A B E N D L A N D
Turku Art Museum 4 Oct 2013 –5 Jan 2014
Media preview on Thursday, 3 October 2013 at 11 am, in Turku Art Museum, Aurakatu 26, Turku.
Opening on Thursday, 3 October, 6–8 pm. The artists will be present on both occasions.
The autumn season in Turku Art Museum kicks off with an exhibition by Turku-based artist group IC-98. Established in 1998, the group’s original name was Iconoclast, an allusion to the destruction of images and antagonism towards prevailing values. The group’s members are Visa Suonpää (b. 1968) and Patrik Söderlund (b. 1974). In addition to their earlier work, the exhibition in Turku Art Museum also showcases new work created specifically for this exhibition. One of the topmost names in contemporary Finnish art, IC-98 has garnered both national and international acclaim with context-specific works that are based on critical thinking and extensive background research. The group was awarded the Finnish State Prize for Visual Arts in 2009, and the same year they also won the first prize at the Turku Biennial.
The works of IC-98 are characteristically uncompromising in content and quality. The group is interested in ideologies, social control mechanisms and social order, unrealised plans and the presence of history in the current moment. The group works with installation, drawing, text, publications, and in recent years, especially animations. IC-98’s visual hall-mark is a technically accomplished black-and-white aesthetic that supports the metaphorical narrative. The fundamentally philosophical works comment on society and social change while containing a highly charged value statement. Yet they do not preach, but whisper quietly instead.
In addition to two new animations, Abendland (II: The Place That Was Promised) and Arkhipelagos (Ebb), the exhibition also includes the works Arkhipelagos (Navigating the Tides of Time) (2013) and A View from the Other Side (2011) as well as Oikoumene (2012), seen in Finland now for the first time. Abendland – the land of the setting sun – is the universe of narratives in which the animations of IC-98 take place. In the group’s free interpretation, sunset is not synonymous with the declining economic and political importance of the West or the associated ideological discourse. It is instead symbolic of the end of human time altogether – the hope that, in spite of everything, nature will one day prevail. Abendland is a world without people. In Arkhipelagos (Navigating the Tides of Time), the entire known world is submerged and survivors drift along, buffeted by wind and sea. Will they find a haven? Will they be able to build a new world, or will everything be destroyed? A View from the Other Side is associated with local history in Turku. Featuring the colonnade along the waterfront of the Aura river designed in 1836 by architect Pehr Johan Gylich, it portrays the historically and culturally valuable site as a stage of political, social and economic interests.
Mia Haltia, Curator
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