Thursday, 4 July 2013

Gothic Art in Spotlight: An Exhibition called Happy End?

This time I am going to tell you about an exhibition in Finland's capital Helsinki. The exhibition is Happy End? is open 19.6.-25.8.2013 at Helsinki Art Museum Tennis Palace, which is situated in the center of the city next to a metro station. The theme of this exhibition is future and although all installations and other artwork in it do not count as "goth" on my standards, the theme and the whole ensemble together do please me and my need for gothic aesthetics.

In the little guide book of Happy End? were two choices. Either optimistic or pessimistic view on the exhibition. This is just my opinion but sometimes the optimistic point of view seemed a bit strained. For example a video installation Feast with King Midas by Timo Wright. In the little guide book it says "The video work is an interpretation on mortality and arrogance. --" And as an optimistic view there reads on small print at the end of the page "Food production is improved and there is enough healthy food for all". In the video a man sits with an empty plate in front of him and around him is plates full of delicious foods. Slowly all food is rotten away, but the man does not react, just sits. I know this sounds petty, but I do not see what food production has to do with it. Of coarse everybody can make their own interpretations about art but still. Otherwise I liked the video, it was delightfully creepy.

A detail of Last Riot. Source
Half of the exhibition was about a Russian artist collective AES+F. The members deal in their work with ethics, ideology and history. Usually they mix modern pop culture to it and the result is like a hard candy. Really sweet, but it has a potentiality to make a cut on your tongue. In the exhibition there were statues and details on canvas of their work Last Riot which is about the post-apocalyptic vision of Hell combined to the video game playing generation. The video installation The Feast of Trimalchio could also be seen, but do to my train leaving, I did not have the chance to watch it till the end.

Personally I liked the pessimistic point of view in the exhibition and there was a great amount of morbid sense of humor in most works. I am actually going to visit the exhibition again because I really liked them and I did not have enough time last time to watch all videos in peace. A hint: the museum is free to everyone at the first Friday of every month.

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