Movements of Thought

Forum Box | 11 November – 4 December 2022 | Helsinki

The appearance of the paintings is rather minimalistic. When there are less to look at, the viewer can focus on details. For example, the surface structures of painting canvases may capture her attention. She sees that the smoothness of Friend 1 contrasts with the roughness of Friend 2. And now when her gaze is sensitized by the paintings, she may become interested in the surface structure of the wall too.

Friend 1 and Friend 2 refer to one another’s surfaces in a straightforward manner. But in the exhibition there are also paintings that speak less directly. For example, when Tough guy or Stick refer to the surrounding room, they do this by providing sort of abstract points of comparison. Tough guy is in the corner of the gallery where it acts as a horizontal plane that delineates a prism – a kind of geometrical representation of a room. Stick serves as a yardstick for the height of the wall.

However, making “direct” or “abstract” comparisons cannot be the only ways to interpret the exhibition. These means are by no means suitable for all the works exhibited. For example, Jamb – an installation that blurs the division between an object and its background – clearly doesn’t fit in these frameworks. 

Most of the works in the exhibition have in common their relation to concepts which regard space. At least all the paintings in the previous examples refer in one way or another to the surrounding room, opening aspects of the place where the viewer moves around. However, it is possible that there is no single interpretation key that would fit every work. Better to think that one interpretation is good with some works and another interpretation with some others. In any case the shared possibility of an interpretation grounds a tie between two pieces, and step by step these small threads cover the entire exhibition, connecting paintings into a network.                                                                                       

Henri Laukkanen