Pilvi Takala – Sidelines

The sides of a playing field are marked by lines that define the playing area. Watching a game from the sidelines and entering the field is similar to the small actions of Pilvi Takala’s artwork; performances, subtle interventions and other investigations into everyday life.

Pilvi Takala (b. 1981) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki and at Glasgow School of Art. She began making video works early on, studying human behaviour and rituals. Takala has exhibited in numerous countries and been represented at several biennials. Her artistic practice is marked by the seemingly innocent but clever ways in which she challenges unwritten rules.

SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum presents the solo exhibition with four works by Pilvi Takala where borders are crossed in different ways.

Event on Garnethill (2005, book) is a performance documented in the form of a book, which plays with the external symbols of being inside a community. Takala observes a catholic school and buys a school uniform, mingles with the students and tries blending in with them around town.

Real Snow White (2009, video 9:15 min) takes place at Disneyland outside Paris. A lot of the younger visitors are dressed as their favourite characters, but when an adult turns up dressed as Snow White, great confusion arises. Takala’s comical and deadpan approach to the situation reveals tacit agreements and a surprising strictness.

Wallflower (2006, video 10:25 min) shows the artist at a dance event organized for Finnish tourists abroad. Overdressed for the modest occasion – a traditional Finnish summer-pavilion dance – she finds herself sitting alone in her prom dress while older couples dance. The subtle yet visually striking act is contrasted with the mentality of a modest people, and the effect is both humorous and revealing.

Players (2010, video 7:50 min) portrays a community of poker players in Thailand who have created a universe of their own. Principles of the game are applied to everyday life – instead of remembering whose turn it is to pay for coffee, the matter is solved by a shuffle of cards on a smartphone display – relying on probability theory to make things fair. Takala’s work presents the players and their lifestyle in a way that is not only fascinating, but also fundamentally puzzling.

Supported by FRAME

Curator Helena Bjørk