Finnish audiovisual art speaks politics in Kuala Lumpur

Heidi Tikka ja näyttely 1
Heidi Tikka encourages everyone to get famiriarize with a audiovisual art in it’s all forms. In a picture is her artwork at the Barricade exhibition. Photo: Rami Kolehmainen.

Now it is possible to go and see works and performances of top Finnish artists in Kuala Lumpur as a part of politically influences exhibition – the Barricade.  The exhibition views on how different spaces of living are politicized and controlled. One of the Finnish artists is multilateral audiovisual artist Heidi Tikka. She creates art, is a researcher of it in the Aalto University, has worked with audiovisual funding organization and her works has been shown all around the world. Tikka is a right person to tell about the political exhibition and future of Finnish audiovisual art.

”Term audiovisual art keeps inside a very wide range of art forms. My personal art is based on points of views of science and technology. In technological development  it is habit to solve problems and get results. That’s why my projects always involve research. But it is important to remember that even if piece of art is labeled often as a creation of individual artist, it is in fact a sum of many different factors. For instance without others skills my art would not exist”, Tikka says.

Tikka’s art piece, binoculars that a visitor can watch his or hers own actions, in the exhibition is made among other things of baby monitor’s and CCTV’s. In children’s world surveillance technology is also used to control movements aka barricades are build. After the interview Tikka is going to go out to the streets of KL and try new project – surveillance system build in a dress to record mainly sounds of the streets.

Barricade is mainly exhibition of Malaysian activist art. Many of the pieces are very political. Among them there is also Finnish artwork that has differently something to say about barricades. For instance one installation artwork shows how traumas from childhood can create psychological barricades. The artwork with its raw and naked form will for sure force people to think. Very different kind of barricade is represented in a documentary about Chechen refugees in Finland, which woke up a lot of discussion in Finland. Again very different piece of barricade is video installation artwork about how political and economical issues form barricades in everyday life of family with children.

How did the Finnish art end up in the Malaysian exhibition?

Lea and Pekka Kantosen's artwork is for instance about Finnish family with children and their everyday conversations. Photo: Rami Kolehmainen.
Lea and Pekka Kantosen’s artwork is for instance about Finnish family with children and their everyday conversations. Photo: Rami Kolehmainen.

”Curator of the exhibition, Ray Langenbach, was a professor in Finnish Academy of Fine Arts and that’s how he knows Finnish artist. He is interested on political exhibitions, but in the Barricade is not based on comparing of Finnish and Malaysian political worlds, even if the artwork might form some links between them”, Tikka answers.

Tikka thinks the activist art speaks for freedom of speech and for example women’s part in it, which are issues she can relate. She sees the Barricade as a sign of a society where freedom of speech is opening up. In this sense she admits to be aware of the exhibitions and Malaysian current politics.

”Some of the art pieces are more straight forward then others, which instead possibly offers more levels to interpret. But we haven’t had any problems with the exhibition”, Langenbach states about exhibitions political side.

Part of the exhibition is that the visitor can try on different artworks and for instance wonder how a brick wall was made with six years amount of news papers.

Value of Finnish audiovisual artwork in the world

“Finnish are the only ones that have audiovisual artwork in the exhibition. I don’t know why? Maybe it is because Malaysian audience is not used to this form of art?”, Tikka wonders.

In Tikka’s point of view Finnish audiovisual art is wanted and valued in the world. She thinks it has same high expectations and possibilities in future as Finnish photography has now already. Even if funding of media art has been cut down in Finland in recent years, video art enjoys high visibility in the global wise, Tikka states.

Barricade offers brightest Finnish audiovisual artist’s works in part of politically interesting exhibition, which will offer everyone something to take home and talk about.

Heidi Tikka’s, Lea, Pekka, Tyyni and Ukko Kantosen’s, Mikko Torvisen’s, Pekka Niskanen’s and  Riikka Kuoppalan’s works can be admired until 2th of March 2013 at White Box, Map@Publika, Kuala Lumpur. As part of Kantosten’s work they will also perform on Thursday 28th of February and Friday 1st of March at 8 p.m.

Taken from an original article published by The Embassy of Finland on Feb 26, 2013

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