S/pace is an exhibition that studies pace, space, materiality and collaboration. The working group of s/pace includes visual artist Mika Helin, choreographer Emmi Venna, lighting designers Anton Verho and June Horton-White, who have created new site-specific works for the exhibition, as well as a team of curators, who are students of the Praxis Master’s Programme, Eeva Holkeri, Aleksandra Kiskonen, Ingrid Orman, Mariliis Rebane and Saskia Suominen.
S/pace is a result of intensive, free-flowing and horizontal collaboration of the working group. Contemplating, reflecting, experimenting and taking risks have formed the essential part of the polyphonic working process. The exhibition places some of the characteristic features of the visual and performing arts in interaction with each other, thus challenging the established ways of experiencing and exhibiting art in a gallery space. The visitors of the exhibition can experience their position shift from one space and/or situation to another: they may find themselves examining an artwork, becoming part of it or adopting the role of the audience in a performative act.
One of the key themes in s/pace is eventfulness. However, there are no “side events”; rather, the events create a multitude of equally valid points of inception and conclusion leaving their marks on the exhibition space, the visitors and the conventional cycle of the exhibition.
The ground floor of the Exhibition Laboratory features Mika Helin’s spatial installation, Haute Couture, which visually connects the interior of an exclusive clothing store with soil alienated from its natural environment. The work raises questions related to commerciality, ecology, identity and the internal hierarchies that exist within the art world as well as their evaluation.
Emmi Venna’s process-based work, 17 days of taking everything as a sign, studies how past and present physicality blend in with the temporal structure of an exhibition that lasts for 17 days.
Man, I Hope It Isn't a Parking Lot or a Pit of Snakes! is a collaboration between lighting designers Anton Verho and June Horton-White. The work takes over the entire gallery space, looking for a place of its own, and creating narrativity, contrasts and temporal tension in relation to Helin’s and Venna’s works.
Opening February 22, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Intermission Mar 3, 5 p.m – 6 p.m. Opportunity to meet the team over a cup of coffee and hear about the exhibition process.
Closing Sun, March 11, 1 pm. – 6 p.m
Mika Helin graduated as a Master of Fine Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts Helsinki, in 2016. In his work, Helin combines electronic music with the visual arts and building by cutting and pasting (sampling) different objects and connecting broader thematic groups together. Different forms of documentation hold centre stage in Helin’s works, which have been presented both indoors and outdoors. As a visual artist, Helin regards himself more as a graphic designer or a photographer than a sculptor. Helin is interested in the tensions and new observations that arise from the juxtaposition of two things. By examining the juxtaposed objects, we can investigate the covert values that are inherent in them.
Emmi Venna is a Helsinki-based choreographer, who graduated as a Master of Arts (Dance) at the Theatre Academy in 2010. Venna’s works delve into the connections between life, choreography and physicality, and she seeks to provide commentaries about the friction that exists between our bodily experience and our relationship with the world. Since 2014, Venna has studied the embodied and spiritual state of the world after the death of Michael Jackson at the Post-MJ Era Institute of Consciousness, which she founded together with Ossi Koskelainen. Venna’s recent choreographies have been performed at the Baltic Circle festival, the contemporary art space Kutomo, the Sorbus gallery, and the theatre.now event in Kiasma, for example. Venna has also been part of the team of curators organising the UrbanApa festival.
Anton Verho is a lighting designer, an occupational therapist and a start-up entrepreneur from Helsinki. Verho graduated as a Master of Arts (Theatre and Drama) in 2014, and his stage lighting has been featured in places and projects like Zodiak, Teatteri Takomo, the Northern Dance Centre, Mad House, Theatre Academy and Maailmanlopun odottajat. Verho is particularly interested in artistic collaboration and the possibility to express the essence of different things through his art. When deliberating between different options, Verho places primary importance on the decision’s effects on climate.
June Horton-White is a Helsinki-based lighting designer and technician. She has worked as a freelance artist in various performance art projects since 2007. Horton-White is currently working on her thesis on lighting design in modern circus performances at the Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki. She is constantly inspired by culture-specific conventions and the conflicting nature of the human mind. Horton-White has a strong background in dramatic theatre, but right now she prefers to express herself visually through circus, object theatre and illusion.