Critics’ Picks

Pilvi Takala, Drive With Care, 2013, video, color, sound, 13 minutes.

Pilvi Takala, Drive With Care, 2013, video, color, sound, 13 minutes.

Helsinki

“The Invisible Lady”

Amos Anderson Art Museum
Yrjönkatu 27
September 16–October 21, 2013

This group exhibition includes the work of four Finnish artists who in various ways focus on the border between the subjective self and the surrounding world. The title of the show refers not to the art on display but rather to a real though inconspicuous figure, Mrs. Stina Krook Stiftelse, a benefactor whose support has made it possible for the artists to make these new works.

Erkka Nissinen’s video in Material Conditions of Inner Spaces, 2013, which was filmed in Hong Kong, combines Buster Keaton–like comedy sketches with stilted quasi-philosophical phraseology. It provides insight into the turbulent thoughts and worries that are part of an artist’s process when readying work for an exhibition on a tight deadline. In contrast to Nissinen’s slapstick aesthetic, Hans Rosenström’s Between Four Eyes, 2013, requires the visitor to sit, put on a pair of headphones, and simply listen. Using an “artificial head system,” Rosenström offers a set of immaculately crafted soundscapes that turn the empty, dimly lit museum room into a meeting place of sorts: Voices in the headphones circulate, simulating passing conversations that prompt listeners to turn their heads, only to see no one there.

Aurora Reinhard’s hyperrealistic objects, such as Perfect, 2012, and Retaliation, 2013, deal with a more direct subject matter—gender issues—but still in a highly ambivalent way. Desire and fetishism are strongly present in her plastic lipsticks, high-heeled shoes, and designer bags, all of which look as though they were made of marble but upon close inspection turn out to be cheap imitations of luxury, casted in colored plaster. Similarly, in Pilvi Takala’s latest video, Drive with Care, 2013, the artist is placed in unexpected social situations, for example, as a junior teacher in an American boarding school for the rich. In this affectionately humorous work, Takala exposes the invisible social codes of a closed community.