Sini Pelkki’s exhibition meaningful meanings is an assortment of elements, creating a narrative between the associations they form together, and the gaps shaped between them. The role of the spectator can take on different forms in the exhibition. It guides and suggests a direction for which to gaze or traverse the gallery, but ultimately the presence of the viewer avoids instruction or given guidelines. The photographic works together with the space, form a whole where volatile meanings, materials, and reflections surrounding the audience intersect. The space created is an open invitation, a gesture to accept or decline what is being offered.
In Sini Pelkki’s works, hands are reaching out, resting, touching, and stretching; conversely, they also signal a seeking to define, interfere, or even prevent. Hands, feet, and bodies are partly within the spaces they contain, partly already somewhere else and never quite present. Some of the characters in the images are as if at rest, while others are active—involved in an exercise or play that tries to reach something about the connection between space and situation. The experience of space-time that is formed inside the works can be cohabited but never fully shared. In Photographic Gallery Hippolyte, they reposition themselves in relation to the space, the observer, and each other. Like a hall of mirrors, together they form reflections that expand, forging openings and bending their surroundings.
In her work, Sini Pelkki approaches spatiality through both photography and the moving image. Perception of movement in the gallery space is arranged through a dialogue between associations, materials, and the visitor’s presence. Pelkki’s video work, titled Is All, installed in the gallery’s foyer, also brings together separate elements, where text and image are employed for both form and gesture. The work reflects on time, transience, and presence through interpretation, repetition, and variations. The texts that appear are variations by Emma Hammarén and Mikko Kuorinki of unnamed photographic works, which Pelkki has again reconfigured into the video work.
Sini Pelkki is an artist based in Helsinki, who uses photography and moving image in her practice. She is interested in the subjectivity of seeing, introspective lives of spaces within spaces. Landscapes, figures, and objects turn into layered narratives that lead to various paths and ambiguous readings. In recent years her work has also been going towards different kinds of collaborations, that have taken the form of moving image, performance, and events. Pelkki gained her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London (UK) in 2002 and an MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki in 2008. Her works have been exhibited in numerous exhibitions, e.g., Sheet No4, HAM Gallery (2018), Length, Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova (2016), Arranger’s Choice, Galleria Sculptor (2013) and at film festivals, e.g., European Media Art Festival (EMAF), Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin and International Film Festival Rotterdam. In 2018 she released her first work in book form Arranged Lines. The Finnish Art Society awarded Sini Pelkki with the William Thuring designated prize in 2014. Pelkki’s works are included in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, HAM Helsinki Art Museum, and the Saastamoinen Foundation. Sini Pelkki’s moving image work Departing Shadow was on shown as an installation at Monitoimitila O. in Helsinki in December 2020. Sini Pelkki previously had a solo exhibition at Photographic Gallery Hippolyte in 2011.
image: Sini Pelkki, Exit, 2021
3–26 September 2021
Photographic Gallery Hippolyte