Valley L447 is an installation that consists of a two-part video, photographs and sculptural elements. The title is a reference to an industrial synthetic paint whose particular tint of green represents, according to the manufacturer, the green of a valley.
An exploration of the definitions of nature and the interplay between nature and humanity in present-day world, the exhibition uses as its vehicle representations of nature as they are used on consumer goods. Alongside the aesthetic dimension of nature, another key element of the exhibition is the artist’s personal experience of the spread of man-made hazardous substances in our environment. In the exhibition, the alarming contemporary reality of environmental change manifests itself in cultural nature – in human interpretations of nature and in the traces of humanity in the natural world.
Johanna Ketola’s creative practice has been moulded by forests and natural sights in her native rural region in central Finland. Other influences in her work are semiotics and global low-cost production, as well as haiku poetry and the ways in which the world is depicted in haikus. Searching for a precise yet poetic visual narrative, Valley L447 speaks to the viewer through calm yet alienated sensory experiences. Nature appears as a place that has been invaded by an alien presence, Fremdkörper. The boundary between alien and natural has become blurred, but so has the boundaries of agency. The exhibition is not about some fantasy but about the analysis, articulation and reordering of reality. The soundscape that bring the exhibition to life with its woodland ambience is made by musician Petri Alanko. The exhibition is generously supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland.
Johanna Ketola (b. 1978) is a visual artist whose media are photography, video and installation. She graduated as Master of Fine Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts at the University of the Arts Helsinki in 2013. She has also studied photography at the Lahti Institute of Art and Design and at Gerrit Rietveld Academie in the Netherlands. Ketola divides her time between Berlin and Jämsä.