Hippolyte’s first exhibition in 2016, Valley L447 by Johanna Ketola, borrows its name from a green industrial paint, that the manufacturer has called L447, Valley. It is an installation consisting of a two channel video work, photographs and sculptural elements.
Valley L447 is a place in which natural, unnatural and in between get mixed. The series of works addresses relations between humans and nature in the 21st century, particularly through the representation of nature as a commodity in contemporary consumption culture. ”My working process has been inspired particularly by semiotics, global consumerism with its large-scale spread of cheap products, forest nature and haiku poetry with its way of depicting the world,” Johanna Ketola explains.
The work emits a calm feeling, but also aims to speak to the audience through a sensorial experience of alienation. Nature seems to appear as a place that has been penetrated by something that is foreign to it – while, on the other hand, the definitions of natural or foreign blur. It is not a fantasy, but rather a reality rearranged aiming to form a new, self-coherent visual world.
Valley L447’s emotional impetus lies at the aesthetic experience of nature as well as at the alarming observations of our contemporary reality. ”Just as I’ve been enchanted by the unique natural surroundings of my living habitat while working on these pieces, do their elements also depict the almost horror-like sensation, strengthened during my lifetime and caused by the effects of human-made and harmful substances spreading everywhere with an accelerating speed,” says the artist.
The photography, cinematography, scenography, editing and installation of the work is realised by Johanna Ketola and the soundscape of the video work is designed by musician Petri Alanko.
Johanna Ketola (b.1978 in Jyväskylä) is a visual artist, who works with photography, video and installation. She has gained her MFA degree at the Finnish Academy Fine Arts, Helsinki and studied photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Lahti Institute for Design, Lahti, Finland. Ketola lives and works both in Berlin and the Finnish countryside and has exhibited in Finland and abroad since 2003.
The production is supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland / Media Art and the Arts Promotion Centre Finland / Central Finland.
8 – 31 January 2016
Photographic Gallery Hippolyte
Yrjönkatu 8–10 courtyard, 00120 Helsinki, Finland
+358 9 612 33 44, www.hippolyte.fi
Tue–Fri 12–17, Sat–Sun 12–16
(image: Johanna Ketola, still image from a two-channel video work Valley L447, 2015)