Saari Residence and Photographic Gallery Hippolyte present: Tärähtäneet Ämmät DYSTOPIA/UTOPIA

The cooperation between the Saari Residence and Photographic Gallery Hippolyte will continue in October when an exhibition by Tärähtäneet Ämmät called DYSTOPIA/UTOPIA will be arranged at the gallery. The exhibition will also include related workshops and a seminar. DYSTOPIA/UTOPIA is an art project based on community art photography and scenario work that was carried on two occasions with young people who are in danger of social exclusion.

Community art at the Saari Residence

The idea for DYSTOPIA/UTOPIA came about in August 2013 at the Saari Community Art Well at the Saari Residence. The Saari Community Art Well had been created through community artist Pia Bartsch’s wish to provoke conversation about community art. At that time four pairs of artists worked together with a local group for a few weeks at the Saari Residence. Visual and community artist Suvi Aarnio and visual artist Andrea Dezsö from the United States made crests with women from Mietoinen using handcrafts methods; Pia Bartsch and German animation artist Anne Breymann held animation workshops together with MSTT ry, a local unemployed jobseekers association; director Annamari Karjalainen and Spanish director and actor David Martinez held performance art workshops together with the dementia ward at the Lizelius home in Mynämäki. Art duo Tärähtäneet Ämmät and Gabriel Mellan, a video artist from the United States, worked with young people who are in danger of social exclusion to explore visions of utopia and dystopia through photography and video.

Tärähtäneet Ämmät and Gabriel Mellan continued their project at the Saari Residence the following summer during a group residence and worked with the young people that they had got to know the year before. Photographic triptychs were made for each young person to present their future dreams, utopia and dystopia, and current situation.

Future on young people’s terms

The goal of Tärähtäneet Ämmät in their DYSTOPIA/UTOPIA project was to give young people a voice and showcase their visions of their own future through the concepts of dystopia and utopia. At workshops the young people worked together and learnt interaction skills. They also learnt about artistic thinking and basic on-location photography skills, for example. The most important part of the process were the plans created together by each young person and the project artists for enabling the achievement of dreams in a concrete way. The young people learned how to dream and set goals and they considered the risks related to the future. At the workshop the young people were challenged to think and respond to the project’s core questions:“How can I avoid the dystopian scenario and how can I achieve the utopian scenario?”

The young people formed a photography team with the project’s artists and each had an area of responsibility: photographer, photographer’s assistant, lighting designer, set designer, documentation director and DJ for the photo shoots.

The young people chose nearby places that represented their own dystopian and utopian future scenarios. Each young person was photographed in two different places. A photograph representing the current moment was also taken and the photographs formed a photographic triptych. These triptychs will be presented in the exhibition at Photographic Gallery Hippolyte in October.

Exhibition at Hippolyte, workshops and seminar

DYSTOPIA/UTOPIA will be exhibited at Photographic Gallery Hippolyte in October and visitors will be able to view the triptychs created with the young people in the Saari Residence and Mynämäki.

During the exhibition Tärähtäneet Ämmät will hold workshops dealing with the themes of utopia and dystopia in 2015 and skills which will enable you to dream and set targets for the future.

A seminar will be held between 12 pm and 6 pm at Photographic Gallery Hippolyte on Saturday 17 October. In addition to Tärähtäneet Ämmät, Katriina Haikala and Vilma Metteri, speakers at the seminar will be community artist Pia Bartsch (Saari Residence), artists Tellervo and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, Jani Leinonen, Jari Tamminen and special expert Henri Terho (Southwest Finland regional office of Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Turku).

You can find more information on the exhibition and seminar on the website of Photographic Gallery Hippolyte.

Tärähtäneet ämmät: DYSTOPIA/UTOPIA


Photographic Gallery Hippolyte

Yrjönkatu 8-10 courtyard, 00120 Helsinki Open: Tue–Fri 12 pm–5 pm, Sat–Sun 12 pm–4 pm