15 - 23.6.2016
Opening hours daily 18-20
Exhibition vernissage on Tue 14th of June at 18-20
Artist talk on Wed 22nd at 18-20, together with nynnyt curatorial duo
This text was written during the exhibition process. It takes the word “render” from the exhibition title and puts it into pieces (Reproduce, Convert, Melt down & Extend) in order to see what it is made of. The basis for this text is in conversations I’ve had with Tiina Raitanen during winter-spring 2016.
“I am making stones out of concrete.”
In her works Tiina Raitanen uses leftovers and abandoned materials she finds from her surroundings, together with paint and casted materials such as plaster, clay or concrete. The cycle of materials in her works is stunning: stones that are reworked into stoneware find their new shapes as casted sculptures representing stones. The relation between authenticity and reproduction is put to test, and when all is in constant process of evolving, the aura of the original becomes insignificant.
In her work Raitanen takes everyday objects, deconstructs them into pieces and then combines them again. Every piece of material is carefully chosen, carefully examined by the eye and the hand, and then carefully worked into something else. A figurative element can find it’s place as a black line, whereas more abstract shapes can be converted into something more allusive.
“Sometimes I am not anymore sure what it was originally.”
She calls her sculpted works future fossils, since to her they are imaginary artefacts that hold both the past and the future in their muster. She is interested in the life spawn of objects and as we talk, she wonders what happens, when all this matter is in touch with time, melt into one another, vanish and turn into sediments of soil? Or rather, can they even decompose, or only scatter around as scraps and shreds?
Render has one meaning as melting down; merging, dissolving and collapsing. When talking about her artistic process Raitanen emphasises the significance of touching in relation to thinking. In her way of working there is no separation between manual labour and contemplation, they both go hand in hand, and both feed one another. Each material selection as well as each mark made by the tools she uses, generate new associations leading the way to new possible meanings.
The artistic process evolves into different implications that come to be, when material and thoughts addressed are in constant affiliation with each other. What ends up in Raitanen’s exhibitions follows the same manifold pattern, as the process of a single piece: installations are formulated in relation to the time and space of the current location, and the situations are created by placing certain elements together. What the installation does, is in the affinity with the subject and the matter – in the subject matter.
Raitanen’s works can be seen linking and overlapping with the current discourses around anthropocene, posthumanism and new materialism. But if one looks more closely, it becomes clear that rather than being mere illustration of these theoretical approaches, Raitanen’s works actually already contain all the knowledge these theories pursue: the subjects and the matter she deals with embody and condense the philosophy and principles of thought in themselves. The artworks are in fact, systems of ideas embedded into practice.
The works are born from and within these situations we live in, and through these conditions they enclose the existent which will some day vanish, turn into something else. They go beyond the material, through the immaterial, extending into this situation where we are, faced with all the layers of information and times these elements hold.
Tiina Raitanen (b. 1983) lives and works in Helsinki. She graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in 2012.
Her recent exhibitions include Recall at the HAM gallery in Helsinki in 2015 and the group show Pilgrimage. Wege nach Wiepersdorf at the Finnish Institute in Berlin in 2016.
In the last three years she has lived and worked also at several artist residencies in Europe: Künstlerhaus Schloss Wiepersdorf in 2015, HIAP – and the Culture Department of the City of Frankfurt am Main exchange residency in 2013 and The Cité Internationale des Arts residency in Paris in 2013.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1026508520737158/
The exhibition is supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland.