3.–26.5.2013, Morten Torgersrud: Circulating Sites

Yrjönkatu 8–10 (courtyard), 00120 Helsinki, +358 9 612 33 44, www.hippolyte.fi

Open: tue–fri 12–17, sat–sun 12–16 (Closed 9.5.2013)

Circulating Sites

Discussion Wednesday 8 May 5 p.m.
Discussion in English

The landscapes of the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia are the background for Circulating Sites. This region has over the last decades been through major political-economical changes and is now also defined across national borders – such as the Barents region or Sápmi. These somewhat contradictory configurations of the northern territories are to be seen in light of the influence of a globalised economy upon local landscapes.

These photographic works depict a geography that is under construction. The landscape is indeed not a sign for original or authentic states of affairs, but is rather an unstable site, where the powers that affect it are not unambiguously legible. In fact, the very photographic technology as such, in a parallel effect, tends to dissolve geographic parameters by exemplifying the paradoxical dialectic of the photograph between the site-specificity and placelessness. The photograph is not only a reflection of the landscape, but is also a formal equivalent of a fragmented geography. In this manner, photography may be thought of as a critical model regarding the shaping of landscapes under global capitalism.

Circulating Sites consists of a slide projection, which shows, in a looped presentation, 80 transparencies, combined with a text. The text continues the exploration of photography and place, focusing on works by Ellisif Wessel and Jorma Puranen in the discussion. Both Wessel and Puranen relate to or comment upon territorial and cultural changes in early and late 20th century.

Morten Torgersrud (b. 1971) makes all his works in the Russian-Finnish-Norwegian border area. His interests lie in the relation between photography and space/place/landscape, what one could call the geographic logic of photography. He is interested in how visual representations of the northern areas are related to historical and political-economic configurations of the northern geography. Torgersrud´s works have been on display in different parts of the world, in Finland last as part of the PANG – Public Art Northern Genre exhibition in Rovaniemi at 2004.

Morten Torgersrud is visiting Helsinki as part of the Focus AiR artist-in-residence program during April and May 2013. The recidency in Helsinki is realized in co-operation with Photographic Gallery Hippolyte and HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme. www.focusair.info