During October 6–29 Helsinki Contemporary is hosting Liisa Lounila’s solo exhibition Passing By. Lounila is remembered by her previous exhibition’s (Into the Wilderness, 2014) silver- or palladium-plated everyday objects. Passing By addresses the passing and movement of time and places. New works depict fleeting moments and the efforts in recording them.
The front space of the Gallery is taken over by a video installation, Passing By, which shows footage shot by Lounila during travels; from car, metro and train windows, in the desert, in natural parks, forest roads. The archive, which fills the memories of cameras and phones, born from the need to immortalize unique experiences, has been created over the past few decades. The material exists for no purpose – accumulated due to an undefined need to record the environment “just in case”. The viewer watches the picture archive like a moving wallpaper or an endless road movie.
“Individually uninteresting pictures and video clips started to become interesting as an entity due to its immense quantity. In them, constantly and regardless of the unintentionality, there has been an obvious effort to systematically record the same excitement and feeling of momentariness from finding something new”, Lounila describes the work.
Multi-channeled audio work, Metronomi (Metronome), at the back space of the Gallery, is formed by clocks ticking, which feels to be relentlessly measuring its own rhythm. Passing of time is concretized in videos Toukokuun ensimmäinen, puolipilvistä (May first, partly cloudy), where light travels in an empty apartment, and Garden, which has been recorded during the 2017 growth season in a wildering garden lot from melting snow to autumn. In the work Timekeeper one era has been preserved by attaching bag seal clips inside a glass frame like in old butterfly and insect collections. Dates on the bag seal clips form a timeline, which was found in the kitchen drawers carefully preserved for the future.
Hanging onto fleeting moments creates a melancholic undertone to the Passing By exhibition, but the works also discuss permanence, cycle of life and renewal. The works in Lounila’s exhibition executed by different techniques are united in the artist’s effort “to come to terms with passing time and momentariness, at least for a while”.
Liisa Lounila (b. 1976) lives and works in Helsinki and New York. She has studied in the Academy of Fine Arts and in the Slade School of Fine Arts in London. Lounila is a multi-disciplinary artist, whose repertoire includes works of motion-picture and photographs, as well as objects and paintings. She is remembered especially by the glitter-paintings and silver- and palladium-plated objects. In her work, Lounila is interested in life’s experimentalism, rebelliousness, as well as the experiences of emptiness and the unconscious. Lounila has participated in group exhibitions around the world and her video works have been presented in numerous festivals since the end of 1990’s. Solo exhibitions have been seen in i.a. Wilkinson Gallery in London and in Gallery of Photograph in Dublin. Lounila represented Finland in the Nordic Pavilion at the 2003 Venice Biennale and was a candidate for the Carnegie Art Award in 2013. Passing By is Lounila’s fourth solo exhibition in Helsinki Contemporary.
Exhibition has been supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland and Genelec Oy.