Myymälä2 Gallery
New work by Erik van der Weijde, Linus Bill, Jéremie Egry and Aurélien Arbet
Dates: 4.-28.4.2012
Address: Uudenmaankatu 23, 00100 Helsinki
Opening times: Wed-Sat 12-18, Sun 12-17
Admission: free

We will raise a toast and launch some books with the artists on Saturday April 14th, please join us at the gallery between 18:00-20:00. The artists will also do a question & answer meeting at the Bookies seminar in Kiasma on Sunday April 15th at 13:30.

The French born Aurélien Arbet and Jérémie Egry both work as artists, as curators and as publishers. Thier Je suis une bande de jeunes –collective offers a multifaceted publishing platform for a number of young photographers around the world. JSBJ is perhaps best known for their series of Blue zines. In these publications the works of individual photographers, often very intimately realized photographic series, find beauty in the everyday trivia and seek answers to the small but universal problems of time and space. As a whole, the body of JSBJ publications renders a positive outlook on the mundane everyday existence regardless of the multitude of social and geographical backgrounds of the featured artists. The consistent approach both in their art and in their curatorial pursuits positions Arbet and Egry at the intersection of art, publishing and curating – a place where the boundries of ones own artistic expression and that of others becomes blurred and where contemporary artists increasingly find themselves. In Myymälä2, the artists exhibit a collaborative series of recent photographs that highlight the ability of the medium to shift between contexts.

The collaborative work of Dutch artist Erik van der Weijde and Swiss artist Linus Bill offers a glimpse into the changing role that personal family photography plays in the public consciousness. The explosion in popularity and reach of social media has inevitably caused a shift in expectations attributed to this type of photography. From the preserver of personal memories, the building blocks in an archive of intimate history, the family snapshot is now leaning towards instant mass media with no longevity and little intimacy, shared immediately and often with an anonymous audience. The blurring of public and private in this area, set to motion by artists in the 70’s and 80’s by bringing their family snapshots and highly personal visual diaries into galleries, has in a way reached full circle. We are left wondering, which task to assign the family snap in the gallery space today. Is the printed and the hung the new private as opposed to the digitally shared public? And what purposes do these different modes of making one’s personal life public serve in the end? In the series of photographs, indistinctively exhibited together by the two artists, their respective families are portrayed in a similar way according to the conventions of family photography. The images resemble each other to the point where the existence of the two families on two different continents eerily merge into one. The photographs themselves become more about their changing role in the historical continuum of such photography than about the personal history of the families they depict.

In the large silk screen works from the series “Topmotiviert” by Linus Bill and the publication by the same name showing the work in progress in the artist’s studio the process and the outcome become one and the same thing. The art work gets confused with its representation and vice versa. In Bill’s work, the warm-hearted photography depicting intimate daily life often acts as a starting point for something else. The photographs and the scenes and people shown in them gravitate in and out of the centre of focus, taking turns with aesthetic choices and emphasis on the working process as the main content of the work. Myymälä2 exhibits a selection from the “Topmotiviert” series and the publication will be available for purchase.