7 Days Before the Deluge - Trailer from Honkasalo-Niemi-Virtanen.


HIAP Gallery Augusta (Suomenlinna B 28/2, Helsinki)
On view: 4 November - 3 December 2017, Tuesday to Sunday, 13:00-16:00
Opening: Friday 3 November 2017, 17:45-20:00 

A recent visit to the San Diego Zoo confirmed my conviction that people reaffirm many of their beliefs about each other and about what kind of planet earth can be by telling each other what they think they are seeing as they watch the animals. — Donna Haraway(1992)1 

With the help of zookeepers responsible for curatorial planning at the Korkeasaari Zoo, we have been documenting the complex and time-consuming transfers of animals — in trucks, ships, planes, airports, harbors and customs areas. Through our work we ask: How, when and why are zoo animals moved around? Which animals are awaited, searched for, transported from afar, and which ones are banished? We investigate the power structures that turn animals into abstract information and we analyse the numbers that makes possible the maintenance, recording, identification and tracking and management of data related to animal bodies.

Instead of highlighting singular-sad-narratives of animals kept in captivity, in 7 Days Before the Deluge, we investigate the bureaucratization of animals for human use through animal transfers. Our project looks at the social and political problematics of the representation of animals in today’s society that has paradoxically rendered them spatially and morally invisible. We are not concerned with documenting the actual animal body, but rather with the human network that makes these transfers possible. On the one hand our work is monologic and totalitarian in its narrative, but on the other it creates a space where different cycles of information are formed and mute-images overlap. Our methodology is to create multiple stories that question those ideologies that rule our lives. We want to believe it is possible to think and live differently, by giving space to that which is forgotten, hidden and invisible. — Honkasalo-Niemi-Virtanen

1Haraway, Donna. “Otherworldly conversations; terran topics; local terms.” Science as Culture, V3, 1, 1992, 64-98.

Honkasalo-Niemi-Virtanen is a Helsinki based collective of three artists working in the fields of music, theatre, sculpture and time-based arts. The exhibition 7 Days Before the Deluge consists of a three channel video work, an installation and a text piece. The project is supported by Kone Foundation, AVEK and HIAP.