5 Dec 2018


Moderate Hardness

9 January – 2 February

Tuomas A. Laitinen’s solo exhibition Moderate Hardness carries on the visual expression and the themes of his solo show Fundamental Matter at EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, including: the use of natural resources, urbanization, and the global economy. Where Fundamental Matter is a wide-ranging whole, addressing its subject matter across a broad spectrum, going from the general to the specific, Moderate Hardness is a more personal exhibition. It works through small gestures, and advances via various shades of emotion.

The key work in the exhibition, the light installation A Room for You, accentuates intuitive, subjective sensory experience. Laitinen has used various objects to assemble a stripped-down staging without a drama; a darkened stage, on which the lights direct the movement of the gaze. This is a subtle, intimate space, which simultaneously reveals and conceals its contents. The objects placed in the space are hints, conveyed a bit at a time, at the state of consciousness of some unknown person. The lights act like words at a first meeting: what is told is only a fragment. The story can be sensed, but it remains a riddle.

In the video piece Azure Dune (for J. G. Ballard) a mysterious, possibly menacing dune landscape quakes like the sea beneath an infinite sky. It tells of deep time, of resources hidden within the strata of the globe, and of their gradual exhaustion. In the work’s imagery the metallic ore needed to manufacture copper is fused with a desert landscape. This is a hypnotic sight that evokes images of what might be the true dimensions of our material and digital reality.

A photographic series is also included in the exhibition. It shows ruined interiors of Detroit, basketball courts and schools, which, even when abandoned, offer some small promise of a return, of a continuous cycle of life. And, in fact, the cycle is a unifying theme of the works in the exhibition, and an element that recurs in different contexts. The works are in a constant state of radical transition, between permanent and changeable, coherent and disconnected, and between selfhood and otherness.

Tuomas A. Laitinen’s solo exhibition Fundamental Matter is on display at EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art until 11 January 2015.

Tuomas A. Laitinen (b. 1976, Riihimäki) graduated from the Department of Time & Space at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2008. The Academy of Fine Arts awarded him the first of its eponymous prizes in April 2013, which includes a solo exhibition at EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art and a catalogue of his works. Laitinen has participated in exhibitions and festivals around the world, e.g. the 5th Cairo Video Festival, 2013; Camouflage, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, 2012; and Museum of Oblivion, Art + Shanghai Gallery, 2011. His previous solo exhibition at Helsinki Contemporary, Maps and Mazes, was shown in December 2012.

The exhibition Moderate Hardness is organised by Helsinki Contemporary.