z2o Sara Zanin Gallery is pleased to present the third solo show by the Finnish artist Kaarina Kaikkonen.
Kaikkonen’s alphabet is composed of fragments of everyday stories and existence, which, like minute pieces of a large mosaic, form a universally recognizable language.
These fragments are everyday discarded clothes and objects that bear the traces of their previous lives, silent witnesses of a story. Shirts, shoes, jackets and cutlery become monuments to past existences and trustees of traditional social, ethical and political values in communication with the environment in which they return to life.
Apparently fragile as a cloth fluttering in the wind, Kaarina Kaikkonen’s work is starched and stiffened until it attains the solidity of a weighty monument, resisting in time and space. The clothes are a sensitive film that separate and, at the same time, relate the human being to the surrounding environment, propagating the individual’s identity in society. As the artist explains, the garment is a guardian of its owner’s secrets. Using it as raw material is a way for Kaarina Kaikkonen to involve people’s lives in her work and lend them a universal dimension. Each of the works has its origins in Kaikkonen’s artistic sensibility and capacity to listen to the place, its story and social life.
Her creations are born of a process which is a premise for their existence; through the involvement and participation of the local inhabitants, called to donate their old clothes or to collaborate in the installation of the works, the artist activates relational dynamics in order to restore the traditional cohesion between the individuals and their social surroundings. The single sculpture becomes an installation invading the architectonical space or natural landscape and is the outcome of theaesthetic and ethical bond between art, life, geography and human history. The aesthetic form, with its modular structure, in which each element is connected to the other, creates a metaphorical social tissue, in which the individualsare bound together in a community with its particular place, story and culture. The overpowering immediacy of Kaarina Kaikkonen’s works resides in their universal anthropological meaning that can tell a story or be read without captions, as the landscapes created by the artist are nothing less than landscapes of persons,each with their own interior geographies.