Friday 12. June 2015
In Serlachius Museums’ new exhibition Touching from a Distance, well-known photographic artists from Finland and abroad encounter a small town in Central Finland called Mänttä. The exhibition is curated by photographic artist Ville Lenkkeri. Sculptor Antero Toikka’s exhibition Vision 2015, on the other hand, combines art, architecture and landscape. Both exhibitions will open to the public on Saturday, 13 June.
Touching from a Distance / Kaukainen kosketus arose as the result of a visit made to Mänttä in autumn 2014 by nine photographic artists. The purpose was for the artists to photograph the small Finnish town honestly from their own outlooks, backgrounds and working methods.
The artists of the exhibition are Roger Ballen (USA/South Africa), Elina Brotherus (Finland), Petros Efstathiadis (Greece), Aino Kannisto (Finland), Trish Morrissey (UK), Esko Männikkö (Finland), Pekka Niittyvirta (Finland), Inta Ruka (Latvia) and Pekka Turunen (Finland).
Some of the artists came to Mänttä with a prepared plan. Others wanted to document the life of the community just as they found it. From these encounters, a diverse exhibition, which includes a video and installations as well as photographs, has been created in Art Museum Gösta.
A house inside a museum
In autumn 2014, Roger Ballen, who has something of a cult following worldwide, built an extraordinary installation in a abandoned house condemned for demolition. This installation has now been transferred in its entirety to Art Museum Gösta. Entitled Resurrected, the installation includes photographs in addition to the house.
Petros Efstathiadis has also worked among installations. He assembled devices and appliances from abandoned materials and photographed them. For Petros, they symbolise a small northern paper industry community that arose in the middle of the Finnish forest.
Touching from a Distance includes a video and photographs from women artists, who use themselves as the models of their images. The artists are Elina Brotherus, Aino Kannisto and Trish Morrissey. Each artist’s approach to and implementation of the theme is very different, however. Inta Ruka interviewed and photographed people whose family roots are in Finnish Karelia.
Esko Männikkö and Pekka Turunen are known particularly for their depictions of the life and people of Finland’s remote areas. Pekka Niittyvirta worked a lot in the evenings and nights, photographing the people he met by chance as well as the surprise encounters that led him to new places and situations.
According to Ville Lenkkeri, the artists he selected usually depict people in their own environments and work on their exhibitions for a long time. Now they had to complete a project in a few days. According to Lenkkeri, this was actually a mission impossible that, even so, proved to be a success.
– The exhibition is diverse, which was my goal when I started to put this team together. I wanted the exhibition to be more a synthesis of different approaches and responses, like a surprising touch – a caress or squeeze – reaching out from afar, he explains.
Vision 2015 in Gösta’s park and pavilion
Sculptor Antero Toikka’s retrospective exhibition Vision 2015 spreads across Art Museum Gösta's park and continues from there into a small exhibition space in the pavilion. Toikka brings to Art Museum Gösta his large steel sculptures, which depict the museum as a cradle and home of art.
In addition to painted steel, Vision 2015 includes stone, wood and photographs. Toikka explains that the exhibition crystallises a vision of sculpting at the focal point of past, present and future. Sound Artist Timo Humaloja has created a sound world for two of his works.
– The undeniable power of art is in the present moment. It’s said that a thousand years old work you see tomorrow can provide building materials for the day after tomorrow. And what if the impression of my art received by the public were, in this respect, to be the future of my own art? he ponders.
Claude Monet’s work on show
The painting Haystack in the Evening Sun (1891) by Claude Monet, the master of Impressionism, will also be exhibited at Serlachius Museum Gösta until 31 August. The artwork from Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation’s collection gained a lot of publicity earlier this spring when it was studied with latest technology and authenticated as genuine Monet.
The Foundation originally acquired the painting in 1957 through a London art broker. Ever since its acquisition, the painting has been assumed to be a Monet. As the artist’s signature is not visible and the painting is largely unknown, its authenticity has at times been questioned by others.
The artwork was studied with hyperspectral imaging layer by layer. This examination revealed underneath the layers of paint in the lower right corner the signature of Claude Monet along with the year 1891.
The Serlachius Museums are open in summer 1 June–31 August, every day 10 am–6 pm, also at Midsummer.