Thursday, October 21, 2010

Äkkigalleria 6 - I'm Hungry for Art

Äkkigalleria presents its sixth exhibition in Jyväskylä at the end of November 2010.

This exhibition’s eight artists are Jani Leinonen (Helsinki), Christelle Mas (French, living in Helsinki), Heidi Romo (Helsinki), Nastja Rönkkö (Central-Finnish, living in London, UK), Riiko Sakkinen (Finnish living in Cervera de los Montes, Spain), Jasu Salmi (Hämeenlinna), Eeva-Liisa Sorainen (Äänekoski), Pekka Suomäki (Korpilahti).

This Äkkigalleria exhibition coincides with the beginning of Advent. As with most festivals food is one of the conglomerating ingredients. Äkkigalleria has taken advantage of this coincidence and made “Food” the theme for this exhibition. The projects chosen for this exhibition are made with/from edible ingredients, performances made with food and other artwork made about consumption/nutrition.

In congruity with Äkkigalleria’s mission, most of the work shown, in Äkkigalleria 6, is new and none of the work has ever previously been shown in Central Finland.

Jani Leinonen is an established Helsinki based artist. Leinonen works in a variety of media in the development of specific projects that deal with advertisement, fame, consumerism and the representation (and power) of pop icons.

For this Äkkigalleria exhibition, Leinonen presents his silkscreened cereal-boxes which cleverly and subtly alter existing cereal-box designs and the meaning of the designs.

Christelle Mas is a young French artist currently studying in Helsinki. She works primarily with food as subject and material for her creations. Mas is interested in the transformation of food during both growth and consumption, and is particularly fascinated by both the positive and negative effects food can have on the human body.

In my projects, instead of confirming this vital aspect, I want to give food a shadowy or ambiguous appearance. We have heard of genetically modified organisms and food-related health problems, but could it make our own body mutate as well? I envisage food as a flexible fictional material. In how many ways can I transform it?

For this exhibition Mas will show photographic, video and installation work. This versatile artist will also share poems in a low-key performance during the opening.

Heidi Romo is a Helsinki based visual artist working in photography, video and painting. Although staged, her paintings and photographs often allude to an action or performance. The human body is a reoccurring medium for the expression of different subjects.

For this Äkkigalleria exhibition, Romo will show two new series of photographs in which the human presence is represented by plastic dolls. Both series reflect on symbolic and psychological implications of different foods as represented in today’s occidental culture.

Nastja Rönkkö is a young Central Finnish artist currently working on an MFA in London. Rönkkö is interested in the physical sensuality of paint and the romantic history of painting. Alongside painting she also uses installations and performances to explore thoughts of passion and desire. Reoccurring symbols include horses, hair, cakes, and the breast.

For this exhibition, Rönkkö presents a fresh new performance entitled Boys. This piece references traditional Finnish literature as it touches on the theme of domesticating human nature. The performance however, also magnifies social expectations as it physically shows the degradation of manners.

Boys is a playful attempt to de-construct our appropriations of social gestures, languages and etiquettes.

Riiko Sakkinen is an established Finnish artist who currently lives with his family in Spain. His work revolves around potentially volatile subjects, which he knowingly treats in the most innocent way. These subjects are largely about consumption, and consequently in part about food. Sakkinen works in numerous mediums, but is perhaps best known for his drawings, which often represent advertisement and food packaging icons along with various slogans.

For this Äkkigalleria exhibition, Sakkinen will show the sculptural work “Mustard Gas”**. Sakkinen strategically chose this work to be shown in Central Finland during this pre-Christmas period when the use of mustard is most popular.

** Riiko Sakkinen is represented by Korjaamo Galleria. The work shown by Sakkinen in this show has been brought to us through Korjaamo Galleria. Korjaamo Galleria shows new Finnish art and contemporary international art: photography, video work as well as painting. Korjaamo Gallery also commissions and produces artwork in cooperation with various artists.

Korjaamo Galleria’s exhibition programme is composed of emerging artists and established artists. One of Korjaamo Galleria’s missions is to continuously search for and find new perspectives from fresh new artists.

Jasu Salmi is a self-taught artist and artisan currently living and working in Hämeenlinna. His carefully crafted jewellery and sculptures often hint at a darker side of religion. Salmi’s work can be described as having a gothic edge, he often uses ancient symbols charged with meaning: five pointed stars, crosses, crescent moons.

For this exhibition Salmi presents two pieces made specifically for Äkkigalleria 6. In this new work Salmi expresses a strong critique on the consumption of religion and beliefs through the use of shaped jelly, and dead flies.

Eeva-Liisa Sorainen is a local artist currently living and working in Äänekoski. Sorainen comes from a strong background in sculptural work. In recent years she has concentrated on the perfection in leatherwork skills and currently runs her own harness and saddle business.

Although food and edible materials have not been part of her artistic practice, Sorainen rose to the occasion of Äkkigalleria 6 to sculpt and discover new materials. For this exhibition she will present work made from stale bread.

Pekka Suomäki is a Korpilahti artist. His work primarily deals with the passage of time and the transformation of Finnish culture and environment over time. With a photography background, Suomäki’s work often includes transferred images on found objects and usually consists of slightly appropriated ready-mades. Suomäki’s sensitive sense of humour allows him to treat very serious subjects subtly, in a non-threatening way.

For this exhibition, Suomäki will present two new pieces created specifically for Äkkigalleria 6: Christmas Table, and Eat Your Words. Both pieces deal with different aspects of edible art, Christmas Table deals directly with the concept of consuming and consumerism while Eat Your Words is a political commentary on the contemporary controversy of teasing in schools.