16 Dec 2018


Susanna Iivanainen: Elemental

In Susanna Iivanainen’s (b. 1973) paintings air, water, fire and earth metaphorically reflect states of mind. She interprets these basic elements poetically, rather than via the old system of elements. One starting point behind the exhibition is the philosopher Gaston Bachelard’s (1884–1962) “phenomenology of the imagination”. In his writings, Bachelard investigated the dreams that the different elements arouse in people.

In addition to water, fire, earth and air, the paintings in the exhibition are set in space. The space in Kohti punaista planeettaa (Towards the Red Planet) is imaginary, a kind of state of mind tinged with black humour. Like the profoundest depths of the oceans, space is still largely unexplored. Both environments are mysterious and mythical, and hence imaginary. In some of the paintings it is night. The night is like an element in itself. At night, a garden is a different place from in the day. Space, too, is present at night in a different way from during daylight.