In the second iteration of Pekka Niittyvirta’s exhibition trilogy, photographic works, marble sculptures and stamps form an installation-like body. The exhibition takes place in both Hippolyte’s Photographic Gallery and the Hippolyte Studio and showcases judicial settings, walls and facades, as well as ruins and seasides—borders. The exhibition photographs were taken in Senegal, the United States, Palestine, and Mongolia, et alia. They present one reality without claiming a documentary position—settling themselves between notions of the factual and the imaginary. Sculptures in the exhibition combine the temporality and documentary quality of the photograph alongside the marble’s historical framework.
Depicted in Monsters, Dark Mills and Angels is the growth of the global market economy as well as geopolitical and economic tensions by means of omnipresent control, judicial manipulation, and the landscape. Niittyvirta’s trilogy forms a science fiction story of worldwide hedonism. Humankind is altering our environment and its structure, climate and landscape, as our culture strives to adapt to ever accelerated change. The concept of power as well as information seem to be fragmented, or rather transformed, into a kind of global mill, as if power is produced somewhere beyond reach. Paradoxically different cause-effect relationships are acknowledged and gradually revealed.
Some of Niittyvirta’s series’ photographs are digitally constructed landscapes, some are existing structures or their variations. The original cultures, places, and borders are largely faded. Nature is restricted to artificial environments such as zoos and dolphinariums. They present nature only as a resource of raw materials or of speculative commercial products.
Pekka Niittyvirta (b. 1974, Helsinki) works at the intersection of installation, photography, video, and alternative image technologies—blurring the boundaries of experimental, conceptual, and documentary work. Through several aesthetically and substantively divergent projects, Niittyvirta views our socially constructed realities critically. Since 1999, Niittyvirta’s works have been exhibited in Finland and abroad, in solo and group exhibitions. In 2014, he earned the Environmental Artwork of the Year award, and was a chosen finalist for Fotofinlandia in 2004, 2006, 2014, and 2016. Niittyvirta’s works are included in numerous collections held by institutions such as Kiasma, Serlachius Museums, HAM (Helsinki Art Museum), Pro Artibus Foundation, The Palestinian Museum, Art Society of Finland and The Finnish State Art Collection.
The exhibition has been kindly supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland.
Monsters, Dark Mills and Angels II
Photographic Gallery Hippolyte & Hippolyte Studio
image: Pekka Niittyvirta, Untitled (Red Fall), 2018