Dénes Farkas in Rovaniemi
'IMAGES TO WORDS'
Jorma Eton tie 6, Rovaniemi, Finland
Tuesday-Thursday at 12-18
Friday at 11-17
Saturday at 12-16
On the year 1995 Tallinn Art Hall was relaunched to the audiences after considerable refurbishment with the exhibition project The Revival of the Space by George Steinmann. It consisted of nothing but the very space itself, all brand white and finalised in its own rights. After one month of public exposure, `regular` exhibition practice took over the premises for granted, only occasionally referring to its locus as utter limit and perimeter of Estonian art world, or at least for some of it.
On the year 2012 Napa gallery in Rovaniemi closes it´s practice in the space on Jorma Etontie, part of the public library once designed by Alvar Aalto. The farewell show comes by Dénes Farkas, who presents some quasi-images of the space itself, images reframing the space as the subject matter of the show. The antagonal symmetry with the case from Tallinn is urgent, yet also misleading. It was after all the promise of new future, oath for a better life at least for artists if not for all the commons, that was provided these days back in Tallinn on nineties. Now in Rovaniemi 'Images to Words' turns the exhibition space hollow, questionable and ephemeral mirage, almost evaporating from the sight of the viewer, if there happens to be any, of course. G. Steinmann project did not attract large audiences, although it returned them the ultimate measure of perception – the space.
Nicolas Bourriaud mentions `the recourse to already produced forms`in his discussions on the term of postproduction. We are also informed by him that Dénes Farkas is not the first to recycle Alvar Aalto heritage. Yet here, in Rovaniemi, whether it is relevant or not to the artist intention, the show may fall into the context of closure, tampered with a bit of melancholy and even despair, to stretch the mood to the edge. Which leads me towards my own personal urge to have Dénes Farkas show in Rovaniemi at the first place. I am not sure if it comes from the tragic history of Rovaniemi at the Second World War or Alvar Aalto boldly modern urban plan that covered these traumas on the following years, but the sense of loss and nostalgy for modern welfare are lingering the same on the streets of Rovaniemi as in the oeuvre of Dénes Farkas. I can barely distinguish one from the other. Both emanate the sorrow of familiar landscape turned to someone elses dream, abandoned by earlier habitants and converted by ruthless rupture into some evasive limbo. 'Images to Words' refers to that transition by exploding well-known series of writings on photography into fragments, into the subtitles of Farkas own photography, supposedly filling the gap of meaning there, or more precisely - curing the craving thirst for the meaning with the written placebo. And here comes the moment of happiness – everything falls on to its own place, taken over from someone else. Game on.