Unfolding and Refolding
Curated by Mirjami Schuppert
In collaboration with Titanik Gallery
9.9.2022 — 5.11.2022
The exhibition Unfolding and Refolding, features new commissions by two Finnish artists, Jaakko Autio and Riikka Keränen. It examines how the past lingers on in the present, how the presence we experience is impacted by our past experiences. We, or rather, our bodies, carry both sensuous and non-sensuous traces of the past, these are present not only as a form of remembrance, but as embodied memories. Our lived experiences are ingrained in ourselves, making us carry the past in our bodies. Through the embodied memory, there is a presence of different temporalities in one place and space simultaneously and cannot be separated; this day and time is part of a continuum that forms history.
During his residency in Narva, Estonia, Jaakko Autio recorded local choirs and one Finnish choir singing the Estonian national anthem Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm (also the national anthem of Finland, where it is titled Maamme laulu). In Autio’s work, the singers’ voices, recorded individually, come together in a multichannel installation. Through the playing of the recordings, where each singers’ voice mixes and mingles, the lyrics and melody become indecipherable in the space. The work creates a space in which the multiplicity of perception is foregrounded, and different temporalities are present all at once. Our experience of the present becomes manifold and resists definition.
Riikka Keränen’s mischievous-looking objects are shaped by the artist’s immediate relationship to various natural materials, such as sand and clay. The works find their form in the artist’s hands – they are moulded by her physical presence in relation to the material, listening to their needs and inspired by the way living organisms grow. The shapes stretch and sprawl on surfaces, lingering on and not hurrying toward a form. Their raw material presence resists defined objecthood and becoming finite. Keränen’s works negotiate a space for themselves in relation to both Autio’s installation as well as the white cube of the gallery, building up in the crevices like fungi. Through Keränen’s work the nooks and crannies become visible, they create a presence for those elements of the interior that are always there, but never noticed.
The exhibition found its inspiration from Kogo’s theme for 2022 “Past is the Present”, which refers to how certain events and experiences are carried from the past into the present. Pastness is a current running through the present; the past impacts on how certain events unfold in the present. It is always there, lingering, just like the present we now experience folds into the future.
The exhibition is a result of a collaboration between Titanik, a Finnish contemporary art gallery located in Turku and Kogo, exchanging their exhibition projects this year to bring Finnish artists to Tartu, Estonia and Baltic artists to Turku, Finland.
Jaakko Autio is a sound artist based in Helsinki. Autio was born in Finland, but moved to Senegal as a child (4–11). After spending his childhood in Senegal, the return to Finland was marked by being an outsider. These events gave rise to the core of Autio’s works today – How do we connect to the world and others in a meaningful way? Autios works are multi-channel and immersive sound installations where the visitor can rest and sink into an aesthetic experience. Safety and rest serve as a starting point from where one can reflect on his/her personal belonging to the world.
Riikka Keränen is a visual artist and mixed worker from Ristijärvi in the Kainuu region of Finland. She graduated with a degree in sculpture from the Kankaanpää School of Fine Art in 2010. Keränen’s work involves playing and thinking in dialogue with the entire spectrum of the world’s materials. Through her work, the artist reflects upon the entangled nature of human and other-than-human worlds.
Mirjami Schuppert (Finland/Germany) is a teacher, curator, and director of Titanik Gallery and Arte Artists’ Association in Turku, Finland. She has completed a BA and MA in Cultural History, followed by a practice-based PhD in curating at Ulster University. Since 2010, she has been working as an independent curator delivering numerous exhibitions in Finland, Germany, and Northern Ireland, at both galleries and museums. The focus of Schuppert’s curatorial practice is commissioning new context- and site-specific works.
ON THE BORDER (CHAPTER II) / RAJALLA / НА ГРАНИЦЕ
Narva music school girls’ choir (EE), Narva Estonian language house Tandem choir (EE), Narva museum folk ensemble Suprjadki (EE) and Nomad Vocals Choir (FI) / Music composer: Jussi Mattila (Original Maamme laulu/Mu Isamaa by Fredrik Pacius 1847)
Frame Contemporary Art Finland
Tartu – City of Good Thoughts
Estonian Cultural Endowment
Press and Publications
Põhjarannik, Soome helikunstnik pani Narva ja Soome koorid koos hümni laulma, 1.11.2022
Echo Gone Wrong, Photo reportage from the exhibition ‘Unfolding and Refolding’ at Kogo gallery, 12.10.2022