Theses on the Body Politic (Shadows)
19 Sep – 2 Nov 2008
IC-98 (Iconoclast 1998) was founded some ten years ago by Visa Suonpää (s. 1968) and Patrik Söderlund. For them contemporary art seemed to be the only area where it was possible to freely raise questions and provide alternative models and simultaneously to dig deep into the structures of society. This probing has become manifest in many of their projects carried out either in spaces of art or in other ‘non-art’ environments. Part of IC-98’s strategy has been to freely distribute publications in conjunction of their projects out of KIASMA’s ARS 06 can be mentioned. Another pivotal character in their actions is multidisciplinarity, which becomes evident through their collaboration with composers, artists’ groups and researchers.

IC-98’s new animation Shadows from the series Theses on the Body Politic examines critically the established convention in contemporary society. This single-channel digital animation is a 53-minute work set in a large romantic landscape. The musical piece Sea of Dee for barytone, Finnish concert harp and organ, commissioned by IC-98 and composed by Harri Kerko, serves as a moody soundtrack for the animation.  

The story is based on the writings of Finnish author Pentti Haanpää, especially the novel Lords of the House and Their Shadows. The novel deals with the material and psychological effects of global capitalism. In IC-98’s interpretation of these writings, originally written during the years of global depression in the 30s, the natural phenomena are juxtaposed with man-made instruments of flight and reconnaissance: airships and kites. The animation is an elegiac depiction of a twilight world where everything centers on the double movement of exploitation and opportunism: there are attempts to exploit the land, attempts to flee the land and – above all – futile attempts to forecast the ever changing weather conditions so as to be able to adjust one’s actions to them.

The exhibition has received support from AVEK, Finnish Center for Audiovisual Culture. following persons have contributed to the making of the work: Heikki Sillanpää, Harri Kerko, Marko Laine, Nicholas Söderlund, Eva Alkula, Kari Kuusela, Akseli Virtanen ja Mikko Jakonen.
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