diseases and extra-terrestrial apocalypse in the shape of a meteorite collision.

Thus we come to Wormwood – as on the one hand is the silhouette of our fears and on the other the veil that covers our real anxieties. (For if we are not political anymore we are truly politically correct. Therefore, we would never openly mention that our biggest fear is actually our non-EU neighbours.)

500 million years ago a meteorite crashed into the earth not far from where we stand, being immediately galvanized by the explosion and leaving a scar 6 km of diameter. This could had been the description of the impact: I saw a star from heaven fallen unto the earth as it were a great mountain burning with fire as a torch – it was cast into sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; and there died the third part of the creatures which were in the sea; and the third part of the ships was destroyed. as well as a third part of the rivers, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; that the third part of them should be darkened, and the day should not shine for the third part of it, and the night in like manner and the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. But in those times life wasn’t yet been blown on earth. Plus the apocalypse is still to come.

So let us sing: Ja, må du leva, Ja, må du leva, Ja, må du leva uti hundrade år.



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Maria and Natalia Petschatnikov


Born 1973 in St. Petersburg, Russia
Live and work in Hamburg, Germany since 1999

1992 – 1996 Rhode Island College, Providence, USA (BFA)
1996 – 1999 Hunter College of the City University of New York, USA (MFA)
1998 Ecole National Superior des Beaux Arts, Paris, France (Exchange program)

1999 – till present numerous exhibitions and residency programs

Artists’ statement

We are identical twins and we work together on each piece. Ideas for our projects evolve through discussions and shared observations. Collaborative process allows both of us to engage in experiments with materials and subject matter. Humor and irony, characteristic of our work, evolve through constant dialogues between us. The experience of traveling and working in artists’ residency programs has greatly influenced our working methods and inspired development of certain concepts and ideas.

The choice of materials and its relationship to a given place plays a very important role in all our projects. Oil paintings and sight specific installations, among other processes, form a vocabulary of our work practice. Our works often reflect the world of two very closely connected people. We are interested in private and yet universal things that somehow tell a very personal story. Perceptions of reality and its documentation, notions of ‘truth’, ‘manipulation’ and ‘fiction’ are reoccurring themes in our projects.

In an informal discussion at the Platform Gallery in Vaasa we would like to share some of the ideas developed during a two-month residency at Atelje Stundars as well as give a small overview of our previous projects.


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