Lauri Astala, Twin Cities
The lights of the city hide from me the light of other worlds but not the knowledge that the starry firmament arches over me.
- Leena Krohn, Tribar, 1993.
Twin Cities was photographed from the top of a high skyscraper in the South Korean capital of Seoul. The panorama is made up of a combination of 24 video images and evolves into two city planets which rotate around the viewer on two screens so that the viewer appears to float like a satellite between the planets.
The Korean sound track examines the urban experience from different angles, the reality of the observer and its relativity. The short stories are as if plucked out of the aether. The texts are edited quotes from Leena Krohn’s works Tainaron, Tribar and Doña Quixote and other citizens. My warmest thanks to Leena Krohn, who kindly gave me permission to use her texts.
In my Twin Cities work, I ponder how to picture or describe a city, to view it as an outsider, alienated by a strange place and culture. At the same time, the work examines the relationship between reality and filmlikeness.
Lauri Astala’s (b.1958) output comprises sculptures, videos and computer-assisted video installations. He draws on concepts and experiences of space and the cultural structures that shape them. Astala has held numerous solo exhibitions and participated in collective exhibitions and film and video festivals in Finland and abroad since 1989. He was awarded the State Prize for Visual Arts in 2007 and the Pro Finlandia Medal of the Order of the Lion of Finland in 2013.
Miklos Gaál / The Right Word
One central piece in the exhibition is a slide show of snapshots, sketches and notes. In their most simple characterization, these casual observations pay attention to form and colour and the ever-changing light falling upon them. It is much like the predicament of every image-maker past and present: the keen concern in the relationship between matter and appearance.
The assortment of events, objects and views is radically uncategorised: their various subjects and elements appear plainly, like with no predetermined course or fulfilment; their placing together into a slide show has not been arranged by any evident theme that would be consistent throughout it’s image passages. The presentation as a projection gives no overview, but presents at a time a single fleeting picture that reflects upon others in a larger assosiative whole. The viewer is asked to change the point of attention and mood. At times a current tone seems to be affirmed, while the next image seems to reverse the previous perception.
The act of looking is nourished by impressions of natural, artificial and man-made aspects, apparent processes of overlapping and misunderstanding, capabilities and limitations, and the nonchalant co-existence of all these things. These are viewed from the outside, independent of shape and circumstance. The stranger’s gaze gains an outlook of confident curiosity.
The name of the exhibition is inspired by Gustave Flaubert’s account on his undertaking in writing. Flaubert aimed for a language that is simultaneously precise, simple and harmonious. He was to be mindful to a range of versatile aspects in it, such as delicate variations in rhythm, resemblance and association within sound and manifest content. That is, treating the style, form and semantic as inseparable. Oddly enough, Flaubert describes this being down to a specific, concrete factor: that of choosing the “right” word.
Miklos Gaál (b.1974, Espoo) uses video and photography in a variety of ways to investigate the nature of seeing and experiencing. Gaál received a degree in Photography from Helsinki’s University of Art and Design (TaiK) in 2004 and later participated in a residential programme at Amsterdam’s Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten from 2008 to 2009. In 2015, he completed a research Masters in Artistic Research at the University of Amsterdam’s Department of Art History. Gaál’s works have been displayed in solo and joint exhibitions since 2000 and they are included in a number of Finnish and international public collections.