Pohjanmaan Valokuvakeskuksen galleria 23.6. – 22.8.2020
Today I will write on the air, I will breathe words
Henko is diversified breath, a movement over various porous surfaces. It is a multi-ingredient happening of confluence and shared metabolism, with no clear boundaries or endpoint; we continue through one another, in a shared breath. In the exhibition different places, temporalities, and rhythms of motion overlap to create the overall composition, which was also influenced by the gallery space itself. The exhibition includes cameraless photograms, installations, and living images, also from spring 2020.
While working on Henko, the artist began the process by imagining the place where the exhibition was forming. Gestures of exploration were born upon arrival; the River that ran by the gallery wrote itself into the pictures as the artist immersed herself into it. How does the River speak and what does it carry along? The River is built of a chorus of rhythms, ingredients, organisms — such as the one we refer to by saying “I”. Sharing a space is reciprocal influence. The voice of the River can be heard in the works as slowly changing photographic marks.
The exhibition also includes works created by compost microbes, old light-sensitive papers, and shared chemistry at a family garden at Hiidenvesi. Over the course of the seasons a shared process of low-tempo images are created, along with the plants and the weather; the wind, and rain, and snow. Each is absorbed in the picture space in their own ways. Occasionally the weight of the artist’s head may leave a mark, and sweat, moisture, tears, the warmth of inhalation over long exposures, as the sun draws the image.
In the gallery space the pictures are formed on paper and in installations of living images. During the exhibition the surplus paper is planted into the damp earth-breath of the compost, as an experimental gesture of return. The pictures will continue changing throughout the exhibition. As a metaphor and a concrete space, the compost is a rich incubator of invisible life; forms that seem separate may lapse languidly, matter is revivified. Peeking into the garden compost bin, we can note the landscapes: various protective shells, movement, growth, severed wings and flashing fish scales; like diamond leather, reflecting light for another moment. The corporeal form of a picture that emerges in that same space is broken down when invisible enablers of life leave their tracks upon it, inhabit the wastes.
In air space we blend, we are reliant completely on each other, as life requires oxygen. A breathing body is receptive to feelings and to what is in the air and what is trying to enter it. The world permeates us in a breath, and we permeate it. All we need are things that enable the life force, interaction, friendship, playing, energy flow, shared breathing — the ability to accept and to let something out. Decomposing; the nature of the forms of the material world is something from which nothing, even that built my humans is safe. Everything that has an outline somewhere — finally opens up, separates, spreads, loses its selfhood — and joins the cycle, where new compositions are growing.
Image: Henko 2 – Correspondence (compost 7 days) 2020, Noora Sandgren