Janne Nabb‘s (b. 1984) and Maria Teeri‘s (b. 1985) joint practice is based on observations of encounter, interaction and fusion between artists and other things, which often happen to be commodities. Nabb’s and Teeri’s works and projects, many of which are temporary, examine in particular the levels of artistic labour in the relationship with everyday society. The physical matter they work with is often the material surplus or in-situ material traces left by human or non-human activity. Discovering, scavenging, collecting and rediscovering, focality, experiments with objects, ‘object ringing’ and the observation of circulation and swarming of objects form the vicious circle of Nabb’s and Teeri’s current practice. Diverse modes of representation and documentation have a central role in their work.

Nabb and Teeri are graduates of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki (MFA, 2011) and Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, School of Fine Art Kankaanpää (BFA, 2009). They have been working together since late 2008. Nabb and Teeri were selected as the Young Artists of the Year 2014 by Tampere Art Museum (FI). Recent duo exhibitions include participation in Kiasma’s Collection Exhibition Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma (FI, 2016–17), Mesh at EMMA Museum of Modern Art (FI, 2015), Tuntemattomien juhlien jäänteet at Tampere Art Museum (FI, 2014), Thingness at Pori Art Museum Gallery Poriginal (FI, 2013), Indications of Spring at Galerie Anhava (FI, 2012) and Schwarzwald wird immer bunter at T66 Kulturwerk (DE, 2012).

We are working with long-term processes. A methodical series of focal exercises (lat. focus, hearth) we started within Frontiers in Retreat in the residence in Catalonia, in Centre d’Art i Natura Farrera in spring 2015. Focality is a condition of objects and practices that requires concentration, commitment and dedication and has a deep, often intergenerational relation to its site of origin. Our paradoxical attempt to reach some kind of focal ways of being and of artistic work in the geographies of artist residencies has later brought us to Serbia, KC Grad residency in fall 2016. In Suomenlinna we continue with focal thematics and investigate what kind of local materialities we face and how they affect our work.

In HIAP’s sculpture studio Johan Tobias we have an opportunity to work spatially. Some starting points are, for example, shock tube detonators beachcombed from the westerly bays of the Island, mainland fur beetles and sour dough.

— Nabb+Teeri