I’m not always the same. – Fernando Pessoa
This exhibition of work by Vesa-Pekka Rannikko (born 1968) consists of three separate parts. On display in the main room is the installation Canary 2013 made of coloured climbing ropes set up in the space to create a three-dimensional constructivist drawing. Parallel series of video images are projected in connection with the ropes. The images are of canaries of different colour in motion. Because the projections are not synchronized, the combinations of colours and shapes that they create are of different appearance to each viewer at any given moment.
In the project room, Rannikko projects a visual collage of two videos on post-card-shaped sheeting leaning against the wall. The collage combines coloured surfaces with black and white images. Most of the material of this work was filmed on the island of Lefkada in Greece this year and the piece is a kind of travelogue, with “the new ruins”, the concrete skeletons of uncompleted hotels and holiday home, as its main material. The ruins point to both the current economic and political situation and architectural continuity. The ruins are compared to pictures of insects and radar towers; the overall composition follows that of the Greek Icon of Elijah. The projections are not synchronized. Rannikko quotes and paraphrases Italo Calvino: This is work is unfinished and continuously changing. As a structure, it is the ruins of ambitious plans and a composite of fragments.
On view in the studio is a series of paintings with the title Unknown Untitled. In these works, Rannikko has painted on found paintings in grey scale, making copies of the originals and preserving not only the subject but also the manner of painting. The grey scale distances the works to be images reminiscent of the way in which black and white photographs depict the past. The subjects that assemble the themes of the exhibition are birds, landscapes and abstraction.
Although Rannikko’s entities of works are of different style, they address overlapping themes: the parallels of two or several images and contents in a single work; the mixing of meanings and motifs; borrowing and copying as a method; distancing, being elsewhere, exoticism; the sublime and purity as a modern tradition and experiences. A network of references forms between the individual works in the exhibition as a whole.
Vesa-Pekka Rannikko represented Finland at last year’s Venice Biennial with a series of works entitled ”…and all structures are unstable”. In recent years, he has also exhibition in galleries in Sweden and Denmark and at the Alvar Aalto Museum in Jyväskylä.