Media preview on Thursday, 27 January 2011, at 11am, in Turku Art Museum, Aurakatu 26, Turku
Opening on Thursday, 27 November 2011, from 6–8pm
The artist will be present on both occasions
The Animate exhibition series in the Darkroom at the Turku Art Museum will get off to a flying start with work by the Estonian animation director Priit Pärn (b. 1946), one of the foremost animation artists in the world. Drawing has always been an integral part of Priit Pärn’s life. In his home country, he was known from the 1960s onwards for his cartoons, which led to an invitation to direct animations in the Tallinnfilm studios in 1976. Before that, he had earned a degree in biology from the University of Tartu and had worked in the Tallinn Botanic Garden. Work in the animation studio launched Pärn on an international career as animation director, and especially since the 1980s he has also worked as a visual artist. Pärn’s drawings and prints have featured in many exhibitions, and he is also known as an illustrator. Although Priit Pärn has taught animation in many schools and institutions all over the world, he considers Turku his second home, having taught animation here from 1994 up to 2007. Pärn played a crucial role in establishing the international reputation of animation training in the Turku Arts Academy.
The Darkroom gallery at the Turku Art Museum presents a selection of Priit Pärn’s work from across the decades. The earliest piece in the three-hour show is ...and Plays Tricks (...ja teeb trikke, 1978, 9 min), the first work by Pärn to win a prize at an animation festival. His later works place a greater emphasis on social issues. The passions and troubles of human relations are a recurring theme in Pärn’s animations, as in the The Triangle (Kolmnurk, 1982, 15 min). Pärn also finds inspiration in fine art. In Breakfast on the Grass (Eine Murul, 1987, 24 min), Pärn has transferred the characters in Edouard Manet’s The Luncheon on the Grass (1863) into Soviet Estonia, whereas the imagery in Hotel E (1992, 29 min) clearly references Pop Art. Karl Marx and Marilyn Monroe meet in the animation Karl and Marilyn (2003, 23 min). In the particularly sensual piece Life without Gabriella Ferri (Elu ilma Gabriella Ferrita, 2008, 44 min), coincidences lead to new situations. The selection ends with Pärn’s latest piece, Divers in the Rain (Tuukrid vihmas, 2010, 24 min).
Priit Pärn’s animations are based on his own scripts. He draws the characters and the storyboard, but the actual animation is done by professional animators at the studio. Pärn’s animations are endowed with the classic properties of the genre. At the core are the rhythms of the moving image and sound. No spoken lines are needed, for the expressive power of the drawn animation is impressive. Animation allows things to be altered endlessly. Metaphor is also an important element of the grammar of animation. While Pärn’s works are based on narrativity, they can at times feel perplexing. Pärn does not serve his stories on a plate, leaving instead room for interpretation. The engaging visuality of Pärn’s animations lingers on long after the viewing experience.
ARTIST TALK: Thursday, 27 January 2011, starting at 2pm, Priit Pärn will give a talk in Finnish about his artistic practice in the Kuvateatteri of the Turku Arts Academy (Linnankatu 54–60). Admission is free and the meeting is open to the public.
The Animate exhibition series is part of the Turku 2011 European Capital of Culture Program. It explores the role of animation as an independent contemporary art form and as a part of the visual arts. Animate is a collaboration project between the Turku Art Museum, the Pori Art Museum and the Turku University of Applied Sciences / Animation programme.
Animate exhibitions in the Darkroom of Turku Art Museum
Priit Pärn (EE) 28 Jan – 27 Mar
Turku Anikists (FI) 8 Apr – 29 May
David Shrigley (UK) 10 Jun – 4 Sep
Lars Arrhenius (SE) 16 Sep – 13 Nov
Animation Crank Handle (FI) 18 Nov 2011 – 8 Jan 2012
Animate exhibitions in the Mediapoint of Pori Art Museum
Timo Vaittinen (FI) 16 Sep – 30 Oct
Turku Anikists and Animation Crank Handle (FI) 1 – 27 Nov
European contemporary animations, curators Anna Daneri (IT) and Stefano Coletto (IT) 29 Nov 2011 – 15 Jan 2012
Additional information: Jenny Nybom, Curator
Tel. +358 (0)2 262 7094 or +358 (0)50 400 3248