Alvar Aalto City Library (4 Prospekt Suvorova, Vyborg, Russia)
The screening brings together video works by artists from Russia, Finland, and the United States that reflect on the theme of interaction between human beings and space: the natural environment, ecology, and architectural structures in historical and cultural contexts.
Through documentary videos, camera choreography, digital photos, and video collages, the artists convey an emotional sense of «genius loci» – «the genius of the place».
Featuring videos by: Ilkka Pitkänen, Violetta Gunina, Andrey Kalashnikov, Polina Korotaeva, Milja Viita, Simo Saarikoski, Philip Trapeznikov, Yana Pitenko, Svetlana Lysenko, Pasi Autio.
Carefree City / Suruton kaupunki, 2019, 4 min 5 sec.
Sound design: Markus Bonsdorff
Take a dreamy walk in 1920s Helsinki! Ilkka Pitkänen’s video work is enchanting and captivating, which immediately captures the visitor 90 years ago.
Ilkka Pitkänen (b. 1981) is a Helsinki-based multidisciplinary artist working with various media, including moving images, photography, installation and performance. Thematically his artworks deal with personal space and integrity as well as the perception of reality. His works have been presented publicly in many exhibitions in Finland and other countries. Pitkänen has also been working as a curator for group exhibitions, video art events and contemporary art festivals in Estonia, Finland and Russia. Since October 2020 Pitkänen has been the chairperson of the new-found Artists’ Association Yö, Helsinki, Finland.
Connections, 2016, 3 min. 10 sec.
Violetta Gunina, Andrei Kalashnikov, Polina Korotaeva
Film made as part of the program “Describing Architecture” at the Hermitage Youth Education Center, and shown with the permission of the Hermitage Youth Education Center.
Architecture is always more profound than any aesthetics, for every building preserves the imprint of the times which it has witnessed and experienced. The building of the House of Culture of Communication Workers is a totem of changing ideologies. It was built and rebuilt as a symbol of the connection with God / Culture / Humanity, because the essence of any ideology is expressed in the connection with a power that is far greater than the human being.
In this building, ideologies, times and styles are connected in a single work of architecture that is independent of styles, that has endured a change of eras, and will undoubtedly endure more. Looking at the dusty green netting, silent blank windows, faded plaster, the shapes of nostalgic bas reliefs and inappropriate inscriptions on cracked walls – what ideology does the viewer see today? And in the future? The building is in a state of anticipation.
Animal Bridge U-3033, 2018, 12 min. 8 sec.
Animal Bridge U-3033 is about the parallel realities of humans and wild animals. It’s filmed during a year on a bridge above motor highway. These bridges are architecturally engrossing structures, addressed only to the nature, allowing animals to cross the highway. The built environment meets the untouched nature in this narrow strip of urban forest. The 35mm film sequences shot with an old camera create contrast with a mysterious reality captured by trail cameras.
Milja Viita’s (b.1974) installations and films consist of experimental and documentary elements. Her works have been exhibited in e.g. Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Kunsthalle Helsinki, Mänttä Art Festival and in film and media art festivals internationally. Milja Viita lives and works in Porvoo, Finland. She graduated with MFA degree in Time and Space Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki in 2005.
Abandoned Land II, 2018, 12 min. 30 sec.
“Abandoned Land is an experimental, documentary and poetic video about the lost Finland and at the same time about its future. It documents abandoned environments and forgotten lifestyles that have become the periphery of Finnish society and phenomena from today’s perspective. Finland is a metaphor for the social change throughout Europe from the ending of the Second World War up to the present day. The abandoned world is a window to the future, also reflecting the things we may in the future consider worth abandoning.”
Simo Saarikoski (b.1980) is a visual artist who works with video, performance and watercolor painting. He explores our time and its phenomena, as well as the human impact on the environment and human psyche. Saarikoski’s work has been presented in different forms in over 20 countries around the world.
Viipurin kirjasto (Vyborg Library) / Viipurin kirjasto (Alvar Aalto Vyborg Library), 2016, 3 min. 37 sec.
Philipp Trapeznikov, Polina Korotaeva, Yana Pitenko, Svetlana Lysenko
Film created as part of the program “Describing architecture” at the Hermitage Youth Education Center, and shown with the permission of the Hermitage Youth Education Center.
Can music be tangible? Can we hear through touch what a bookshelf, granite stone and curve of a railing sound like? Wood, glass, concrete – these are the notes from which Alvar Aalto crafts his symphony. We try to hear it and explain it. The creative heritage of the great Finnish master Alvar Aalto includes hundreds of architectural and design sites. Fortunately for the people of Vyborg, one of these sites has been preserved in their city – the central city library. The restrained style, the ideal correspondence with the surrounding landscape, the original solution of the internal space – all of this makes the library a center of attraction which enchants the viewer.
Meandering / Harhailija, 2018, 18 min. 38 sec.
Meandering is a video work that combines moving images with sound, showing the environment seen by someone. At times, the common sounds heard take on a life of their own, creating music-like entities. The images are like windows that only show a part of something bigger. The sounds, on the other hand, aim to portray the wider environment around the wanderer — both the concrete environment and the wanderer’s reality where realism and imagination become blurred.
Pasi Autio (b. 1974, Vaasa, Finland) lives and works in Helsinki. He utilizes photography, moving image and sound. His latest works deal with the interaction between the human mind and the environment; he focuses on seemingly simple, but complex things. At the moment, he is interested in reality where realism and imagination mixes into new combination. Autio graduated with a MA in Photography in 2007 from Aalto University. Since the year 2000 he has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in Finland, Sweden, Germany, France and the USA.