Finland (Pavilion Alvar Aalto) at the 56th Venice Biennale

“Hours, Years, Aeons”

Artists: IC–98: Visa Suonpää, Patrik Söderlund

Curator: Taru Elfving

Deputy Curator: Anna Virtanen

Commissioner: Frame Visual Art Finland, Raija Koli

Venue: Pavilion at Giardini

Visa Suonpää and Patrik Söderlund formed the artist duo IC–98 in 1998 with the aim of broadening the scope and audience of academic writing. In their words, they wished to “project ideas in public space . . . asking the same questions, but refining and changing media always according to the situation.” These questions frequently concern ownership, public space, and natural ecologies and how they affect (or are affected by) our present and future. At the outset of their collaboration, IC-98’s primary mediums were intervention and the production of free books and pamphlets; over the past 17 years, they have added installation, sculpture, and animation to their repertoire, explaining, “We have to invent ourselves all the time.”

For the Finnish Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale, IC–98 presents “Hours, Years, Aeons,” a site-specific multimedia installation. Central to the project is Abendland (Hours, Years, Aeons), a digital animation that muses on the past, present, and future of Finland’s forests—timber being the country’s main natural resource—and imagines what Finlandians will inherit in the millennia to come. An arrangement for double bass and electronics by Max Savikangas accompanies the pencil-drawn animation’s haunting imagery; tar, charcoal, and jute add olfactory components that further the viewer’s immersion in IC–98’s uncharted, atemporal realm.

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