Charles Petillon, Souvenirs de famille, 2011, pigmenttivedos, 111x146 cm, Courtesy Danysz gallery.

Charles Petillon, Souvenirs de famille, 2011, pigmenttivedos, 111x146 cm, Courtesy Danysz gallery.

On the Air

Timo Aho | Jiri Geller | Saara-Maria Kariranta | Anni Kinnunen | Paula Lehtonen | Josefina Nelimarkka | Charles Pétillon | Jarmo Ilmari Somppi | Marianna Uutinen | Timo Wright

This exhibition was supposed to open a year ago, but there was something in the air. Invisible aerosol particles spread around the globe, infecting thousands of people. In the Caribbean, the annual carnivals had to be cancelled and in Kerava, the exhibition got somewhat darker shades than originally planned. What was born, is a loud yet poetic whole with balloons, glitter, inflatables, clouds, and artificial storms.

The French artist Charles Pétillon, debuting in Finland, considers himself an archaeologist of forms and an ethnologist of images, a kind of researcher of spiritual and material culture. White balloons are his trademark. Of these, Pétillon builds his Interventions, which he records by photographing. Deserted playing fields and empty buildings rise out of everyday life and direct our attention to the aesthetic and poetic layers of reality.

Balloons play a key role also in the works of Jiri Geller, Anni Kinnunen and Timo Wright. They deal with themes related to environment, perception, and the wonder of human existence. The theme of control is visible in Timo Aho’s “botanical garden”, where plastic plants breathe the same air as humans.

Josefina Nelimarkka and Paula Lehtonen make us look up at the sky. We can venture into the eye of the storm or watch the deformation of the clouds accompanied by gentle tunes. In her work, Nelimarkka utilizes climate data collected by researchers. The idea for Saara-Maria Kariranta’s and Jarmo Ilmari Somppi’s poetic work Weight of Energy was instead born from a simple observation on how intriguingly the airflow makes light plastic shreds fly.

We may well imagine that we are only a small part of the universe. However, there are tons of star dust floating in the air. Space makes us feel small, but it also creates the desire to control and shine as a star among the stars. The glitter glow of Marianna Uutinen’s paintings is like a magical nebula, at the same time banal, erotic, and sublime. Space also brings out the theme of temporality. Jarmo Ilmari Somppi’s Afterlife Resort invites us for a virtual flight during which we can dive through the space of colours and travel towards light.

Exhibition publication (pdf).