Finland presented “And All Structures Are Unstable”, a site-specific installation by the artist Vesa-Pekka Rannikko at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011. The exhibition was commissioned and curated by MA Laura Köönikkä.
For the biennale exhibition at the Aalto pavilion, Vesa-Pekka Rannikko created a layered exhibition presenting history repeating and recreating itself. The temporary black-and-white facade of the pavilion, a comment on Alvar Aalto’s clean-cut Finnish functionalism, lead visitors to see the familiar pavilion from a different point of view. The facade was also a comment on the temporary nature of the pavilion itself. It was built to stand only for a certain period of time but ended up as an established venue for exhibitions of art and architecture at the Venice biennales over the years.
Rannikko’s exhibition in Venice could be seen more as a scene of production. It highlighted production more than the way of presenting art itself representing the works as recurring interpretations of this fictional exhibition of painting, as seen on video. Commenting on his own works and methods, Rannikko layered three screens of exhibition-making in the pavilion’s exhibition space. The visitor ended up walking in the middle of a scene in which the artist is endlessly making his exhibition screen after screen, painting by painting.
“When I am painting over this amateur painting, I am painting someone else’s perception, something seen or imagined by someone else. This double vision is in some way schizophrenic. Who is painting and what, who is seeing and what? The motif of a painting can be a person with whom I have no relation, but the painter has previously found that person to be somehow important.” – Vesa-Pekka Rannikko
It is in these terms that Vesa-Pekka Rannikko described the schizophrenic feeling of making someone else’s decisions important: who to paint and how to do it.
And All Structures Are Unstable 4.6.–27.11.2011
Venice Biennale 2011
Aalto Aalto Pavilion
Courtesy of the Artist