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Hanneriina Moisseinen, Visa Knuuttila

The Unknown

Uudenmaankatu 25.5.-12.6.2016

Hanneriina Moisseinen & Visa Knuuttila
The Unknown
Comic installation and video performance
25.5. – 12.6.2016
Galleria Huuto Uudenmaankatu

The Unkown is Hanneriina Moisseinen and Visa Knuuttila’s joint exhibition where the artists approach the events in the Karelian Isthmus during the Continuation War in the summer of 1944.

The techniques featured in the exhibition are comics, video and performance. The result of Moisseinen’s four years of work, the 240-page graphic novel Kannas, will also be launched at the exhibition opening. The novel approaches the events of the war from perspectives that differ from the general popular culture imagery and from the official historical descriptions, for example through the experiences of women, animals and an antihero devastated by the war. Instead of manly struggle, killing and suffering, Moisseinen depicts the mutual support and solidarity among people evacuated from their homes due to the war.

The original comic images displayed at the exhibition focus on the last moments of Private Auvo Oksala, a deserter who has gone mad. He is the only one who survived the enemy’s attack, but his mental state has been severely disturbed. Through the fictional character of Auvo Oksala the war appears an intermediate state where all normal rules have been revoked and nothing can be trusted. Auvo is also a loser in the selective writing of history as the conventions essentially ignore such fates of failed soldiers. Mental problems among soldiers are also still today avoided as a topic in Finnish war literature.

The video installation created in the gallery brings Auvo Oksala to life through Knuuttila’s physical interpretation. Wandering somewhere between life and death, Auvo has fallen outside of everything, in no man’s land, unable to find a solution to continuing his existence. Knuuttila’s performative work is largely based on the methods and aesthetics of butoh and, as is characteristic of butoh, the “unknown” of the video refers to the journey to Auvo’s inner world, to the darkness of his body and mind.

The Kannas book includes a scene in which Auvo is wandering among the graves of dead soldiers without knowing if he is alive or dead. The name of the exhibition also refers to the unknown aspects of war history and stories in a broader sense. The two artists represent the first generation whose fathers were not sent to the front, but indirectly the wartime traumas are still present in many families. It’s not so long ago that hundreds of thousands of Finns had to escape from war.

The exhibition has been supported by the Kone Foundation, the Finnish Cultural Foundation’s Uusimaa Regional Fund and Karelian Cultural Association (Karjalan Sivistysseura).

Visa Knuuttila
tel. 044 973 1316
e-mail: wisa.knuuttila(at)gmail(dot)com

Hanneriina Moisseinen
tel. 044 343 2024
e-mail: hanneriina.moisseinen(at)kolumbus(dot)fi