Being, increasingly is a total artwork that combines film with sound, space, performance, drama and music.
Minna Långström’s work is an experimental, painterly film portrait of the researcher Hilma Granqvist and the time she spent in two societies: Finland and Palestine. The exhibition transforms Gallery Elverket into a shimmering timeline. In a single image and soundscape that spread out across the gallery, fragments of an existence flicker before the viewer’s eyes.
The ethnologist and anthropologist Hilma Granqvist (1890–1972) made field studies of the life in the Palestinian village of Artas in the West Bank between 1925 and 1931. She investigated customs, traditions and outlooks on life using what was, for its time, an innovative ethnological method: participatory observation in just one particular village. Her research was subjected to harsh criticism by her Finnish academic contemporaries. Despite international recognition she was forced to work alone without support or encouragement. Perhaps for precisely that reason the acceptance, generosity and sense of community that she encountered in the village of Artas were especially important for Granqvist’s research.
Being, increasingly seeks to interpret Hilma Granqvist’s experience of these two cultures, which in their different ways came to be her home. The interpretation is based on Granqvist’s own writings, and on what was written about her. The project first and foremost evokes a sense of belonging that is independent of notions of nationalism. Through Granqvist, Långström is able to pose interesting questions about belonging and outsiderness, along with the creation of nations’ identities.
As a media artist Minna Långström works with moving images and installations. Her artworks often combine different media. She deals with various social issues by reproducing and sharing subjective experiences.
The film clips in the exhibition consist of objects and elements that still exist in some of the locations in Finland and Palestine where Hilma Granqvist spent her time. The sound clips give voice to her texts, letters and notes. The exhibition also includes a series of original photographs of Granqvist. Experiences of nature are given a lot of space, since it is often these that we remember from the countries that we come from or where we have spent a lot of time.
Minna Långström lives and works in Helsinki. She has exhibited at Kiasma, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Nassauischer Kunstverein and elsewhere. Her films have been shown at several international film festivals.
The exhibition has been curated by Aura Seikkula. Seikkula is a curator and researcher resident in Stockholm. She is curator at Galeria Espacio Continuo in Bogotá, Colombia. She has previously been curator for Kulturhuset Stadsteatern and Artipelag Konsthall in Stockholm, as well as the Momentum Biennale in Norway, and has curated exhibitions and projects around the globe. Seikkula is especially interested in artistic processes involving research and interdisciplinary content. Her doctoral thesis in cultural policy and philosophy deals with artistic processes and contextualization.
The artist would like to thank everyone who has supported the project: AVEK / Tuuli Penttinen-Lampisuo, Svenska kulturfonden, Suomen Kulttuurirahasto and The Finnish Institute in the Middle East.
25 November 2017 – 14 January 2018
Tuesday-Friday 1 pm – 5 pm
Saturday-Sunday 11 am – 5 pm
Opening hours over Christmas and New Year:
23 Dec: 11-15
24-26 Dec: closed
27-29 Dec: 13-17
30 Dec: 11-17
31 Dec – 1 Jan: closed