Finnish visual artist and award winner Saara Ekström’s (b. 1965) new exhibition Alchemy will open on Thursday the 4th at Wäinö Aaltosen Museum in Turku. The exhibition will be open for the public from the 5th of February to the 24th of April 2016.
The themes and materials in Ekström’s work appear to be in a constant state of change. They grow, collapse, mutate and multiply. In this cinematic exhibition with its suggestive atmosphere, time captures the viewer within its dimensions. The blending levels of time provide an opportunity for conflicts between elements and a drama of opposites and reflections. Remembrance and oblivion, reality and imagination, the beautiful and the repulsive, all intertwine. The Wäinö Aaltonen museum, with its elegant terraced architecture, becomes an expanding and contracting stage for videos, photographs and installations.
History and time are present in a concrete way in Ekström’s art. In her video installation Phantasma, the camera transports the viewers inside an aquarium opened in 1939, showing the deliriously dreamlike and deteriorated spaces, where life depends on halting mechanical structures. Time drives opposite elements towards joint destruction, in which they merge together to form something entirely new. Inventory is a work created in the form of a newspaper, using text and archive images, that features the reclusive brothers Langley and Homer Collyer, who lived in New York in the 1940’s. Depicting their fate under the pressure of accumulating and hoarded possessions, the work poses questions on the concepts of value and dirt.
In the exhibition sound joins images as an element that controls the atmosphere and a factor that defines space. The buzzing of insects, the singing of a nightingale, the sound of scissors cutting through wool, and electronic music each embody the alchemical processes.
Saara Ekström lives and works in Turku, Finland. Her work has been displayed both in national and international exhibitions and Ekström has won several awards and acknowledgements in the fields of art. Ekström’s works can be found in Kiasma, Amos Anderson Art Museum and Turku Art Museum’s collections, as well as the city of Turku’s art collection. In her photography and installation works, Ekström is interested in natural and artificial materials that embody strong symbolic values.