Maija Närhinen 7.–30.5.2021

Photographic Gallery Hippolyte

Maija Närhinen’s exhibition looks at the boundaries of objects. In Närhinen’s object-installations, various items are about to disappear into each other. They become parallel with others that are the same or similar and blend into approximations of themselves, to which the title of the exhibition–the sign of approximation–also refers. The works find similarities in their material in different ways. In some cases, it is based upon the common colour or shape of the goods, although their functions may be different. In others, numerous goods intended for the same use are merged to create new forms. In all the works, however, the identity of a single object is in the process of disappearing. In Närhinen’s hands, they become elements of colour, line, and rhythm.

Maija Närhinen’s works examine the borders of similarity and difference, and the ostensible permanence of concepts and categories. Although an object is easy to regard as particular or permanent, it is more easily replaceable than e.g., ingrained thoughts or attitudes. Seemingly random goods that fuse into each other and disappear into the mass simultaneously turn into both insignificant parts of a whole and individuals—whose differences become even more striking with closer inspection. Elsewhere, individual objects placed on a row of shelves become reminiscent of a model of evolutionary theory, where form seeks imaginary perfection. However, even among inanimate items, it is not the strongest or most vibrant who ultimately survives. Only the ones that, due to a sum of coincidences, are deemed usable.

Although Maija Närhinen’s exhibition does not, as its starting point, comment on consumer culture or the overuse of natural resources, it is difficult to disregard the clear ephemerality of many of the items. Disposability is not always related to an object’s value but rather to an attitude towards it. Things should perhaps not be considered transient, disposable entertainment, yet attachment to them can also be equally suspicious and undesirable. The line between collecting, preserving, and hoarding can sometimes be muddy–an issue Maija Närhinen has addressed in her earlier works, including her previous solo exhibition at Hippolyte.


Maija Närhinen is a visual artist based in Helsinki. In her work, she often combines different methods of depiction, including elements of a three-dimensionality and two-dimensionality in the same work. Närhinen has a master’s degree in fine arts from the Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki, where she is also currently preparing her doctoral thesis. Maija Närhinen’s works are now on display at the Rovaniemi Art Museum’s exhibition Impressions. Later this year, she will be included at the Kerava Art Museum’s exhibition The Blue Planet, the Porvoo Triennial in Porvoo and the University of the Arts Helsinki’s Research Pavilion # 4 in Helsinki. Närhinen’s most recent solo exhibitions have been at Galleria Sculptor (2018) and Hippolyte Studio (2017) in Helsinki. Her works are included in the collections of HAM – Helsinki Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation, the University of Helsinki and The Nordic Watercolor Museum.

NB! You can now view the exhibition also through as a virtual presentation, here.

Maija Närhinen

Photographic Gallery Hippolyte
Open: Tue-Fri 12-17, Sat-Sun 12-16

installation shots (below): Milla Talassalo

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