Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Friday December 4, from 17:30 to 20:00
Welcome to HINTERLANDS exhibition
at gallery Oksasenkatu 11
from 5.12 to 20.12, Wed-Sun 14:00 - 19:00.

H i n t e r l a n d s
an exhibition by Egle Oddo and Timo Tuhkanen

There is a spot between the earth and the moon, and when you play a specific sound frequency you are transported away and disappear.
When you come back you hold an unknown object in your hands. The object is somewhat familiar to known objects, but its substance and ultimate identity are unknown.
The first to travel was Saint Olga, who came back after two years holding something like a seashell; it contained a mass of unknown information advancing the exploration of space. After her many others have been leaving. The project has been going on for several decades now. A space ship has been constructed around that spot. Waiting for those who return are those that never left; they tried to go but for some reason did not make it.
Only fragments of objects reappeared, new things for us to decipher.

Rule One: One entity per ride; no teams, no couples.

Rule Two: No artificial intelligences; whatever's out there won't stop for a smart machine, at least not the kind we know how to build.

Rule Three: Recording instruments are a waste of space; they always come back blank.
                                                                                          (from Hinterlands script for the exhibition)

OK 11 has been studied as a film location. Viewing its itinerary the authors have written a script inspired by William Gibson's novel Hinterlands. During the building of the exhibition the script is played and filmed at the gallery.

The display at OK 11 consists of elements introduced in the space either preliminary or residual to the filming.

Practically filming has been used as a method for the production of the space.  The narrative is presented as residual of the cinematic action. The mental text, experienced in the itinerary of the exhibition forms the cinematic artifact.

Check my recent work at Mänttä Art Festival

A totem resembling a plant is built at the center of a village. The community lives by it and with it celebrates rituals of prosperity. When the plant receives the visit of two strangers, aerial people, a vibration runs through its metal body shaking off its seeds. The community gathers the seeds and makes a pact of solidarity with the strangers and with the plants.

The Word For Freedom is an installation-performance based on narrative as an art form. Its body is a vessel built to preserve and share natural plant seeds, and to enhance participation in taking care of our biological commons.
It is a large scale DIY experiment, and to realize it Egle Oddo has combined industrial materials with delicate handcraft, selected trash with fashion, precious minerals and ancestral recipes in a process- based object crafted to convey a ritual.

Each culture has established its rituals in order to understand and solve conflicts, to deal with existential changes, to establish social equity, and to wonder on universal mysteries. Rituals propose open questions and give space to the members of a community to find their own answers. The Word For Freedom pose a question about what is diversity; can it be defined as the way man and nature invent variations? As the artistic drive of nature and man? Or is it seen mostly as a menace?

Materials and process
Mostly recycled materials have been preferred, borrowing from shipyards, building sites, and old rooftops. The object is the result of assembling wood, metal, fabric, natural clay, organic glues, sea washed glass, honey, and local plant seeds. The sculpture, the installation and the performance have been created in parallel. The working method is comparable to cinema production applied to installation-performance, where the director sets the path to follow and choses a multiplicity of professional figures to accomplish singular segments of the work.

The team
Author and producer Egle Oddo
Music score by composer Timo Tuhkanen
Assistant producer Frida Stenbäck
Working at the sculpture with the author: metallurgy expert Martti Halonen, musical instruments Timo Tuhkanen, wood expert Jelle van der Beek.
Working at the performance with the author: actresses Iika Hartikainen and Riina Tikkanen; musicians Juho Laitinen, Outi Pulkkinen, Marika Krook, Timo Tuhkanen; aerial acrobats Pinja Shönberg and Riikka Pentinsaari.
Designs: mask maker Laura Mäkelä; fashion designer Suvi Hänninen.

The work is part of a larger international project called The Ark of Seeds. The Word For Freedom is dedicated to the memory of scholar Ville Oksanen, who was part of the workgroup in 2014.

Listen to the performance 


Crumbs and Darkness is an experimental live artwork.
(This is the natural uncut clip, you can skip the talk and play from minute 4:15)

In June 2014 I was invited by curator Ahmed Al-Nawas to perform at Third Space in Helsinki, during their Sound Room VII.

While musicians Ish S diFfuSed beats, Petri Kuljuntausta and David Rothenberg were playing together, I have improvised live visuals by drawing with pencil and painting on paper size 5 mm x 5 mm, under a microscope. Playing with light, shape and proportions under its lens, I projected the images on the ceiling of the gallery. 

The deep listening of the musicians playing had generated a sort of automatic process, while my hands and my vision lingered inside the intricate dynamic of the sound.

At Third Space preparing my
microscope  for  the  session.
Photos by Daniel Malpica.
The  public  watching  the  paintings
projected on the ceiling, mesmerised
by the music.
Ceiling projection.
Musicians Petri Kuljuntausta,
Ish  S  diFfuSed  beats, 
and David Rothenberg.