Mirimari Väyrynen Erosion


“The basis for my exhibition is the architectonic space of Gallery Sculptor and its central location in the cityscape. Both the built and the cultural environment led me to explore the structures of high culture.

Anthropologist Joseph Tainter’s view on complexity of societies and the increasing need for resources caused by problem solving has influenced my work. According to Tainter, the aim to solve challenges such as erosion for example, has historically built more layers of institutions, infrastructures and regulations in civilizations. At the same time, the costs for maintaining the society have increased, and required more work, energy and natural resources.

Civilization is often defined as the stage of human social and cultural development and organization that is considered most advanced. It includes for example governance, army, social classes, urban settlement, religion, writing system or highly developed science and art.

In my installation I explore consumption as an inherited custom in line with Tainter’s view and ponder how our world is shaped by the human perception of oneself as something detached from the nature. Furthermore, my installation outlines questions about the lack of balanced nature-relationship in the foundations of high cultures and consistent and illusion of the mastery of natural resources as the supposed foundation of wellbeing and development.

Marble, the material of classical sculpture and architect, as well as, symbol of luxury, is the dominant motive of my installation. It consists of paintings imitating so-called Ashford’s black marble that from the geological perspective, is actually a type of chalkstone belonging in the range of sediment stones. The plastic panels that I have used as the base of my paintings are made of oil. Oil in turn, as we know, is unrenewable natural source and originates from prehistoric fossilized plants and organisms that have been buried under the layered soil.

In the exhibition the paintings are exposed to erosion as the audience walks on them. My aim is to underline questions of consuming and wearing as a phenomenon that reveals cultural practices. I juxtapose processes of crumbling, drifting and reorganizing with individual and collective challenges in renewing culture customs and structures and ask whether it would be possible to approach erosion as an invitation of simplifying.

In my work I explore questions of ecology and the environment. I am especially interested in contemporary landscape as a process, as an embodiment of cultural and societal values, yet subordinate to globalisation, pollution and technology.”

Mirimari Väyrynen (b. 1976) graduated in 2001 from the department of painting at Turku Arts Academy, Finland. As part of her BA degree she studied in the Provincial Art Academy Joaquim Tejada in Santiago de Cuba in 1997-1998. In 2013 she graduated at the University Aalto Helsinki with MA degree.

She has exhibited individually recently in Forum Box, Helsinki and Blanca Soto Gallery, Madrid. Besides her works have been shown in group exhibitions, for example in Kunsthalle Helsinki, Kunsthal Charlottenburg in Copenhague and at the CAC – Contemporary Art Centre in Málaga.

During the years of 2002–2014 she lived and worked mainly in Spain, where she was awarded with several Art Prizes. This Autumn, she started studies of Anthropology in the Helsinki Open University.

The exhibition is supported by Arts Promotion Center Finland.

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