Laila Evensen (NO) and Jenni Kokkomäki (FI)
Tou Scene, Stavanger
At last there is a new exhibition at Tou Scene. And not only one, but three artists at the same time. One installation at Tou Vindu, and a collaboration in the Beer Halls. This post is about the latter.
Laila Evensen and Jenni Kokkomäki are really exploring the possibilities of the halls, with installations, video and performance. Evensen has made installations in four of the rooms, while Kokkomäki performed her dance/movements in the last room. In the first room small, white figurines are glued onto the wall in a pattern, the second room is totally dark, except some lit showcases with figurines, the third shows a movie of figurines on a small surface in the far corner of the room, the fourth room has a long row of transparent small boxes. The fifth room contains the stage of the performance.
It is great to see these halls in use again, especially as the artists have really included the rooms in the artwork. You have to walk into the vast space or into the darkness to see what there is.
In the first room the vast number of figurines make up shapes like a world map. The shadow effects increase the impression, making the impact of each unit longer. What at first seems like formations and patterns are actually a lot of individuals.
In the next two rooms you need to walk through darkness to reach the tiny glowing spots where the artpieces are. In the first cluster of "peepholes" you get a glimpse of a conversation or a meeting between two people in different situations. The movie room also show a small group of figurines. You need to make an effort to pass the darkness to be able to observe them.
In the fourth room the individuals are missing. Almost. In the long row of tiny, transparent boxes running along the walls there is only emptyness. Except in every seventh box, where there is a picture of a woman dancing. This is a portrait of the artist. So, after having put all the other individuals on display, she is on display herself, alone.
On display is also the figure of the last hall. This is the spot for the performance by Jenni Kokkomäki. After seeing all the miniature people, the effect of seeing a life-sized person on a stage is strong. At first she is just standing there like a sculpture, a beauty model, under faint spotlights. Then she starts moving, and her body gradually get covered by wrinkles. The more she moves the more wrinkles appear, all with a lot of cracking friction sounds. But then the wrinkly layer start flaking off, from a second skin, a layer of plastic. The skirt of wrinkled paper is ripped off. She is a human size figurine breaking out of her plastic cover, she is the first of the puppets breaking loose of a stuck position. Will the other individuals follow?
Exhibition web page here: http://touscene.com/nb/program/arrangement/1888
Jenni Kokkomäki's project page here: http://ultimaterockbabe.blogspot.com/
PS: By the way, what does "Caligious" mean? (see the comments)