Kaisu Koivisto


Installations, photography, drawing and video are integral aspects of Kaisu Koivisto's artistic practice.

The common denominator of Koivisto's works is uncomfortable matter. Materials, objects and structures carry information about the past. She contrasts the burden of materials and the pleasure of objects with the transience of materials. She photographs natural scenery blemished with signs of exploitation as well as redundant military sites where massive concrete structures crumble. Uncomfortable matter also in the meaning of matter=topic. The material world around us carries much information about history. Not in sight, not in mind is often so true.

Kaisu Koivisto (b. 1962) earned her MFA at the University of Art and Design Helsinki. She lives in Helsinki, Finland.

Koivisto┬┤s work have been shown for instance in: Museo Hendrik Christian Andersen, Rome; Kiasma, Helsinki; Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid; PS 1, New York; Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum, Tokyo and Pori Art Museum, Pori.

Artist statement

The relationship between natural phenomena and technologies is an ongoing subject of exploration for me. I investigate the intersections of nature and culture and the modes in which mankind harnesses and exploits - or attempts to control - natural phenomena. How do we look at animals and nature? What is nature? How is the impact of technologies visible in the environment?

My artistic practice traverses photography, drawing, video and sculptural elements. These diverse strands come together in the framework of installations. The topics and materials which I focus on are charged: materials such as recycled leather and fur, bones, horns and other organic matter bear traces of wear and tear, thus indicating the passage of time. The transience of materials is a connecting aspect of my sculptures and photographs. I am interested in an ambivalent aesthetic, the simultaneity of attractiveness and repulsiveness, the synthetic and the organic, stark geometry and the ornamental.

I am inspired by the rough wilderness of the North as well as by the signs of human activity in the environment. Thus, my work tell more about people than nature: about the commodification of nature, the production of raw materials and the allegorical aspects of natural phenomena. The roots of my work are also in the realms of zoos, wunderkammers, science fiction and domesticated animals.

My interest in cultivated and restrained nature leads me to well-known metropolises as well as areas which no longer are in focus of international geopolitical attention. Places in a dreamy state of oblivion such as former Cold War nuclear missile bases in Eastern Europe represent in my works estranged landscapes of the subconscious. Left to the elements, the massive structures of the abandoned areas gradually erode and become engulfed by vegetation.

Kunstwerke (12)

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