13 Apr 2020
ANIKÓ KUIKKA: EMPOWERING THE TRAGIC AND UNDERREPRESENTED
Anikó Kuikka is an artist working mainly with narrative moving image and large-scale installations. She is a graduate from the Academy of Fine Arts at the University of the Arts Helsinki and the Royal Academy Schools at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Anikó has been working in HIAP’s Suomenlinna studios since October 2019, in a one-year studio space granted by The Academy of Fine Arts Foundation in collaboration with HIAP.
AA: Your work focuses on the absurd constructs of reality; during a time when 1/3 of the world is experiencing a lockdown, this absurdity is even more obvious. How are you currently feeling?
AK: Reality is constructed and constantly reshaped by us, but perhaps now the change will be more drastic in less amount of time. There is a potential for a better world as people are re-evaluating their life and priorities. It is also scary as not all of the occurring events are for the better obviously including death, animal exploitation, rising acts of racism and (collapsing?) economy. When encounters and closeness with others have become a risk, it might leave a permanent trauma on how we interact with each other in the future. I am saddened by what the lockdown is doing to art when spatial experience is forbidden.
AA: Is the reality you construct in your installations inspired by ‘the real word’ or is it fictional?
AK: Yes and yes – I use recognizable and ordinary everyday elements and materials, that I then amplify or place out of context so that they appear odd, surreal yet familiar. In my moving image, although all the characters and stories are fictional I do depict current social issues, herstory or trauma. ‘The real world’ is the source of fiction – a purely imaginary probably cannot exist?
AA: You recently had an exhibition “Shingle” at MAA-tila gallery in Helsinki. The multi-channel moving image installation was a sculpturally unique, immersive installation. Do you use the installation to help the audience enter the world of the films?
AK: I see my installations as portals to the world of the moving image. The spatial experience gets entangled with the story and is perceived through the viewer’s own body memory – which can be a powerful way to have an immersive experience. My moving image piece is never complete until it is presented in it’s own world, the installation. The space becomes something that can transport us into parallel realities of the moving image.
AA: “Shingle” was also very kind to its characters, and loving. Who are the people whose stories you tell?
AK: My lead characters are often tragic, suppressed and underrepresented. Empowering and making power structures visible is important to me. How and who we are used to seeing in the spotlight shape how we see ourselves, our value and importance.
AA: What are you currently working on? How has Suomenlinna affected your work so far?
AK: This spring I have shot a new moving image piece in Suomenlinna so my work is inevitably affected by my surroundings. ‘Sun Aikas Koittaa’ (Your dawn will come) is about death of self and the artist ego.
AA: When and where can we next see your work? Of course, the current situation may change future plans.
AK: Next I have a solo show coming up in London at Fiumano Clase gallery. The exhibition has been postponed from May but hopefully we’ll have new dates soon.
Photos provided by the artist.