Programm 2018


Ausstellung| 21. 04. 2018 - 13. 05. 2018

opening hours: Sa, So, Feiertag 14 - 18 Uhr

opening: 20.4.2018 um 18 Uhr
curator: Hari Laakso und / and Martin Breindl

artists: Bryant Hoban (USA), Paola Jalili (MEX), Verna Kovanen (FIN), Else Lagerspetz (EST), Naya Magaliou (GR), Adrian Mc Grath (IRL), Sami Juhani Rekola (FIN), Samra Šabanović (BIH), Shubhangi Singh (IND), Sheung Yiu (HK)

How do we construct contemporary narratives, and which images and tropes do we use when moving around in systems which are so dynamic that they already have escaped (artistic) control? These are the central issues addressed by the course Images, Tropes and Narratives: Sharing Control, which is co-taught by Martin Breindl and Harri Laakso (Professor of Visual Culture and Art) in the spring term 2018 at the Art Department of the Aalto University in Helsinki. How, in a joint effort, can we learn to give or share control – not just with the other artists involved in the project, but with other (human and non-human) intelligences? Artist have learned to act participatory and to invite others to take in the production of art works. But how do we deal with Artificial Intelligence, with machines and programs? With neural networks and deep learning? Or with animal intelligence, with biological systems?

Ten students from different disciplines theoretically and practically are circling the topics of control and sharing in a joint project, emphasizing the horizontal structures and working processes. An artistic research project that started at the university’s premises in Espoo in February 2018, continued in a workshop in the Marek Gallery in Schloss Wolkersdorf, and culminates in the realization of an installation that deals with the concrete place, colonizing it with different species.

The Scanner Series by Paola Jalili, Else Lagerspetz, Naya Magaliou is a collection of prints about memories and dreams repeatedly printed and scanned to the point of heavy distortion. The scans contain more information than what is carried just by words: sprinkles of dust, textures of paper, an occasional cat hair, and the specific hue of the scanner itself. A coexisting sound piece --made in collaboration with Bryant Hoban-- creates an atmosphere of fading and deteriorating recollections.

Another collaborative work, the Human Audits Machine Office (HAM Office), is a digital archive and consultancy established by Bryant Hoban and Sheung Yiu in 2018. ‘Machines of Loving Grace’ and ‘Visually Similar Images’, two of latest HAM services, are presented in this exhibition, reflecting its mission: “Machines are auxiliary data consumption beings. We believe in machines. We believe we are putting too much trust in machines. Our mission is to audit these machines… To explore, To understand, To reveal.”

Verna Kovanen's work Tracks, comprising a video and the wall text "own tracks, own platforms, but we share the station" creates a realistic dream zone, and depicts moments of separation and misconnection. In a similar way Samra Šabanovic's photographic works (together with Adrian Mc Grath) display "moments being held and preserved;  denying ultimate ends and conclusions".

Re-regard/Passageway, a collaborative work by Naya Magaliou and Adrian Mc Grath, also forms a rupture in one's experience of the space, by reconstituting the gallery's first doorway with concrete paving slabs; cast from the floor of the entrance hall.

Some of the works extend beyond the rooms of the castle, or invite the outside world in. Shubhangi Singh's work Open the Window and Let the Climate Come In is comprised of a camera obscura projection and objects bought from the local people of the town for 7 cents – the amount equivalent to 1 Austrian schilling in 1967, the price for which the castle of Wolkersdorf then exchanged hands. By inviting the personal possessions into the premises of the castle, and letting the objects transform, subvert and subsequently, reclaim the space, the work is an attempt at drawing new sub-narratives within the larger narrative of the castle’s history.

Adrian Mc Grath's Two Stations of a Raft (After Géricault) - located in the pond outside the castle -   is a deconstruction of Géricault's Raft of Medusa, depicting, by reduction, the moment before the Medusa's crew were rescued. Some were found in the ecstasy of being saved, others in an unyielding despair.

Packaged landscapes, a work by Sami Juhani Rekola, also extends outside the castle as a performative work. Rekola's work, in its three approaches, also inside the gallery rooms, explores the materiality, problematics and possibilities of plastic, amounting to a meditation "on the contemporary ghost".

documentary pictures: Sheung Yiu