27 Feb – 22 Mar 2015
Research Into Grey
Research Into Grey is an essayistic exhibition by Aura Saarikoski, consisting of photographs, text, a drawing and a monologue.
In an attempt to reach the fog’s highest point of density I’m walking towards the centre of fog. The piece was inspired by photographs of Yves Klein from 1961 in which he walks towards a void and back. I have a childhood memory in which my brother and I try repeatedly to reach the centre of fog in a meadow. We called it Dogfog, the densest point in a fog classification system we had devised. We never managed to reach the centre, it kept shifting.
In my mind, the attempt to do something impossible is associated with the hope of finding meaning in nothingness, with the search for the self, with the practice of art. The densest point of fog stands for the hope for a concentration of meaning. Fog conceals and shelters, you can get lost in it. On the other hand, fog gives room for daring and guessing, for the courage to trust your intuition.
As a photographer’s tool, the grey card refers to the management of tonalities, to the control of recorded material. In the photograph Research Into Grey II, I use the grey card differently, to stop at the point where a photograph was taken. Within the denseness of the fog, I compare the tonal scale on the card with the grey landscape to determine the colours of reality.
A Hundred Landscapes is a sample from correspondence that lasted for 20 years, a landscape written to me by my grandmother. In the letters, my grandmother’s mind reflects the weather, while the weather is coloured by her mind. The archive of letters constitutes a subjective weather report from a period of 20 years. For my grandmother, nature was alive and real, for me it is more often than not only an image.
The Photographer’s Mother is a photograph of my mother, an artist, in a pose derived from Lucian Freud’s The Painter’s Mother Resting I (1976). I think about the process of becoming visible, of recognising oneself in the line of a drawing, in the eyes of another person. I turn the tables and assume a different role: I step behind the camera to look at my mother as an image. No matter what I tried, I was unable to assemble the pieces into an unbroken image of my mother, and the picture collapsed from the wall.
Ode to a Child Being Born is a monologue that celebrates the moment. Life gushes from birth to old age, the fevered pace follows the rhythm of irregular breathing. Hopes, hopelessness, utopias, the past and the present, all come together.
Aura Saarikoski (b. 1987) graduated in 2012 from the Turku Art Academy as photographer. She is currently finishing her MA studies at the Department of Photography at Aalto University School of Art and Design.
Yrjönkatu 8–10 courtyard, 00120 Helsinki, Finland
+358 9 612 33 44, www.hippolyte.fi
Tue–Fri 12–17, Sat–Sun 12–16
Image: Aura Saarikoski, Research into grey II (2014), Diasec