22 Dec 2018


OUTRO_ my favorite tangible moment in this line of thoughts

The OUTRO_ exhibition by Krišs Salmanis and Meta Grgurevič & Jaša Mrevlje came about under the inspiration of shared experiences of a residency at HIAP in spring 2012. The exhibition at the Cable Gallery on August 16 – September 9, 2012 is the endpoint for specific ideas and for works based on them. In their new works Salmanis from Riga and Grgurevič & Mrevlje from Ljubljana contemplate beauty, the creative process and the relationship with the viewer; and in particular the gaze and time.

Salmanis worked on a new projected animation at HIAP Suomenlinna. In Long Day a barn decays majestically and in solitude. “Taken together, the qualities of the barn can be summed up in the single word: ‘beautiful’,” Salmanis says. “But beauty is obviously a source of unease in the contemporary world. Thus, it becomes a challenge for the spectator.” In what appears to be a single camera shot of a rural landscape, in the Long Day we observe a speeded-up day from dawn to sunset. In the morning, a shed is being built in the middle distance. Come noon, the structure is complete and, a moment later, the forces of nature start to take their toll. Rain, sun and wind gradually reduce the structure to ruins. Eventually, it collapses and the sun sets.

“Inevitably the works, as an exhibition project and as individual pieces, evolve out of the fact that we are a couple. Working in contrasting or different fields has enabled our relationship to survive, until now. What has this to do with you, the viewer? Absolutely nothing,” say Grgurevič & Mrevlje. “But it is still the backbone, or the inner driving force, of all three works that we are exhibiting.”

“Bowed has been our shared vision for a long time; but we never had the time or opportunity to make it. The urge survived, and that’s the main reason why a specific idea has to become material. The fact that a simple set of rotisserie ovens can turn into small, but vicious elements (since they are simultaneously eliminating a poem and creating an artwork) that are triggered only by the viewer’s presence; the paradox that every artist faces when submitting his work to another eye and to time.”

“Bad is based on the experience of the dynamics of a couple relationship that can shape your idea of freedom. In the form they will be seen in the gallery space, the works will communicate ‘air’; a frozen moment of euphoria. But who is missing from the piece, who is actually riding the bikes? Should you see the work as a metaphor for something that has happened, or dive into the reality of the object in front of you?”

“Broken can provide the energy to push onwards to discover new seas. ‘It’s OK to be romantic!’ spectators commented on Jaša’s show in New York this summer. Can this be viewed as an almost naïve desire to create a work so as to trigger emotion? Is this wrong? And what does this have to do with Darwin’s ship? Everything and nothing. The utopian ideal drives humankind towards the new… Dignity should more frequently accompany dedication, and caring for your own vehicle of communication should be the rule. In the end, part of the show needed more colour.”

The exhibition is part of the Paths Crossing residency project for artists from new and applicant EU Member States. HIAP is running the project together with four other European residency centres. It is being co-funded by the Culture Programme of the European Union.

Curated by Marita Muukkonen.