Salla Tykkä’s new moving image work Europe – Europa is an inquiery into the power and responsibility of the author. In this film, which will have its premiere in Galerie Anhava, Tykkä focuses the camera and the gaze on an aging writer and his novella, which has its origins in the history of both authors and their earlier encounter.
Tykkä’s film is also based on these real-life events, and it provides the viewer with a new reading of them. In the film two key questions surface. Firstly, is it possible to talk about the experiences of someone of another gender? And secondly, how to use ones own voice?
Europe – Europa makes use of various means of film narration, and it is woven together from visual and audio recordings made in 2017–2020. The scenes, which are scripted by Tykkä and filmed in collaboration with actress Saija Lentonen and the writer, are based on his text and stand in opposition to it. The scenes are accompanied by documentary images and sounds which bring the viewer to the everyday situations and locations in which Tykkä and the writer meet each other time and again. These recordings and the scripted scenes examine themes related to portrayal, the gendered gaze, and language in different ways.
By placing the works of two authors in juxtaposition – her own and the one by the writer – Tykkä shows us that the means we use to understand, describe and record the world, change and construct it. That’s why they matter.
Tykkä’s work takes the viewer to a small village surrounded by hills. Locations and interiors keep reoccurring, time passes but the season remains the same. In many scenes, the lingering images bask in the bright morning light as the camera pans over the undulating scenery. Members of the film crew are occasionally shown on screen.
The work does not tell, but rather shows, one experience of the world.
Salla Tykkä graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, in 2003. Her works have been widely covered in solo and group exhibitions both in Finland and abroad. Tykkä’s films have also been shown in many international film festivals. Her most recent solo exhibitions include ‘Salla Tykkä’ in Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art (2019), ‘Short Titles’ in Ludwig Museum, Budapest (2018–2019), and ‘Salla Tykkä’ in M – Museum Leuven (2016). In recent years, Tykkä has taken part in various group exhibitions, such as the MOMENTUM10 exhibition in Moss (2019), and exhibitions organised at Denver Art Museum (2017), Kunsthalle Stavanger (2017), and Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) in Marseille (2017). In 2016, Tykkä received the AVEK Media Art Award, and in 2014, her work ‘Giant’ was granted the Canon Tiger Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival. In 2001, Harald Szeemann included Tykkä in the Venice Biennale main exhibition.
Salla Tykkä’s works are included in many Finnish and international collections, such as The Art Institute of Chicago, The Helsinki Art Museum (HAM), Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art (New York), Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (Rotterdam), Collection Lambert (Avignon), Centre Pompidou (Paris), The Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma (Helsinki), Jumex Collection (Mexico City), Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art (Ithaca, NY), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, The National Gallery of Australia, The Saastamoinen Foundation, The Finnish Museum of Photography, and FMAC (Geneva).
– Hanna Huitu and Salla Tykkä