until 12.11. | #3631ARTatBerlin | Persons Projects presents the exhibition Gravity Experiments and Cyclic Phenomena by artist Niina Vatanen from 14 September 2022.
Persons Projects is proud to present Niina Vatanen’s solo exhibition Gravity Experiments and Cyclic Phenomena, which thematically follows a previous exhibition at C/O Berlin. The focus is once again Vatanen’s series and publication Time Atlas (Kehrer Verlag, 2019), dedicated to the complexity of the human experience of time. Through the study of planetary motion and gravity, various omens, oracles, or religious prophecies, man has repeatedly explored his destiny and place in the universe and sought answers to existential questions. In this exhibition, Vatanen does the same – she has combined images from different archives to create a multi-layered visual essay on time. Since the early days of her career, Vatanen has explored, ‘seduced’ and challenged the mystery of time – today it is the core theme of her work. Time and again, the artist attempts to decipher the complicated workings and processes of time perception and interpret them artistically through collaging, collecting, archiving, as well as conceptual, ‘guided’ storytelling. In doing so, she incorporates numerous myths into her art-making, including that of the so-called ‘world ice’. This ancient myth is rooted in many different cultures and can be found in Greek, Egyptian and Finnish mythology, among others. The story itself, that the earth hatched from an egg, in a way reflects the same objective of Vatanen’s – the search for an answer to our confused experience of time. Vatanen asks questions about our perception of time, the intertwining of history with personal experience, the temporality of existence and her own visual memory. Instead of imposing her own memories on the viewers, she merely gives them an orientation, similar to a compass without degrees. In doing so, she questions the definition of art and photography, as well as their authority, and uses her art to blur these boundaries – drawing on numerous sources to create a composite image and inviting viewers to ponder who is the creator of the final work. The archive Vatanen uses to create her art has been built up over decades and is therefore strongly personalised. Initially, she started with her own intimate memorabilia, and later she continued to collect images from outside sources, which she linked together to create new connections. Her raw material comes from old encyclopaedias dealing with topics related to time and its measurement:
which relate to time and its measurement: Mathematics, Religion, Science and Philosophy. She also uses newspapers, manuals and contemporary internet images to make these new and inventive connections between different, otherwise unrelated fields. The title of the exhibition refers to Vatanen’s eponymous large-scale fabric works dedicated to the phenomenon of gravity. Gravity is what keeps the earth in its orbit, creates tides and causes objects to fall to earth – these hanging fabric works similarly demonstrate the cycles of nature and the passage of time. Vatanen effortlessly combines our earthly perception of the weight of gravity with the vastness and weightlessness of space. The installation of these fabric works here alludes to the feeling of walking through a historical archive in search of materials and the many truths hidden within. Walking through Vatanen’s exhibition, therefore, there is no ‘right or wrong’ way – like the fluidity of the Japanese ensō circle, it takes viewers on a playful journey through their own perception of the cycle of time and man’s place in it.
Niina Vatanen was born in Kuopio, Finland, in 1977. She lives and works in Helsinki. Vatanen graduated from Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in 2008. Her exhibitions include solo shows such as Beyond the Visible Surface, C/O Berlin (2015), Glimpses of the Unattainable at the Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki (2014), and group shows such as When the Wind Blows at Kunst Haus Wien (2022), New Perspectives – 25 Years of the Helsinki School at Taidehalli, Helsinki (2021), Échos système at Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation, Arles (2021), Festival Circulation(S), Paris (2020), Eating Pineapples on the Moon at Riga Photomonth (2019), The future’s not ours to see at the Triennial of Photography Hamburg (2015), Secret Agent at Sunbury House, London (2016), Reframe Memory at Athens Photo Festival (2015), Touching Dreams at the Danish National Museum of Photography, Copenhagen (2011) and Daegu Photo Biennale at Daegu Culture and Arts Center (2010).
Vernissage: Friday, 16 September 2022, 06:00 – 09:00 p.m.
Exhibition dates: Wednesday, 11 September 2022 – Saturday, 12 November 2022to the gallery
Exhibition Niina Vatanen – Persons Projects | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galerien | ART at Berlin