Karoliina Hellberg & Benjamin Orlow:

Economy Plus


Recreation, leisure, enjoyment, amusements and the sensual pleasures of life run like a red thread through the last exhibition of the year at Galleri Elverket. The artists are Karoliina Hellberg (b. 1987 in Porvoo) and Benjamin Orlow (b. 1984 in Turku), who are showing their joint exhibition Economy Plus in Ekenäs for just over a month.

The artists themselves use expressions like self-improvement and relaxation. Recharging is the new utopia. Their theory is that activity, travel, leisure and special objects are means to living a better, more fulfilling life, for being more relaxed, stress-free and energetic and, through that, ultimately even more productive. “Work and everyday life can be a burden, but certain situations, methods and places function as tools for zeroing all the problems that have been hanging over us,” say Hellberg and Orlow.

Hellberg and Orlow make journeys of discovery into the much-sought-after and extolled “world of leisure” by experiencing and, in some cases, recreating the places, behaviour and the life that exist there so we can achieve the things that are worth striving for: health, happiness, time to be ourselves and relax.

For the Economy Plus exhibition at Galleri Elverket Hellberg and Orlow have together created a series of glass objects, now being shown for the first time. The objects, which can be used, for instance, as carafes, ashtrays and lanterns, take our thoughts to personal welfare, festivities and frivolity. The rest of the works on display consist of Hellberg’s watercolours, along with Orlow’s project The body as a domestic animal.

Benjamin Orlow, who lives in London, primarily works in video, painting and sculpture. In The body as a domestic animal, which has been in progress since 2012, he practises various leisure activities intended to create happiness, relaxation and a better life. Earlier chapters of the work have involved having a personal trainer, visiting tourist attractions, spending time with friends, learning new skills, and eating good food. For this exhibition Orlow will be working as a volunteer at an old people’s home in Ekenäs. The body as a domestic animal, which can be compared to immaterial works by the conceptualists of the 60s and 70s, is being shown in its entirety in this exhibition.

Karoliina Hellberg, who lives in Helsinki, works primarily in painting and drawing. Her next provocatively mischievous work deals with travelling, beautiful views, panoramas, and living rooms. A rare combination of calmness and anticipation often dominates Hellberg’s paintings. What at first glance feels safe and familiar may, nevertheless, on closer inspection, not be what it appears to be. The boundaries between time and space are diffuse and Hellberg’s output unhesitatingly shows beauty in a tasteful bourgeois setting. Her works are reminiscent of great colourists such as Matisse and Gaugin.

The exhibition takes place 10.12.2016-15.1.2017. Besides viewing the works in the gallery the public will be able to take part in various public events/surprise moments.

During Ekenäs’ Gammaldags julmarknad (traditional Christmas Market), at 11-14 on December 10, there is a drop-in workshop called “Dream holiday” where people can draw their own (Christmas) cards with liquid ink and watercolours. Karoliina Hellberg will be present at Galleri Elverket during the workshop.


Opening hours

Tue–Fri 13–17, Sat–Sun 11–17.

The gallery is closed on Mondays and on 24–25 December and 31 December – 1 January.