Reconnaissance: Finnish New Media Art
Artist talks begin at 6:30 p.m.
Reception begins at 8:00 p.m.
InterAccess is pleased to present Reconnaissance, Toronto's first exhibition of the works of two internationally acclaimed artists from Finland. The exhibit features works that explore military issues, one through miniaturization and shadow play, the other through child's play- presenting a point of view on war seemingly removed from the current war on terror. Please join us for a special opening night on Thursday January 19, when artists Jaakko Niemelä and Minna Långström will discuss their work, followed by a reception where viewers will be invited to interact with the artworks and sample traditional Finnish food and beverages. Sisko Peltonen-Siren, Consul (Consulate of Finland, Toronto), and Pirkko Mäkikokkila, Press and Cultural Affairs (Embassy of Finland, Ottawa), will be in attendance. InterAccess gratefully thanks the Consulate of Finland, Toronto, and the Finnish Fund for Art Exchange for their generous support of this exhibition and reception.
Jaakko Niemelä and Minna Långstr�m are both artists based in Helsinki Finland. A recent recipient of Finnish State Award for Visual Arts, Jaakko Niemelä creates installations that often incorporate scale models and innovative uses of space. Minna Långström's computer-aided installations have received international critical acclaim and often construct social or political situations in which the visitor�s participation is conceptually integrated into the work.
In The War Game, shadows characterize Jaakko Niemelä's installations. Employing scrupulously constructed scale models, he plays with light and darkness, space and spatial structures. Notions of control, surveillance, destruction and reconstruction inform his work. He is known for developing, in his installations, narratives that unfold dramatically for the audience. In this process, familiar objects become strange and terrifying. �When you are about to fall asleep,� notes Niemelä, �the toys in the nursery can turn into monsters.�
The soothing baby-blue ambience of Minna Långström's nursery is deceptive. The playful act of bubble-blowing produces (electronic) suds filled with disturbing, violent images recalling the war in Iraq. The Bubble draws a parallel between Western societies and a nursery, where toys produce sounds and images of death, war and other people's suffering. This concept is conveyed via mediated information, often presented as entertainment. The pictures are blurred and the soundtrack is soothing, creating the illusion of distance and false security.
Reconnaissance presents the work of two outstanding artists from a land where social awareness, art and technology fuse seamlessly.
InterAccess gratefully thanks the Consulate of Finland, Toronto, and the Finnish Fund for Art Exchange for their generous support of this exhibition. InterAccess also thanks the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.