Catinca Tabacaru NYC/Harare Collective

CTG(R): Finland

Admire Kamudzengerere, Jaakko Leeve, Rachel Monosov, Shinji Murakami, Terrence Musekiwa, Elena Näsänen, Xavier Robles de Medina, Johanna Rytkölä, Justin Orvis Steimer

Curated by Catinca Tabacaru with co-curator Raphael Guilbert
5  —  17 August 2019

CTG ® Finland, 2019
Installation At Serlachius Museum Residency Gallery

CTG ® Finland, 2019
Installation At Serlachius Museum Residency Gallery

Jaakko Leeve
Green Gold, 2019
93 Pine carved “gold” bars
Each 22.5 × 7.5 × 4 cm

This work was produced in collaboration with Mäntän työkeskus. Green Gold speaks to the pine trees in the area and how the town of Mänttä and Serlachius got their start through the lumber industry. The lumber industry also being the base of economics in Finland.

Rachel Monosov
with CTG Collective
The Berry Eaters, 2019
single channel video, 10min

One of the concepts that has captured our imaginations and resulted in endless hours of conversation around the ethics, politics and socio-economic issues surrounding it, has been the mining of minerals, an issue also at the forefront of our four residencies in Zimbabwe (2015-2018). Finland is one of the world’s leading lithium mining countries, and it suffers from an old law on exploration and exploitation, which allows anyone to explore and test tap land, whoever its owner may be, and subsequently apply for a permit to mine that very land. We leave it up to your imagination to leap a few conceptual steps forward and arrive at the right wing Finnish political party’s warnings that the immigrants will eat all the berries in Finland. Sadly lacking in irony is the fact that Finland picks only 3% of its berries each year. Rachel Monosov’s The Berry Pickers, brings the CTG Collective into a communal video work exploring and exploiting the topic.

Rachel Monosov
with CTG Collective
The Berry Eaters, 2019
Installation

CTG ® Finland, 2019
Installation View
Serlachius Museums in Aleksanterin Linna Gallery
Mänttä, Finland

Terrence Musekiwa
Kutsvaira pasi pekapeti (Sweeping under the carpet), 2019
traditional Finnish rug, shoe trees, Kano indigo cotton
117 × 142 × 23 cm

Musekiwa is using this work to mimic how governments cover up their dark actions using force and fear, pushing people to migrate and become immigrants in other countries.

Terrence Musekiwa
Pfungwa dzakawanda pamutumbi mumwe (many minds one body), 2019

Terrence Musekiwa
Pfungwa dzakawanda pamutumbi mumwe (many minds one body), 2019
stoneware ceramics, glaze, gold, rope, and Makoko wood paddle
326 × 22 cm

Creating a spiritual connection through materials, Musekiwa has made a bridge between two worlds: (i) The carved wooden paddle sourced from Makoko, the world’s largest floating city, which sits under Lagos’s third mainland bridge, now connected with (ii) the black clay heads sculpted in Mänttä, a remote town in Finland also surrounded by water.

Xavier Robles de Medina
Black box, 2019
original writing and found images on colored paper, manganese “black” clay
30 × 117 cm

The text-based work merges the short story format with that of the academic essay. In conjunction with photographs the artist sourced during his time in Mänttä – in the residency, as well as in the Serlachius Museum (purposely rasterized to fictionalize an archive) – the work imbues the essay with a poetry and heightened affect, discussing simultaneously the history of colonial categorizations, of race, gender, and the marking of borders and territories.

Rachel Monosov and Admire Kamudzengerere
Untitled, 2019
performance with ceramic artifact, and video documentation

The two artists sit across from one another and sculpt the other’s portrait, only to destroy it afterwards. The performance reflects onto the act of creation and destruction, echoing personal and global concerns the duo approaches in their practice.

Rachel Monosov and Admire Kamudzengerere
Untitled, 2019

Johanna Rytkölä
Into the deep, 2019
stoneware ceramics
44 × 20 × 6 cm

Vesi on teema, johon palaan yhä uudestaan. Rakastan uimista , järvien pehmoisia vesiä. Vesien tila ja tulevaisuus huolestuttaa. Mäntässä mieleeni muistui lapsuuden pelottava tarina vesihiidestä.

Shinji Murakami
Kesäyö (Summer Night), 2019
laptop computer and easel
130 × 75 × 110 cm

Summer night is the animation of manipulated images sourced from the Google search of the word Kesäyö. The artist has broken down these collected images to a minimal pixel count of 2 to 3 pixels per image.

Inspired by his arrival and stay in Mänttä, Murakami reflects on the openness he finds here. Having grown up playing video games in the 1980s, Murakami remembers the space those simple games allowed for the child’s imagination. Today, the hyperrealist computer games leave little room for a player’s imagination to fill in the digital world. So too, an artist’s mind is constantly bombarded with information in cities like New York, where the artist lives, and Helsinki.

Maitohorsma (Fireweed), 2019
wood, glue, screw and acrylic
90 × 90 12 cm | 85 × 62 × 12 cm

The flower sculptures accompanying Murakami’s Kesäyö (Summer Night) are pixelated versions of Finland’s famed fireweed flower. Inspired by its abundance in Mänttä, Murakami juxtaposes his digital work with the sculptures craved from wood, again reflecting on the gap between the 1980s and today, as well as the big city versus the countryside.

Justin Orvis Steimer
Luontohaltija, 2019

Justin Orvis Steimer
Luontohaltija, 2019
ceramics, gold, wood, Mänttä paper, sound

In Finnish Pagan tradition, a person’s soul is said to have three parts: Henki, Luonto, and Itse. The Luonto is a guardian spirit or protector. Further specifying the term, Luontohaltija translates to nature spirit.

Steimer’s practice is based in communing with nature; channeling invisible forces into his marks – whether drawing, painting or sculpting. This installation captures a collection of outdoor spaces around Mänttä including Taavetinsaari and Koskelanlampi, where the artist sat and worked. The sound piece is made in collaboration with artists Jaako Leeve, Shinji Murakami, and Terrence Musekiwa who played Steimer’s sculptures as wind instruments in a barn in Vehkanimen.

Jaakko Leeve
Shinji Murakami
Elena Näsänen
Anneli, 2019
single channel video, 2:47 min, water meter and land

Inspired by the life of our host in Finland, Anneli, three artists come together to create a portrait of a very special person and a magical place. After living and working in Paris as an architect, Anneli returned to her childhood home near Mänttä to tackle the arduous task of returning the long abandoned estate to its original, traditional grandeur. Anneli has four faithful companions, her rooster and 3 hens, who follow her in a Pied Piper manner in this video portrait combined with the water meter, together with the water collected, and land, borrowed from Anneli’s property and transported into the gallery.

The CTG Collective, whose members and collaborators in this instance hail from New York, Japan, Israel, Surinam, Zimbabwe, and Finland, present their introductury exhibition at the Serlachius Museums in Aleksanterin Linna Gallery. The performance, video, ceramics, and sculptural works highlight the group’s reflections on their time in Mänttä over the past two weeks. Notions of folklore, ecology, and immigration take center stage as the artists bring their personal histories into conversation with the Finnish cultural and political landscape.