Detail of The Bed of Icarus, 2021, Jacquard tapestry. Photo: Arja Kärkkäinen.

Arja Kärkkäinen Mauvaise Foi – The Ordinary Self-Deception I


To ensure the safest possible visit for everyone, we will limit the number of visitors in our gallery space, if needed. The use of a face mask is required while visiting the gallery.

Artist meeting on Sunday, 30 January, from 2–4 pm. A warm welcome!

One never knows if everyday is for any good.

The disconnected is connected by the will to disconnect.

What is to choose in a world where the horizon of possibilities opens – endlessly?

Mauvaise Foi – The Ordinary Self-Deception I is the first part of two exhibitions. The space is shared by three different materials in which the duality of seductive and repulsive is expressed; the inseparable dependence of furthering and regressing.

The theme of the exhibition is the relationship between the act of choosing and demarcations, and the difficulty in defining them. The name Mauvaise Foi refers to a term coined by Jean-Paul Sartre of an individual that adopts a role of an object while denying the freedom to make choices. The series of three tapestries express feelings of having second thoughts or failing in one’s presence. How the solidity of an individual crumbles into pieces by the riptide of everyday; how the outer cast can serve as salvage or jailhouse.

The loveliest of the Solid Vessel is within, out of sight. The Scent of Another Woman represents what is already gone, a berth of a prey or a predator; the incomplete rest. The piece remarks that human is an animal with a territory, too. The theme of territory appears broadly as frontiers and in the need of categorizing things into and out of oneself.

The horizon of The Bed of Icarus resembles a bar of the high jumper. The skyline sways, but will it prevail without falling?

The exhibition is supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the Paulo Foundation, TextielLab, and VISEK.

Sound design: Tuukka Haapakorpi

Arja Kärkkäinen (b. 1986) is a Helsinki-based multidisciplinary visual artist. Kärkkäinen has graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and the Lahti University of Applied Sciences. In her works, Kärkkäinen examines everyday contradictions and the troubles of communication. Her latest solo exhibition was in 2019 at the HAM Gallery. Kärkkäinen has executed several public art projects and her works are included e.g in the collections of the Finnish National Gallery and the Helsinki Art Museum.

Arja Kärkkäinen, The Scent of Another Woman, 2021, moss, wood, plaster, metal. Photo: Aukusti Heinonen.
Arja Kärkkäinen's works Shopping Bags of Tartarus (2021, Jacquard tapestry) and Solid Vessel (2021, mink, yarn). Photo: Aukusti Heinonen.
Photo: Aukusti Heinonen.
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