The work featured in Hippolyte Gallery in August is an installation by Suvi Härkönen that includes water, light and sound – elements familiar from the artist’s previous works. The new piece explores the interplay of privilege, status and fear.
In her new installation at Hippolyte, Härkönen returns to the same elements she used in her previous work, Robots Don’t Dream, that has been presented two versions in 2015 and 2016. The new piece features a pool of water, sound and light, but it also includes sculptural elements, one of which is a glistening tower rising up from the centre of the pool.
Covering most of the floor area of the gallery, the water is dark and opaque, yet the movements of its surface create reflections of light on the walls. The meaning of water shifts, reflecting the viewer’s thoughts and expectations. Static and dark, it seems unknown, impenetrable, yet when it ripples it creates glowing patterns all around. The water surrounds the central tower like a moat, isolating it. Viewers can touch the unmoving surface of the water, but cannot reach the structure rising up in its centre.
The emphasis in Suvi Härkönen’s works is on experientiality. Instead of discrete objects, her installations establish all-encompassing environments. They turn the focus on the viewer – or the experiencer, to be more precise – as a participant and instigator, both reiterating and manifesting themes relating to power relations.
Suvi Härkönen (b. 1982) graduated from the Institute of Design and Fine Arts at Lahti University of Applied Sciences in 2011 and from the Master’s Degree Programme in Visual Culture at Aalto University in 2014. She has exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions in Finland since 2007. In summer 2015, she designed a public pavilion for the Pori World Expo event/exhibition concept held in the Central Square in Pori.
The exhibition has been kindly supported by the Alfred Kordelin Foundation and the Paulo Foundation.