For us locality is an understanding that is shared based on familiarity with the situation, site and its’ particularities. It looses its definition when it iterates, and becomes an interpretation or presentation. Our perspective leans very much on the delicate balance between being familiar with something and at the same time trying to grasp something new.
Since our gallery is in constant contact with “the street” and open to the public view it serves us as a site of observance in addition of being a site of presentation. We want to ask what is the current status of wellfare in our wellfare society? For us it is the everyday that counts. It is where the battles are fought, where you are standing up for the rights or loosing your position. In our local perspective this means a quiet observation, silent and introvert activity. For us it manifests the attitude of our wellfare society. As well as introduces the local attitude to art. We happily pay taxes so that society can take care of the people lying on the streets. Art has been ushered in to the position of monitoring, presenting and being the alarm that voices out needs, wants and aspirations. Loudly but quietly. Still maintaining isn’t the same as constructing. We chose these artists as they all highlight in their art practice the delicate balance between obedient observance and visionary exploration.
Janne Nabb & Maria Teeri
Janne Nabb and Maria Teeri is an artist couple that examines with detail the structure of our present layers of artifacts that we are surrounded with. They pile as well as dissemble the multitude, with images, installations and objects that move beyond what they are. They are explorers inside the realm of materials that form our surroundings. Their work touches the vacuumed inertia of excess.
Anikó Kuikka uses almost mythological imaginery in her moving image installations that are composed of visual language depicting something in our experience of the everyday life that looses its grasp in an overimposed fascinating way. We selected her based on her ability to use “remote closeness” in creating works that lingers upon the artifice of the lived experience.
Tatu Engeström represents the line of young socially and politically aware artists that base their artistic practice into concepts, ideas and information rather than aesthetics or emotional impact. Engeström's art is inseparably urban – it evades the conventions of Finnish naturalism, the forests and the melancholy. Engeström's art is very much based on the notions of public space. Having a background in street culture – notably in skate boarding – creates a certain kind of sensibility enabling Engeström to move in between what is private and what is public as an observer, active participant or even intruder. Similarly, Engeström considers the museum or gallery institution as a context that works as a stage for participation, negotiation and the mirroring of society's morals and values.
Miina Hujala and Arttu Merimaa
Miina Hujala and Arttu Merimaa are visual artists who have been working together in collaborative projects since the year 2005. Their curatorial work focuses on artist initiative based activities, collegial working methods and short-termed working sessions that examine the conditions of art production. They find it interesting to create opportunities to critically observe art as a profession and it's connections to social and political issues. By launching and forming places and platforms to discuss, share, criticize and react, they're curatorial practice is focused on enabling and structuring artists' work and actively positioning the artists and their practice within other roles present in contemporary society.
Alkovi Gallery is a site-specific public art space located in the Kallio district in Helsinki, Finland. The gallery was founded by artist Otto Karvonen in 2005 and for the year of 2008 it was temporary used by the Contemporary Art Museum Kiasma. Artists Arttu Merimaa and Miina Hujala took over the gallery in 2009. In addition to exhibitions and video screenings its activity also includes workshops and collaborative projects. Alkovi invites artists to make artworks and plan exhibitions specifically considering the characteristics of the gallery’s display window space and its location in the public realm as well as its socio-political and urban connections.