PHOTOGRAPHIC GALLERY HIPPOLYTE
Yrjönkatu 8–10 (courtyard), 00120 Helsinki, Finland, +358 9 612 33 44, www.hippolyte.fi
Open: Mon–Fri 12–17, Sat–Sun Closed
Olga Robayo & Hans Petter Blad
Disappearances combines the works of five artist working in Norway. The exhibition discusses the concept of disappearance from a series of viewpoints. All the works have a very specific, personal point of departure. Through a stylistic variety, from conceptual works on paper to video, objects and photography, the viewer will be forced into a territory of multiple meanings and possible contradictions.
Katharina Barbosa’s (b. 1962, Bogotá, Columbia) Black Album shows us pages from a photo album that belongs to the artist’s mother. The album was dedicated to her and her husband’s trip to Europe in the 1950’s. However, she has torn out every single photograph and only the beautiful, white handwriting remains on the dark page, along with the small, shiny rectangles where the adhesive tape used to tie the text and image together.
Barbosa’s other piece is titled In the Name of Love. The artist’s sister had followed a telenovela for 170 episodes, but when the last episode was aired she was in a hotel attending a dinner party. The sister asked a chambermaid to tell her how it ended the next day. The maid sat down with her whole family to write down the plot, resulting in a ten pages long detailed description of the episode, which Barbosa has also used as a script for a video piece. The actors in the video are all female domestic refugees in Colombia.
The starting point of Ulla Schildt’s (b. 1971, Oulu, Finland) work 19. May 2011 is the death of a woman called Nanna in the autumn of 2010 at the age of 93. She left behind many things including an old cardboard box containing a unique documentary archive of her father’s personal library. Carefully handwritten and organised by genre, this litany of vanished books had been retained by Nanna as a Memento Mori. On the 19th May 2011, Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon announced that for the first time in our history more eBooks were sold than paper books and the work memorialises this largely overlooked moment in our long relationship with the printed text.
In her work Yamile Calderon (b. 1974, Columbia) has documented a number of homes and properties belonging to Colombian crime bosses who are now in jail or killed. Towards the end of the 1980’s the Colombian government started to track down the mafia, which changed the landscape of Calderon’s childhood days dramatically – a time of luxury and lavish excesses was over and the extravagant houses were quickly turned into ruins. By studying the aesthetics of these homes, the image the Mafia wants to communicate to the outside world, but also surround themselves with privately, is revealed.
Olga Robayo’s (b. 1972, Bogotá, Columbia) contribution to the exhibition was supposed to be based on the posters of missing persons found in big Latin American cities. However Robayo’s work has literally disappeared and is not found in the exhibition, apart from Hans Petter Blad‘s (b. 1962, Oslo Norway) interpretation in the storylike essay titled Have You Seen Us?, a text about a non-existing object.