Vesa-Pekka Rannikko Limbo 31.5.–28.6.2019

Photographic Gallery Hippolyte

“My spirit will sleep in peace; or if it thinks, it will not surely think thus. Farewell.” are the last words of Frankenstein’s monster before he boards a ferry and disappears into the night sea.

Brian Eno releases the album “Ambient 1. Music for Airports” in 1978.

Dombeya mauritiana is a plant species that produces inflorescence both male and female—in warm conditions, male flowers, and in cold female ones. The only cultivated example of the species in the world grows in Kew Gardens in London.

The Z Hotel chain’s chambermaid puts the water bottle on the left side of the glass.

Because the number of children who have died without being baptised continues to increase throughout the world, Pope Benedict XVI of the Catholic Church declares the concept of Limbo abolished in 2007 and thus improves the chances for these children to gain salvation.

During the first World War, carrier dove Cher Ami rescues an encirclement of soldiers with a message that it delivers, even though midflight it gets hit in both wings and loses a leg.

Pidgin is a grammatically simplified way for groups to communicate who do not share a common language.

The colour grey is obtained by mixing two counter-colours in equal amounts.


Visual artist Vesa-Pekka Rannikko shows two artworks at the Photographic Gallery Hippolyte, which are based on intermediate states of uncertainty, isolation, and endless expectations. Both the video installation Limbo, built in the gallery space, and the animated drawing Multi-faith Prayer Room, projected on the gallery wall, are associative, party-personal peregrinations—mixing artificial structures of culture with nature-related imagery. The works outline the boundary that emerges when a constructed fictional reality meets an aspiration for an authentic experience.

Video installation Limbo (2017-2019) is superimposed onto a dove stencil,—formed from a  cut sheet and plastic vellum paper—wheretwo videos are projected from opposite directions onto its surface. The starting point of the work is the symbiotic relationship between pigeon and man. Rannikko pairs visual references of a presumed common cultural history of man with that of a domestic dove and situates them into a fictional telling. The drawn animated sequences, colours, and photographs ,commingle on a translucent surface—building a work that can be understood differently from various directions. The artwork is unsynchronised and endless, so it continually creates unique combinations for each viewer. Limbo contains such imagery and references as air travel, the eye-colours of domestic doves, migration, and breeding. These are combined with a collection of random visual input, from dance to balancing atop trees.

The line-drawn animation Multi-faith Prayer Room (2019), projected on the gallery wall, builds an open story of handwritten texts and illustrations. Rannikko’s animation is in a constant state of shaping and will never be fully formed or produce one clear conclusion. The starting point of the work is Heathrow airport’s hybridised prayer rooms—spaces for contemplation, prayer, and perhaps cross-pollination.

Vesa-Pekka Rannikko (b. 1986) is a multidisciplinary visual artist whose works are difficult to place in a specific medium or framework. Depending on the viewer’s perspective his works can be considered installations, sculptures, paintings, or happenings, but usually, they are combinations of these. In the most recent installation and video works, Rannikko has been concentrating primarily in deconstructing the linearity of narration and transferring it to a figurative and spatial form. In his artworks, he has often dealt with the interface between authentic and fictitious, and, for example, the alienation from experiencing a place branded by tourism. Rannikko has taken part in several group exhibitions and held solo exhibitions in galleries and museums across Nordic countries and the USA. His works belong to notable Finnish private and public collections. In 2011, Rannikko was chosen to create the Finnish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and in 2015 he was awarded The Finnish State Prize for Visual Arts.

The exhibition is kindly supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland and AVEK (production support, Tuuli Penttinen-Lampisuo).


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


image: Vesa-Pekka Rannikko, Limbo, 2019