STATES OF MATTER
In the Western tradition there is a long history of seeking explanations of the existence of the world without reference to mythology, and thus non-mythological explanations in general. It is a tradition first started by the Greek philosophers and that later in its extension gave birth to Western science. In art, this tradition has been evident within art discourses and artworks that have been heavily inspired by rational philosophy and conceptual thinking. This development again has led to a number of contemporary research-based practices. Although art discourses are constantly evolving and taking unexpected turns, non-mythological explanations have since the end of WWII been held in high esteem in the art world, at least in terms of the reading of artworks.
The question that the Ionian philosophers from Greece around 600 B.C.E. wrestled with was: What is the primary element that is the root of all matter and change? Thales of Miletus postulated that there is one primary element in nature, water, since it can exist in all three states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas. The three parts that constitutes New Arrangements, concrete, fluid and chance, are reminiscent of Thales’ three states of matter. As such, the project acknowledges willingness in attempting to understand the world.
An ordinary item can be understood as a combination of materials, through its use, history, form and function. But in a post-digitalized world purposes and content is quickly outdated and then subjected to reconstructions. A constant reshuffling renders purposes and content to fragments that are repeatedly rearranged into new constellations and arrangements. A simple object can doubtlessly contain numerous messages and meanings. In this jungle of opportunities any truthful explanation or meaning is necessarily carefully hidden and notoriously difficult to reveal.
The emphasis in New Arrangements lies in the contemporary and imminent issues addressed by the artists presented within the project. In art, an explanation can certainly take shape as a question, or it can make plain for the beholder something which needs further considerations, or yet again, it can lead to an explanation that is merely vague and only faintly formulated, or simply too abstracted, so that its main objective or quality is to inspire yet new searches for the unknown.
The artists presented within this project are characterized by their inclination towards exploring the grammar of visual languages as an integrated part of their artistic practice. The selected works can be seen as final or intermediate results of rearranged fragments of reality. They share a poignant quality in that they challenge our understanding of the relationship between materials, politics, history, poetics and our contemporary society.
As a collaboration between three artistrun spaces CirkulationsCentralen in Malmö, WIZARD in Oslo & Gallery Rajatila in Tampere, we have initiated New Arrangements as a project that will result in exhibitions in all three spaces (CONCRETE), a workshop (FLUID) organized in collaboration with HIAP and a third part which is still open (CHANCE).
Artists participating in the exhibition are: Ditte Ejlerskov (DK), Ida Koitila (FI), Nestori Syrjälä (FI), Arild Tveito (NO) and Stian Ådlandsvik (NO). Artists who partipated to workshop: Ragnhild Aamås (NO), Jens Henricson (SE) ja Outi Yli-Viikari (FI). The project is curated by: Elias Björn (SE), Gard Andreas Frantzsen (NO), Johanna Havimäki (FI) and Jussi Koitela (FI).