Sofia Pyy Attempt of Becoming a Bird 4.–27.9.2020

Hippolyte Studio

Sofia Pyy’s Attempt of Becoming a Bird is a sketchbook-like exhibition that explores spaces, scales, and alternative forms of life. The body of work plays with imagination, visual rhythms, and directs the viewer’s attention to subtle details. Could the small everyday remarks make us realise something new about existence, about the interfaces of being and non-being, and imaginary life? Would it be possible for us to learn to see the intangible layers or to hear entities living on other wavelengths?

Pyy’s work in Hippolyte Studio consists of a photographic book, texts, and a series of photographic prints. Pyy is searching for new ways to look at a reality where we can momentarily forget our human perspective. Close-ups of grids, layers of paper, and small objects accentuate the contrast of light and shadow generating dynamic compositions. Concurrently, they spotlight the structure of an object’s surfaces and make every detail meaningful. In the images, photographs are combined with drawn lines, creating a naive, reduced world. In her work, Pyy makes use of light, shadow, reflection, beams and rays of light then filtered through various materials. The colours inverted into negatives produce an optical illusion, detaching the space from the usual world of experience. The shadows between the papers become elements that support the composition as the negative and positive spaces interchange.

The exhibition rests on the idea that each gesture, act or event is distinctly abstract and insignificant—holding its place in a series of chaotic events and occurrences. Life is unpredictable, and every detail affects the next moment. Nothing ever repeats in the same manner, only the motion continues—at times melting, and sometimes clumsy.

The pictorial characters depicted vary in perspective between human, bird, insect, and electronic device, all of which live their own seemingly quiet lives. The lines, traces, and spots, when viewed through the camera lens, turn into three-dimensional places—where pieces of paper and dust particles are alive and in constant interaction with each other, forming geometric and slightly stiff imagery of nature. Inspired by minimalism and the contrasting photographic compositions by Man Ray and Alexander Rodchenko, the exhibition is a study of everyday details, rhythms of light and shadow, and the illusion of movement.

Sofia Pyy is a visual artist living in Helsinki, who works with drawing, photography, and text. She is interested in the process of abstraction, absurdity, puns, and nonsense. At the heart of Pyy’s work is to look at what happens when concepts are disassembled and remixed to form new, even whimsical, combinations. Currently, Pyy is finalising her studies at Aalto University’s Visual Cultures, Curating and Contemporary Art master’s program.


Sofia Pyy
Attempt of Becoming a Bird

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

image: Sofia Pyy, 5077, from series, Attempt of Becoming a Bird, 2019
exhibition images: Milla Talassalo