Matter in Coma 4, pigment print on aluminium kuva: Petri Kaverma

Petri Kaverma Car Show


Visit Kaverma’s exhibition online:

“The most essential feature of a vehicle is motion. Even a stationary car, an aerodynamic design or mere tyre tracks imply speed and journey. In this exhibition, I use car symbolism to explore another kind of journey: human life in all its vulnerability.

Motion makes time visible to our senses. When movement slows down, stops, or keeps breaking off it inevitably reminds us of the end of time – or death.

The works in the series Materian kooma (Matter in Coma) zoom in on the silent drama of skid marks. When I was working with the pictures it became clear how strongly motion and sound were present, yet simultaneously absent, in them. The pictures were evidence but also mysteries. The title of the series was inspired by Kun elän, a collection of poems by Jyrki Kiiskinen (While alive, Tammi 1999).

I was also seeking out a poetic approach to the stereotypical “male context” with its worn-out message and imagery, something radically different from the visual world that real car shows feed us.

The video Pesuohjelma (Wash Cycle) exaggerates delicate hand washing of a car. Using an effect familiar from movies I created an impression of the last moments: the slow-motion choreography of a car wash began to resemble an awkward, melancholic dance of death. In the revealing glow of neon lights, it is easy to associate a car with a corpse or a coffin. In the end, an ordinary washing chore started to seem strangely nostalgic and endearing. I contemplated the relation between man and machine, things we value and care for, the duration of a wash cycle, the duration of life.

The car in a lenticular postcard has driven off the road. In spite of the odd setting, the car with its driver depict a naive motoring utopia and a past forever gone.

The northern landscape in Kelikuvat (Road Weather) seems frozen still. At any given moment, however, anything can happen, perhaps a looming accident. While the desperate brakings in Materian kooma really did happen, the events in Kelikuvat await us. The seasons change but the future remains unknown and uncertain. Most of the time there is nothing but anticlimax. But when almost nothing happens, even the smallest incident can attract our attention and become meaningful. Suddenly, a vehicle or an animal may appear into your field of vision, headlights flash in the dark, or the sun comes out after a long, arctic night.”

In Munkkivuori on January 26, 2020

Petri Kaverma

Visual artist (D.A.) Petri Kaverma (b. 1963) works as a senior lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki. In his artistic practice, he has concentrated on conceptual environment art and installations. Among his main interests are the strategies of artistic work and artistic reseach, often within multidisciplinary collaborations. Kaverma sees it as his task as a visual artist and researcher to make visible the impact that images have on collective themes – such as our perception of death.

Car Show launches a series of exhibitions by Petri Kaverma called Äijätrilogia – miehisen herkkyyden kuvastot (The Male Trilogy – Images of Male Sensitivity).

photo: Titus Verhe
photo: Titus Verhe
photo: Titus Verhe
Dice, installation Photo: Titus Verhe
photo: Titus Verhe

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