Gallery Taik Persons is thrilled to present Pertti Kekarainen’s first solo show in Berlin: TILA/Spatial Changes.
Pertti Kekarainen’s series TILA (since 2004) has been evolving over the course of the past ten years and consists of some 130 works in total. This extensive scope conveys well the inexhaustibility of meanings that adheres to the Finnish word tila after which the series is named. In its primary sense, it describes an architectural space, a room, or an interior space inside of an object; moreover a space or distance between different objects. At the same time, tila refers to a conditional state of a phenomenon as well as certain state of mind. Its connotations reach into various life spheres of social, cultural, and political significance. Just as meanings of words are always construed anew relative to the things they signify, so do Kekarainen’s works remain in a constant state of flux. His TILA are elusive, open structures, through which the partaker may experience and make sense of his own understanding of space. Whereas the works embody formally static entities as flat, hung images, their three-dimensional depth can be permeated visually by the perceiver whose compositional comprehension of the images slightly rescales and refocuses with each new pictorial element that he comes across.
Testifying to his initial training as a sculptor, earlier works of this series like the TILA Passages (2006– 2008) or TILA 1-4rn (2012) illustrate Kekarainen’s objective to carve out spatial depth by rnmeans of overlapping semi-transparent surfaces, and incorporating rngraphic elements such as lines, blurred dots, and circular or rnrectangular ‘holes’ (in the sense of looking holes or points through rnwhich to enter the space which reveals itself behind), as well as rneffects of color, reflection, and shadow. As he explores the maze-like rnarrangements of layered planes and spatial compartments, the recipient’srn fragmented perspective is continuously shifting. At times distorted andrn disoriented, his eye moves in and out of focus, and a multitude of rn"pictures in the picture” is created. While the older compositions rncenter on architectural interiors and especially images of doors and rnwindows, in the newest works (2014) of Kekarainen’s series human rnpresence features as a prominent visual component. In defining relationsrn of space, distance, and scale within a larger whole, here, human rnfigures or individual body parts fulfill a similarly constitutive rnstructural function. Rather than communicating a fixed, portrait-like rnrepresentation of a person or personality, Kekarainen’s interest lies inrn the mutable qualities of human action, gesture, posture, and movement, rnand how they become perceivable in space as rooms, areas, or states of rnthe mind.rn
The perceiver’s experience embraces more than merely a visual rndimension of the works. It is also informed by haptic and sensory rnaspects evoked through associations of touch, smell, motion, scale, and rnlight. Crucial to this experience are the physical surroundings of the rnexhibition space as well as the materiality of the photograph as an rnobject, which ambivalently provide a face-to-face encounter not only rnbetween the viewing person and the photographed person, but also betweenrn the viewing person and his own, transitional reflection seen ‘in’ the rnpicture. The formation of the exhibits assembled on the gallery walls rnfurther sets up a dialogical connection among the photographed figures. rnWhereas the new works of Kekarainen’s TILA series shown in the rnexhibition are of relatively small format, his large-size works of a rnnear-to 1:1 scale measure up to two meters in height, bringing about thern life-like quality that is a signature trait of Kekarainen’s works.rn
– Shao-lan Hertelrn