ELINA TUKHANEN // pilose crux
On view August 12 - September 4, 2011
Opening reception Friday August 12, 6pm - 9pm
Film screening and panel discussion Thursday August 11, 7pm (at the Hollywood Theatre)
Read John Motley's review HERE
While many humans repress their innate animal needs under the guise of social advancement, the figures in Elina Tuhkanen’s exhibition Pilose Crux: Performative Sculptures from Finland actively resurrect their primitive selves through intimate, almost sacred, acts of camouflage. Communing, prayer-like, behind heavy screens of fur, their hidden gesturing suggests a longing for symbiosis in a culture defined by its increasing disconnect from the natural world.
Compositionally, the figures’ concealed faces force the viewer to eschew a traditional reading of emotional cues for a more instinctive response to their physical posturing. Tuhkanen further perpetuates this primitive concern by revealing the rudimentary structure of the furry assemblages that, activated by the subjects’ similarly colored hair, ultimately transform into a site of divine contact between both the animal in the human, and the human in the animal.
Elina Tuhkanen is a multimedia artist who spent her youth between Atlanta, Georgia and her grandmother’s farm in Ilvesjoki, Finland. She earned her BFA in painting in 2001 from the University of Georgia at Athens and she recently obtained her MFA in sculpture from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. Tuhkanen’s work has been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, East/West Project in Berlin, and various galleries throughout Finland, Norway, and Estonia. Tuhkanen has curated a number of exhibitions in Finland and has an upcoming exhibition in Ameno, Italy. She currently resides in Helsinki, Finland.
A screening of Tuhkanen’s videos will be shown at the Hollywood Theatre on August 11th at 7pm. The event will include a panel discussion on art, ecology, and artist residencies featuring Tuhkanen, co-curator Emily Henderson, Finnish artist—and co-founder of the Mustarinda Artist Residency--Alma Heikkilä, and Portland poet Alicia Cohen, Ph.D..
Organized by Emily Henderson, this exhibition was made possible with support from Nationale, the Hollywood Theatre, the Arts Council of Finland, the Finnish National Council for Photographic Art, and FRAME (Finnish Fund for Art Exchange).