Come What May Oksasenkatu 11. 3. – 18.3. 2012

“EXPRESS TRAIN TO HEAVEN; laughter from a long sorrow; jazz dance over the corpses; – what do you

Gallery as a playground. We have three artists here, three players on the playground. This is an attempt of
interpretation, only a suggested reading. What recurs again and again in the works of these three artists?
One answer is to say: repetition, in one form or another, repeats itself.
Paolo Virno writes in his book “Grammar of the Multitude” about the childishness of contemporary
metropolitan forms of behaviour. From his point of view there is nothing deprecatory about this
childishness, instead it is “something as serious as can be.” The childishness is expressed through repetition,
which is for the human baby a way to find refuge from the blows of the surrounding world. “The childhood
experience of repetition is prolonged even into adulthood, since it constitutes the principal form of safe
haven in the absence of solidly established customs, of substantial communities, of a developed and
complete ethos.”

Teemu Tuonela describes his works as keens or lamentations. The continuation of the same song, the same
cry. A keen is a loud wailing lament, performed especially for the dead. The endless repetition of the display
of sorrow was a way to protect the community from the real, individual anguish. But as lamentation serves
no purpose today, what happens to the individual who still repeats it?

In one series of collages Niina Lehtonen Braun reiterates a set of commands: “You must be better, you must
be more beautiful, you must be more radical.” To whom is she talking to, to herself or to the public? Here
the repetition of the impossible command betrays the true object of the commandments. The point is not
what you should do, instead it is about essentiality: what you should be, of identity. Now that I am more
radical, can I really feel better about myself?

Mitzi Pederson repeats a material, a surface. Miniature architecture already in a ruined state. But even to
say this is too much. If in Teemu’s and Niina’s work the stress is in articulation or the attempt of it, then
Mitzi is in search of resonance through repetition. Come what may. Can we think of the exhibition as a
refuge? Something that provides protection? The exhibition as a site for the publicness of the mind.

text: Jaakko Karhunen
Come What May

exhibition by:
Niina Lehtonen Braun
Mitzi Pederson
Teemu Tuonela

3. – 18.3. 2012
opening friday 2.3. 2012 18 →
exhibition open Wed – Sun 12 – 18
Oksasenkatu 11
00100 Helsinki