“From our hands the earth grows villages and harbors, foot paths and highways, forests marked for harvesting in lines as straight as an arrow. The abundance and weight of human existence present in every structure and trace.”
Kastehelmi Korpijaakko’s exhibition Heavily Carefree shows us a subtle combination of photographs of holes in the ground, weights and soil worn by man together with an installation of objects connected to the imagery. The works study the concept of touching, simultaneously interpreted as either tender or heavy depending on the viewer. The exhibition brings forth the humans as the markers of traces and as a force that causes erosion and wear.
In her works Korpijaakko looks at the destructive processes man-made culture causes to the environment. The exhibition also relates to the epoch of the Anthropocene – how to face the consequences of one’s existence in an era when they are crucially ever-present. At the same time they work on a very fundamental level, asking the same inexhaustible questions of existence that have been posed through centuries.
Korpijaakko photographs holes in the ground framing them in the traditional manner of a portrait. This is an attempt to face the earth, sprung from the ideas of the Lithuanian philosopher Emmanuel Levinas (1909–2005). Levinas, who emphasized the significance the face carries in ethical choices. According to him the face carries the fundamental and immediate demand to do right, on what the rest of our ethical behaviour is based on. Another recurring image in the exhibition is a view of traces on a building site, either temporary or permanent. The ground resembles skin as a surface that is sensitive to touch.
The theme of the exhibition is twofold. On the one hand it deals with guilt connected to the severe consequences of our actions and on the other an endeavour towards lightness, the aspirations of doing the right thing and living in respectful coexistence with the surrounding reality. ” Heavily Carefree is an elegy of erosion and benevolent care, a suggestion for an attitude and a gaze focusing on a detail: on how thousands of touches wear the surface of the rock smooth where it is declared holy.” the artist describes the chosen themes.
Kastehelmi Korpijaakko (b.1984) is currently finalising her MA studies of photography at the Aalto University, School of Art, Architecture and Design. Her artistic work is defined by a environmental concerns as well as an interest in the role of photography in the developement of an individual’s ethical understanding. Her works have previously been exhibited in Helsinki and Turku.
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: Kastehelmi Korpijaakko, Todiste nro. 040715, 2015)