• Robin Lindqvist: 2017
  • 13 Moons (For On Kawara)
  • Enter Now the World
  • Thirty-Six Views of Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Thirty-Six Views of Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Thirty-Six Views of Mount Kilimanjaro (View #29)
  • 13 Moons (For On Kawara)
  • Bombilla
  • The Diagonal of April 24, 2016
  • Spanish Flag with Hope

Robin Lindqvist


Jätkä 1 7.5.-22.5.2016

Robin Lindqvist
Galleria Huuto Jätkäsaari – Jätkä 1

Reserved for Politics and Poetics

In his new solo exhibition at Gallery Huuto, Robin Lindqvist makes an attempt to bridge politics and poetics. The show reflects Lindqvist’s contemplations on how technology and information interact in our lives.

Technology has the power to extend our senses, while at the same time imposing restrictions. Our understanding of time and space is now set by ultra-precise apparatuses. The concept of global warming, for instance, is supported by scientific research and is consequently altering our perception and our ability to see beyond the naked eye. Technology brings with it wonderful merits but also awful complications. The Internet enables us to see more and gain more at an unprecedented speed, while at the same time, we are also seen and measured by the unknowns. How do we find balance between the advantages and disadvantages?

For Lindqvist, this correlation between technology and our lives is a subject to be opened up and unpacked in artistic ways. Referring to images from artistic works by e.g. Katsuhika Hokusai and Pablo Picasso, his oil painting, charcoal drawings and photographs in this exhibition have resulted from his playfulness and complex thinking. Despite the variety of media employed, all his works pronounce minimalistic appearances; no drama, spatial illusions or shocks. These are common, accessible images—moons, snow-capped mountains, a light bulb, geometric symbols and patterns—all of them presented with simple manners. Lindqvist, however, carefully distills and highlights the associative contexts of such images, and boldly translates them into the means of imagination with the power of poetry.

To illustrate, Thirty-Six Views of Mount Kilimanjaro is a series of 36 black and white photographs installed in a 9-meter row. This work refers to the Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji by Katsushika Hokusai and to the sequence pictures of Edward Muybridge, capturing the movement of bodies in motion. Lindqvist’s work shows us multiple time-flows with this sequence of a moving cloud in front of Kilimanjaro, but also the impossibility of seeing the ultra-slow motion by which the mountain rises and falls or the glacier melting away at its top due to climate change.

Another work, Bombilla, is an oil painting with rich painterly texture, of which the motif, a light bulb, is borrowed from Picasso’s painting Guernica (1937). Extending Picasso’s double message in his monumental work—the Spanish word bombilla, meaning light bulb, also relates to bomba, the Spanish word for bomb — Lindqvist copies the light bulb and then blows it up, not as a bomb, but in scale on a canvas.

The other works too are finely balanced, so they all seem to remain ambivalent. They quietly exist independent of particular explanation. But they are arranged in such a way that they simultaneously communicate with each other. Violence, enlightenment, life, death, the future of the planet, time, agony, logic, universe, light, hope… different themes can unfold and interplay. It is rather an unusual situation where knowledge and judgment alone become quite inadequate. The uncertainty may make us reserved but in turn allows more space for introspection and empathy, so that our imagination can connect to that which we have not yet related to.

Shoji Kato

The exhibition has been kindly supported by:
Svenska Kulturfonden / Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland
Taiteen Edistämiskeskus / Arts Promotion Centre Finland