Of a part of a project ’IN VARIOUS STAGES OF RUINS’

[INFO OF THE PROJECT: This screening, and the event of exhibiting, is a part of a project that deals with the concept of knowledge – its formation and distribution tactics – and the notion of a ‘ruin’. The method that the project has focused on is exploration – conducted as a set of visits, tours and trips – but linked integrally to the element of thinking about what ‘artistic practice’ entails; What kind of form of knowledge production it is? And how does the element of installing and presenting the activity as the artefacts connect into the field of factual knowledge formation? With these questions in mind we have embarked on to form some ‘outputs’ or ‘outlets’ – which this event is one part – that we have chosen to formulate some commentary to these issues.]


In a life-cycle of materials, as chemical, structural compositions, they are in fact never ‘ruins’ as they constantly shift, reform – become something else. This reaction, readjustment, regeneration in the composition – like that of the compost making constant dissolutions, transitions, metamorphoses – is a situation that to remain as a ruin, something must be up-kept as a ruin – the decay has to be so slow – or so instant as in destructive event (a blast) – that to be visible as a ruin ‘now’ (contemporarily). Evident in the notion of a ruin – is past present as visible.

Dreams and dreaming can enlarge and cultivate the present consciousness by stripping this same consciousness of its tangible present – in ‘dreaming’ the inability to attach onto something points to a meaning that evaporates consciousness.

Consumed by constant daydreaming (with its consumerist materiality) with its corrosive neglect – things demand our attention and desire but only to be discarded – thus it is to be asked who looks at the waste, notices the ruins of “our times”?

Noticing a ruin as a ruin of interference – a standstill – (to borrow a temporal term from Benjamin) – is to look at something that has stopped reproducing, that has remained, been left without a time of continuity, that is “out-of-time”. For Jung the archetypal symbol was a sort of “left-over”, a piece of the past that lingered, brought in conscious presence within a dream’s blooming symbolism but without a fixed interpretation.

There is no entity to be built with fragments, there are just fragments. To be depicted and to be interpreted. We escape to the “virginal past”, because seeing the decaying presence makes us feel dirty and sick. But we are (everything that is alive is) dirty and sick by necessity. We decay, ‘remain’ but in traces, always when we clean, we clean “purposefulness” to be visible. Remove the unwanted or unneeded in the reference to something pursued.

Museums are filled with the remains of other (older) times mostly excavated from garbage dumps and graves. Our incessant focus on value as something “brand new” hides the traces of it always being of some form of material past.

History has no purpose, so placing things we “discover” on a setting is always a creative act, it’s an act of storytelling, of placing things on a relationship with the notions of trust. Believe is a component of trust, trust is a component of truth, knowledge is a formation of trustable perceived truthful.


Maija Timonen: ‘Total Atmospheric Mean’, 19min 15sec, 2010 Total Atmospheric Mean recounts a dream. A video essay on the topic of mediation, it stages a cinematic experience of and about improvised means.

Sauli Sirviö: ‘We need oil to breath’ (2018) painted steel, inkjet print on fiberglass wallpaper The photograph depicting a terrain (with traces) is accompanied with a shaft that is meant to be used in public community shelter space in case of need for oxygen using diesel motor ventilation system.

Anni Puolakka: ’Timanttimaha’ (Diamond Belly, 2018), 11:15, HD 16:9, single channel Staged as a conversation with an artificial intelligence chatbot, Timanttimaha (Diamond Belly) explores love and companionship between a human artist, the bot and mosquitos. The human offers her body as a nourishing 'baguette' to the diamond-bellied mosquitoes, envisioning their bio-chemistry in complementary with her own haematic cycle.

Elina Vainio: ‘Crossword’ Vainio utilizes signage (as words, letters) in her practice – in this occasion the Cyrillic alphabet – and by removal of threads from a fabric makes manifest connections between materials and formations of meanings.

Eero Yli-Vakkuri: ‘Mineral Water Exploration (with electronics and taste buds)’ Yli-Vakkuri's presentation will illustrate how mineral waters are formed as rain passes through the soil. The characteristics of different waters will be explored using electronic gadgets, by short narratives, and by preparing a batch of mineral water for consumption.

Jussi Kivi: River Styx Main Stream Under The City, River Styx Northern Ranch, Subterranean Fountain, photographs Kivi has done for several years various exploration trips venturing into the remains of different hidden sites and routes underneath the structures of a city or to terrains that are present but not seen – or allowed to travel. This series of images taken from inside of sewage systems.

Iona Roisin: Image on the poster and Instagram stories From Iona Roisin we deliberately asked an image to be used as a poster for this screening/exhibition event. She has participated as a part of the research trip group – on our previous Trans-Siberian train trip in 2018 alongside our trips to Karelia-area and Vyborg and she has stayed at the facilities of the Finnish Institute in St. Petersburg. She uses the instrument of a camera and documents – also through images posted online – these journeys.She has edited together all of her Instagram stories from three trips, totalling two hours, these are running in the space on a phone. We felt that with this activity she captivates something very essential in the project, with the act of observing and the method entwined.


Jussi Kivi has a long artistic practice that stretches over several decades during which he has presented works in occasions notably such as Venice Biennial in 2009, having a recent exhibition at Helsinki Art Museum (HAM) 2018, in 2009 he received Ars Fennica-prize. Part of his practice is tied to memberships in Romantic Geographic Society and Mustarinda Association.

Anni Puolakka is based in Helsinki and Rotterdam and makes performances, videos, installations, drawings and texts in which situation-specific or documentary materials are incorporated into fictional worlds. The works play with the boundaries and potential of human animals as they seek meaningful and vibrant – sometimes drowsy or dirty – involvement with other beings, objects and surroundings. They experiment with theatrical and cinematic traditions as well contemporary methods. Puolakka teaches at the Aalto University and other places, such as the University of the Arts Helsinki. She co-organizes the feminist, sex positive festival Wonderlust.

Iona Roisin is a British artist living and working in Helsinki. She graduated from the Time and Space MFA at the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki and the BA at Sir John Cass School of Art, London Metropolitan University. Working at the intersection of writing, film and installation, her practice attempts to negotiate the expression of impossibility and/or the impossibility of expression. This considers issues relating to language, power, representation, consent and complicity.

Sauli Sirviö is an artist and an explorer that utilizes multiversity of source techniques of which photography and material compositions have been most prevalent. He is also a co-founder of artist-run SIC space in Helsinki.

Maija Timonen lives and works in Helsinki and London. Timonen did her doctoral thesis in Slade School of Art (in 2010) where her research dealt with concepts of authorship, more particularly how it relates to making films and contemporary institutional art environments. Her works are films, texts and performances that observe the relationship between the body, mind and capitalism.

Elina Vainio's works often draw attention to conditions that sustain or diminish prospects of beings and organisms in their indefinite forms. She is a keen amateur student of geology and an observer of rock strata, which as veins, bands, beds, dunes, and other deposits bear the weight of time and stretch our conceptions of it. Lately Vainio has also been paying attention to social interactions, the power of free association and unforeseen connections that arise in exchanges of acceptance and openness. Vainio lives and works in Helsinki, Finland, where she graduated with an MFA from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2013.

Eero Yli-Vakkuri is a design oriented performance artist, who works primarily in public spaces. Presently he is making a study of contemporary equestrian culture and advancing sustainable design through campaigns, workshops and artistic presentations. He prefers to work in groups and to develop interdisciplinary collaborations with specialists in different fields. From 2015 onwards he has been focusing on sounds in an effort to understand how sounds build communities.


Miina Hujala is an artist and a curator who has received an MA degree (Fine Art) from Aalto University at 2011 (including a period of exchange studies at Hong-Ik University on Seoul, South-Korea) and she has also done MFA at Praxis-programme of exhibition studies in the Arts University Helsinki / The Academy of Fine Arts in 2015 (including an internship at The Vera List Center, NYC, NY at 2013.) Hujala has worked mainly with issues relating to the constantly re-formulating concepts of ’knowledge’, ’truth’ and validation, both in her independent artistic practice as well as in terms of questions relating on exhibiting art as a part of her curatorial work.

Arttu Merimaa is an artist and curator working in Helsinki, Finland. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts at 2013 (Department of Time and Space). In his curatorial work Merimaa focuses on collegial art practices and public space. Merimaa’s works have been shown in Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Pori Art Museum, Helsinki Photography Museum’s project space, as well as in gallery Sinne, SIC space, and Kluuvi gallery of the Helsinki City Art Museum.

Hujala & Merimaa have been curators of a gallery/art space called Alkovi in Helsinki from 2009 onwards. During that period Alkovi has changed from a place that provides a low threshold for artists wanting to experiment and present their works in the context of this display window art space – that opens up directly to the street level – to a space working on invitation-only aiming to find new ways of presenting art in its embedded connectedness to the multiple levels of societal entanglement. Which is of course quite fluid as well as somewhat ambitious task. More info about Alkovi:


Hujala & Merimaa are also currently curating Connecting Points- programme dealing with Finnish-Russian exchange in HIAP (Helsinki International Artist residency programme). Connecting Points is a program that aims at strengthening the collegial and curatorial activity in artistic and cultural realm in Finland and in Russia. The program explores the interrelations and specific aspects of different sites and locations as well as understandings between them that are constantly being built. A location can provide a source for action and commitment but also provide a setting from which to reach – intense and temporal – as well as profound and enduring connections. More info of the programme:


*at 4.9.2019 /// 7pm-9pm
ASI (Agency of Singular Investigations) [] space at CCI FABRIKA [] MOSCOW
*at 21.09.2019 /// 5pm-8pm
ZARYA Center for Contemporary Art [] VLADIVOSTOK