HIAP Gallery Augusta & HIAP Project Space, 2016, Helsinki|
Barbara Knezevic & Jaana Laakkonen:
WITH LEFTOVER AGENCIES
When artworks and world are viewed through the lens of Western modernist thinking they seem to become doomed to be either material or discursive; a result of determination or free will, either abstract or figurative, constituted of organic or inorganic materials. During the years, feminist thinking, and more recently, post-humanist philosophies for example, have proposed that things donít fit into easy categories.
Instead of keeping a clear division between subject and object, maker and made, Barbara Knezevic and Jaana Laakkonen consider their practices and the material outcomes of their work as an act of co-doing where human and nonhuman agencies overlap. They share an interest in problematizing simplified ideas of an art work's relation to "reality". Art works, and practices linked to them, are events and actions amongst politics, weather, bodies and economics. Instead of trying to clean and tidy such bindings Laakkonen and Knezevic examine what it means to work beside them.
Knezevic's works are results of working with materials that aren't necessarily the ones mentioned in the how-to-guides of art. When placed together they act in strange concert, though their parts are drawn from the familiar and the everyday. Laakkonen's material tools are produced especially for art making, specifically that of painting, which carries a long tradition and normalized conventions. Laakkonen is interested in processing how the diverse agential worlds are present despite of such traditions. These material-discursive backgrounds and conditions are platforms for their practices and thinking.
The collision of these two practices in this exhibition asks for consideration of how reality is thought about. This temporary co-joining suggests the exhibition as a gathering of actants, and at the same, asks for accountability for the agencies that are often ruled out in the need of clear stories and unambiguous categories.
(text: Barbara Knezevic & Jaana Laakkonen)