The starting point of Susanna Kesänen’s exhibition is in an old family house that once belonged to her great-aunt. Through her photographs, drawings and collages Kesänen processes her own relatedness to a place and terrains from where she has emigrated years ago. The house stands for something permanent, a link to time and place.
The modest log house was built by the father of Susanna Kesänen’s grandfather at the end of the 19th century. Before Kesänen her great-aunt lived in the house her whole life, more than a hundred years. For the artist, living has been more transitory and detached, a life in ten different addresses. A sense of origins and belonging is a part of the family house, but on the other hand it has also raised questions of whether a place can be owned, and in what way.
With the works in the exhibition The Green House Kesänen approaches the ambivalent sentiments of belonging and externality, that the house has evoked in her. The artworks merge photography, drawings and collage. The pencil delineation on the photos of winter coats found from the house’s vestibule is repeated in the frottage works created by rubbing a pencil against the floor. Looking and experiencing, as well as touching turn into pictures through different techniques. Drawing is about being in touch with the surface and material, while photographing replicates sights more from afar.
Susanna Kesänen is finishing her studies, MA in Photography, at the Aalto University School of Art, Design and Architecture. As a minor she has studied illustration and comics. The Green House is Kesänen’s first solo exhibition, and it makes part of her masters thesis for an MA in Photography in the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture.
1–24 September 2017
The Green House
Yrjönkatu 8–10 courtyard, 00120 Helsinki
+358 9 612 33 44, www.hippolyte.fi
Opening hours: Tue–Fri 12–5 pm, Sat–Sun 12–4 pm
image: Susanna Kesänen, from series The Green House, 2015