Jan Lütjohann

Time and Other Resources


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At the local wood shop, the price for a meter of wood is determined by its thickness. There is a stack of beams, measuring 20 x 20 cm, 3 to 4 meters long. They are sawn from entire trees with the round edges squared off. As they dry, they twist and crack. Most of them are less than 100 years old, but among them, I pick one that counts over 200 rings, over 200 years.

My wooden sculptures and installations take the shape of tools and equipment, workbenches or workspaces. I use pre-industrial tools and obsolete technology to contemplate on working with hands in a post-industrial society. Methods and tools that I employ can be found in ancient roman mosaics, in 16th-century woodblock prints, in ethnological collections throughout the world and in old things from Finnish farms. Most likely I will never master these technologies, but with every hour they become more familiar. Unburdened by machinery, I only need a place, some tools and time.

The exhibition forms a workshop installation that seemingly reproduces its parts in a neverending cycle. Making one thing to make another, to make another, to make another… what is gained and lost in the process?

Jan Lütjohann (born 1987, Kiel) is a sculptor and educator from northern Germany who lives and works in Helsinki. He has exhibited and taught in Germany, Finland, Estonia and Taiwan.

Working for the exhibition has been supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation and Finnish Art Society.

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Events during the exhibition:

Jan Lütjohann will be present at the exhibition on Sunday, May 5 between 2–4pm, and on Sunday, May 19 between 2–4pm, together with Anna Hyrkkänen, whose exhibition Light Transitions is on view at Gallery Sculptor’s gallery space.