The exhibition Topics of Weightlessness, present works Airspace and Weightless, by artist group SIKT—formed by visual artist Ylva Holländer and film scenographer Marjaana Rantama. The multilayered works installed in the gallery space explore love, loneliness, and longing—emotions and phenomena that have no weight but are still extremely heavy. The Weightless short film trilogy travels from a surgeon’s operating room over the mountains of Manchuria towards a direct flight to the Moon.
The style of the exhibition on display at Photographic Gallery Hippolyte is built around impulses for absurdity, and the attitude of the authors is self-described as playful. The short films are seen integrated into a large staged mountain, in front of which a gallery visitor is seated in the cabin of an aeroplane. In addition to the films, the exhibition features scale model work Airspace in which characters familiar from the screen continue their lives.
In Night in the Park, a wavy waltz takes two astronauts forward travelling through the nocturnal landscape of an alien planet in search of something. Traversing an unfamiliar environment, the explorers can smell an unidentifiable it in the soil, on earthworms, and at the edge of an industrial area. Eventually, the intoxicating scent of the park enchants them, and happily, the aliens continue their journey in the infinity of space. The scene of the movie The Dream of Life, is a dreamlike interior of a passenger plane. Above the mountains of Manchuria, the captain sings to the cabin about his longing for family, intimacy, and love. In the last part of the trilogy, Die Chirurgin, a surgeon in a freezing operating room sets out for the world in search of love. Disco, waltz, and ambient music play in the background, the surgeon travels from Hamburg to the Moon, but even in space, she is left alone.
The starting points of Artist Group SIKT‘s work is locality and craftsmanship. The collaboration between the artists began in 2015 with musical experiments and the founding of the band Finsk Filmindustri—without previous experience in playing or composing. Holländer and Rantama use sound as a starting point to explore the intangibility and weightlessness of emotions, things, and phenomena. Principles of gravity and invisible soundwaves, as well as rhythms and melodies, constitute the light and movement that naturally brought camera and temporality to their work. Stories emerged from constructs of impermanence, and thereby was a means to contemplate emotions’ immateriality and phenomena as human experiences. The principle for SIKT has become to examine their distinct ways of doing things and the values of aesthetics—aiming to adapt new competences to forms of expression that are more foreign to the artists. The activities of the artist duo are also a tribute to ITE art (Fin. itse tehty elämä, transl. self-made life), which has an anarchist attitude towards centralised institutions of art. The artists mostly shot the films in their studios or their immediate vicinity of Porvoo using mobile phones.
Visual artist Ylva Holländer graduated from The Fine Arts Academy of Finland in 1979 and participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions—most recently, solo exhibitions in Gallery Forum Box (2019) and Porvoo Kunsthalle (2020). www.ylvahollander.com
Scenographer Marjaana Rantama has worked as a designer in theatre, but moreover in Finnish film productions. She graduated as a scenographer from the University of Art and Design Helsinki (cur. Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture) in 1991. www.marjaanarantama.com
The Arts Promotion Centre Finland kindly supports the exhibition. Svenska Kulturfonden, AVEK and Finnish Cultural Foundation kindly support the artists’ work.
Artist Group SIKT
Topics of Weightlessness
Photographic Gallery Hippolyte
Open: Tue-Fri 12-17, Sat-Sun 12-16
image above: Artist Group SIKT, still image from video piece Natt i Parken, 2020
exhibition images below: Milla Talassalo