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Camouflage: Visual Art and Design in Disguise

Camouflage: Visual Art and Design in Disguise
Library Shelf Location 17.CAMO
Publication Date 2012
Description Camouflage presents artists, designers and teams working around the edges of art and design: Silvia B., Hans-Christian Berg, Florencia Colombo, Company, Sebastian Errazuriz, Jiri Geller, Tommi Grönlund & Petteri Nisunen, Handkerchief Production, Idiots, Riitta Ikonen & Karoline Hjorth, Kariel, Kaisu Koivisto, Tuomas Aleksander Laitinen, Kaija Papu, Kim Simonsson, Unbuilt Helsinki, Zoë Walker & Neil Bromwich, Maaria Wirkkala, Antti Yli-Tepsa. The Camouflage exhibition focuses on how designers and artists work when they filter impulses, process ideas, seek a direction for their work. The ideas presented here are suggestions, discoveries and carefully aimed provocations that hint at the authors’ future work in relation to the ongoing discussion on the topic. The 19 artists, designers, duos and collectives live in different parts of the world. In addition to Finland, they come from Argentina, Great Britain, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States. Many of them work between two or more cities and cultures. They come from a range of cross-disciplinary backgrounds, and their changing projects provide them with changing professions and identities. Artists Silvia B. (1963 the Netherlands) is one of the many artists in the Camouflage exhibition whose work is impossible to pigeonhole. Blurring the boundaries between genres, her works are deliberately ambiguous. By presenting familiar things in unusual contexts, she fosters a sense of doubt and wonder. The works also show her background in fashion design which she studied in the Rotterdam Art Academy in the 1980s. A sculptor and a glass artist by training, Hans-Christian Berg (1971 Finland) challenges us to consider sensations of weight and lightness in his work. He wants his sculptures to make us think how we perceive things with our senses. The nets of the Argentinean-born Finland-based artist Florencia Colombo (1977) spread around the gallery on the fifth floor. The artist explains the installation: "In the case of the Camouflage exhibition, I began thinking about a structure that would not frame the works or give them a background, but would envelop them instead." Company is Aamu Song and Johan Olin (1974 Korea & Finland), a design duo who work with contemporary design and visual art. The scale in their works ranges from small objects to extensive environmental projects. In their Secrets of Russia, traditional Russian object culture meets contemporary design. Sebastian Errazuriz (1977 Chile) makes art that reminds us of our mortality. He wants us to examine life critically and to question our everyday routines. This philosophy is exemplified by the wrist watches in the work Personal Registration of Time Passing, in which the passage of time is shown only by the second hand. Jiri Geller (1970) borrows material from international entertainment and consumer culture. The glossy and flawless works in the Camouflage exhibition were crafted carefully by hand, a feature common to all Geller’s work. Jiri Geller is a silversmith by training. Tommi Grönlund and Petteri Nisunen (1967 & 1962 Finland) have been making collective art projects since 1992. They are visual artists and architects whose works employ and investigate physical phenomena such as gravity, magnetism and background radiation. Their work in the Camouflage exhibition is Slide Pipe, a construction made of steel pipes and wires that changes when it is used. Handkerchief Production is Amy Cheung and Erkka Nissinen (Hong Kong & 1975 Finland), a creative studio which plays with the interfaces of art and design. Their Camouflage in the Age of the Protester is a globalisation-critical piece consisting of the scale model of a building shaped like the dollar sign, a map shaped like China, and a giant slingshot in the gallery. It is not without reason their artistic motto is "We experiment". The Norwegian photographer Karoline Hjorth (1980 Norway) and Riitta Ikonen (1981 Finland) have photographed people from south-western Norway who are dressed in local natural produce. Inspired by Norwegian folk tales, the figures in the photographs are portraits of the persons, but also timeless images of the relationship between humanity and nature. Afke Golsteijn and Floris Bakker (1975 & 1975 the Netherlands) make art together under the name Idiots. They combine stuffed animals to luxury materials such as pearls and colourful embroidery. In their work, the Idiots examine the themes of beauty, greed, luxury goods and death. Riitta Ikonen (1981 Finland) combines fashion design, performance and photography. She says she finds inspiration by observing her environment like an eager mushroom hunter. The experiences are subsequently transformed into costumes that blend with nature, documented in photographs. The Swiss-Finnish artist duo KARIEL is Muriel Lässer and Karri Kuoppala (1981 Switzerland & 1976 Finland). The principal aim of their shared project is to express space and provide holistic artistic experiences. The installation Pier was inspired by the aesthetics of trade fair stands and local history museums. Kaisu Koivisto (1962 Finland) typically uses materials that are despised or considered worthless, combining them in unexpected ways. In Territory, iconic Finnish design meets the forces of nature and is transformed into an object of strange beauty. Tuomas Aleksander Laitinen’s (1976 Finland) installation Dormitorium was created together with young people from Helsinki. The work started from the idea of a space of one’s own – what might be a space for young people that is not defined by society? The work is also a contemporary take on the famous pillow fight in the 1930s film Zero for Conduct. Kaija Papu (1980 Finland) is a member of the generation of contemporary artists who move fluently between different media. She works with comics and small publications, videos and music videos, photography and drawing as well as installation and large-scale knit graffiti projects. The Camouflage exhibition marks the debut of her long-term project of designing and building a knit police car. Kim Simonsson (1974) is a Finnish visual artist. He was elected the Young Artist of 2004, and in 2009 he received the Pro Arte Award in recognition of his technical expertise and personal expression. In Camouflage he presents Sugar Mountain, a glass sculpture of more than four metres high that borrows its form from a climbing frame. The Unbuilt Helsinki group brings unrealised architectural dreams to Kiasma. Their work shows what the building in the centre of Helsinki might be, if the design competition for the museum had been won not by Steven Holl’s Kiasma, but by Kazuo Shinohara’s runner-up “STAGES”. Zoë Walker and Neil Bromwich (Great Britain) create works that are installations, performances and public sculptures. Their purpose in creating art is to provide aesthetic experiences that improve the quality of life. Their work in Kiasma is Sci-Fi Hot Tub, a floating Jacuzzi that resembles an iceberg. Maaria Wirkkala (1953 Finland) is a Finnish artist whose work includes installations and site-specific pieces that combine all sorts of objects and materials. Her piece Gun, So What seduces the viewer with beauty, fragility and daring. Antti Yli-Tepsa (1974 Finland) has created a skateboard ramp in front of Kiasma that doubles as a relaxation area. Resembling a huge ocean wave, Surfing the Apocalypse is a skateable sculpture and a stage that anyone is free to use. Bring your own music!
ISBN 9789515334473
Quantity 1
Pages 144
Author Leevi Haapala
Format Paperback
Publisher Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki
Category Group Exhibition/Multiple Artists
Language English

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