9 Oct 2020 – 10 Jan 2021
ROSA BARBA Touched By The Same Breath Of Air

Rosa Barba’s (born 1972, Agrigento, Italy) first solo exhibition in Finland will open in the main exhibition space at WAM Turku City Art Museum on 9 October. The exhibition Touched by the Same Breath of Air presents Barba’s recent film and video installations, as well as sculptural works. The central piece of the exhibition is Blind Volumes (2016) – an expan­sive steel construc­tion which fills the entire WAM sculpture hall and serves as the stage for a dynamic chore­ography, combining visual imagery, light, and sound.

The confrontation of the immaterial with the material qualities of film is characteristic of Barba’s work. Projectors, screens and the film itself all come under observation, but so do the ambient elements: time, light and sound. Barba, who studied film and fine art, uses film in a way that opens up new ways of seeing. Examining imagery from scientific disciplines such as astronomy and geology as well as cultural archives, her artistic approach challenges linear modes of presenting and organizing knowledge. As she combines and sets up things on display in new ways, the films, installations and sculptures in this exhibition propose an expansion of film as a form. They create a logic of their own which challenges ideas of how contemporary visual presentation edits and transforms information.

Film is Barba’s primary medium, which is complemented by other forms of time-based media. Touched By The Same Breath Of Air is accompanied by the #21 issue of Printed Cinema, a publication series printed alongside Barba’s film projects. Creating a secondary literature of sorts, sourced from film stills, text, and photographs, including research material and unused film fragments, each issue is published on the occasion of an exhibition, where it is distributed for free for the limited time of the show.

Rosa Barba is an artist born in Italy and based in Berlin. Her work has been widely displayed in solo presentations at museums and contemporary art exhibitions world wide, as well as biennials and film festivals. Recent exhibitions include, among others, the 7th Yokohama Triennale in Japan in 2020, Park Avenue Armory in New York in 2019, Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan in 2017, and the Reina Sofia museum's Palacio de Cristal in Madrid in 2017. Barba has received many prestigious visual arts awards, including the Calder Prize in 2020.

The exhibition was curated by Jonni Saloluoma.


28 Aug – 1 Nov 2020
Elina Vainio Reset

Elina Vainio’s delicate sand installation Reset draws attention to the cycle of matter and the limits of human understanding. Reset is an installation made of sand, spread as a thin carpet on the floor of the gallery. On the surface of the clearly delimited sand layer, you can see ribbon-like bulges and dips that resemble fossils and the tracks they have left in the sediment. The forms can also be seen as wavy handwriting. They are like silent clues or writing that we cannot interpret. The work of art reminds us of how many things there are that we do not understand and that can only be expressed to a limited extent through language.

The name of the installation and the exhibition, Reset, refers to continuous re-settling or solidification – the cycle of matter and transformation. Each grain of sand in the installation has at some point been ground off from rock or fossil-based matter and will continue to transform with the movements of seas and the Earth's crust. In the installation, the grains of sand settle, for a little while, into the form chosen by the artist.

Elina Vainio (b. 1981) is a visual artist based in Helsinki. In her artistic creation, she especially focuses on the boundaries drawn between culture and nature. According to Vainio, people's tendency to see themselves as something permanent and separate from nature is misleading. With installations that consist of only a few elements, Vainio draws the viewer's attention to how both people and the surrounding world are in a constant state of flux.