As a starting point for this exhibition, Valentina Karga has chosen a banana, a presumably stock item of organic matter, and a pyramid that has been believed to act as a carrier for supernatural powers. In ancient Egypt, there was a myth that pyramidical form can preserve any living thing and thereby stop the process of decay.
The exhibition makes use of many recurrent elements within Valentina Karga’s practice that create space for her myriad questions. Manifested in the shape of the pyramid are hopes, fantasies, and speculations on the use and distribution of energy and matter interrogated in her work. The installations include videos, objects, and organic processes, as well as seating designed to provide a relaxed space to explore the suggested exercises by the exhibition.
Banana Mummy reveals Valentina Karga’s experiments with so-called Pyramid Power. Through experiments, Karga opens the possibility of another understanding to the preservation of matter, including the human body. The unfolding narrative suggests succumbing to decay as a restorative act of life itself and an acknowledgment of earthly dependence. Earth is a materially closed system, made of parts that will sooner or later, depending on the specific expiration date, regenerate into something else.
Valentina Karga stayed at the Saari Residence in winter 2017. The exhibition is the seventh and currently the last collaboration between Photographic Gallery Hippolyte and Saari Residence maintained by Kone Foundation.
On Sunday 6 October, Valentina Karga will present her exhibition as a part of the Kantakaupungin galleriakierros guided gallery tour. The tour (starting at 2 p.m. at gallery Sculptor) is in Finnish, but Valentina Karga’s Artist Talk will be in English and will start around 3 p.m.
Valentina Karga’s work operates between art, design, research, and architecture. It draws together elements of socially engaged practices and speculative experiments that question the existing social and physical infrastructures within the realms of energy, economy, and sustainability. Valentina Karga is a founding member of Collective Disaster, an interdisciplinary group that works at the interstices of architecture and the social realm. Since 2018 she is a professor at Hochschule für bildende Künste (HFBK), Hamburg.
Banana Mummy is co-curated by Jussi Koitela and Petronella Grönroos and produced by Petronella Grönroos for Photographic Gallery Hippolyte. Some of the artworks in the show are created in collaboration with illustrator Amina Bouajila, choreographer Polyxeni Angelidou, and sound artist HILDA T. Exhibition features in Hippolyte Studio designed by Paul Flanders.
Photographic Gallery Hippolyte
Yrjönkatu 8-10 courtyard, Helsinki, Finland
Open: Tue-Fri 12-17, Sat-Sun 12-16