Text by Miina Hujala

Let’s start by attuning to some words. Alkovi is an art space set in a display window. That in Finnish is ‘näyteikkuna’ and could literally also be translated as ‘a sample window’. This opens for me an avenue into thinking about the things placed inside it as samples of material thinking – thinking in materials as ways of exposure. What art is in some form of essence.

This is what the current ‘exhibition’ has subtly but directly been, placing “things” on view. ‘Näyttely’ which is the Finnish word for ‘exhibition’ has for me the connotation of ‘vilauttelu’. That is perhaps best translated and described as an act when someone very briefly shows him or herself (or some object) to others/viewer(s). “Flashing” maybe in correlating word in English. Something that has a hint of sinister in it. But more so something that is not in full view, nor could be but temporarily seen, in a moment in sight.

As exhibition builds up so that the ‘finished’ piece is presented – or in a case when trying to evade that (that the thing in view is constantly being build or reshuffled, becoming temporally performative) – the element of announcement becomes a site of tension and decision.

Proclaiming that something is done, a deed is conducted, is found in the practices seeking closure, even if it might only be some form of a rest (and) stop. Found in situations when a statement is to be made to satisfy both the audience and the one looking for a resolution (for a while at least). That is the lure of a ‘finished work’ or an exhibition as well.

The impossibility of denying the desire for this moment becomes clear when you find yourself faced with the notion of ‘termination’ – an ending to your process, project or “journey” so to speak. You can say that everything in essence is a constant movement, but just like returning from a holiday or a trip ‘outside’ (a walk perhaps) – there has been points of entry and exit. You have made them with varying level of intention perhaps, but seeking to solidify the experience they are there.

An artwork and an exhibition as such provide these solidifications and moments for trying to grasp something because escape from these solidifications also becomes tangible. What did I look here if no-thing? Meaning making is also about getting lost in discoveries.

But, here I’ll return to the thing ‘in place’: announcement of the – not culmination – but perhaps ‘ compilement’ of acts done with materials presented in Alkovi by Mikko Kuorinki under the title S/T during the timeframe of mid February 2022 until mid May 2022. It’s not a resolution but I think it might feel like it.

I think highly of artists performing ‘aesthetic care’. Maggie Nelson writes in her book ‘On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint’ (2021)’: “[…] aesthetic care is of a different order from other forms of care. It appears not care directly for others because it doesn’t. Aesthetic care entails caring about other things, such as paper quality, pigment, gravity, oxidization, chance, pattern, the dead, and the unborn. All of this is also the world, also constitutes forces to which one might feel compelled or obliged. That such forces do not always make their claim on us via human bodies or ethics is no reason to doubt the intensity of vitality of their calls.”

Miina Hujala