Kaarina Kaikkonen is one of the seven artists featuring at the MEMORY: new international sculpture exhibition at the Rosenfeld Porcin. With her impressive use of objects shirts become sculptures and viewers are lost for words.
Kaarina Kaikkonen is one of the main artists featured in the current exhibition MEMORY: new international sculpture at the Rosenfeld Porcin gallery. The Rosenfeld Porcin Gallery is a small gallery but full of gems.
There are three pieces on display by Kaikkonen each piece is made out of male garments. There was something very eerie about her work: her creations. On a first glance the suit jacket with it’s padded pigeon chest, it reminded me of waking up at night as a child and thinking someone was in my room, only to discover it was a pile of clothing on the chair. But Kaikkonen does not attempt to create a visible figure of a person, instead of a man with a tie round his neck wearing a suit, or a piece of dark hair glimmering out of an unbuttoned shirt, the shirts become the clay to her sculptures and the expression is through the layers and movement Kaikkonen exposes. Two of her pieces are built up of layers upon layers of different shaded shirts, tucked in by the outer shell of the jacket. But with the colours shrinking into pink, and the shape, alarm bells ring and one cannot but assume sexual organs are on display. But Kaikkonen leaves you to decide and she does this stunningly. The pieces create strong narratives and engage with that strange feeling of absence, the questions of: whom these recycled clothes belonged to and what they are communicating now. The final piece is a visual treat, as the figure above shows all these x-large shirts are flat ironed and hugging the air, but is this an audience of men opening their arms to embrace? Or is it a rib cage, or maybe the base of a boat or the skin off a snake or a scorpion’s tail? Kaarina Kaikkonen imagines through clothes and leads the viewer into a narrative created by clothes. Carefully chosen, carefully tailored she has created some truly impressive pieces that come to life like creatures or ghosts.nen isone of the main artists featured in the current exhibition MEMORY: new international sculpture at the Rosenfeld Porcin gallery. The Rosenfeld Porcin Gallery is a small gallery but full of gems.
Like Rebecca Horn’s Concert for Anarchy (1990) with a grand piano suspended from the air: an object gains a new view point and these objects gain lasting memories for the viewer. Kaikkonen has always taken inspiration from her father and his death that effected her deeply as a child. His clothing was a strong symbol to her and this explains how Kaikkonen draws such a strong focus on fabrics and mens shirts. Since her previous projects her work continues to focus on loss, memory and touch. Her work is renowned internationally, one of her most famous pieces is Way, an installation made of old men’s jackets on the steps of the Helsinki Cathedral in 2000. The current exhibition at the Rosenfeld Porcin runs till 3 December 2011 and also hosts a stunning and varied collection from seven European artists: Steve Goddard (UK), Andreas Blank (Germany), Leonardo Drew (US), Nicola Samor (Italy), Roberto Almagno (Italy), Spazio Visivo (Italy), Kaarina Kaikkonen (Finland), Rossana Zaera (Spain), and Mar Arza (Spain). Located near Oxford Street but away from the chaos you can find the small gallery but a treasure of an exhibition which leaves you with a lasting memory.
By Catriona Kerridge
MEMORY: new international sculpture
Friday 7 October – Saturday 3 December 2011
Rosenfeld Porcin, 37 Rathbone Street, London W1T 1NZ
Figuer 1: Kaarina Kaikkonen http://www.edwardquarmby.com/rp/f.jpg
Figuer 2: Rebecca Horn Concert for Anarchy 1990