NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

Whisper, 2020

By Iiri Poteri
8 x 6 cm

Hole on the wall. During the exhibition opening hours a human ear is present from the hole in various times. When the ear is not present, there is a black hole in its place. Performative installation “Whisper” got its spark from my previous work called “Break up”, where I collected break up stories. Listening to people in recording studio was valuable and I wanted to rearrange that at the Uniarts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts MFA Degree Show, 10.10-8.11.2020. In the end, the studio space disappeared and only the ear remained on the wall. My aim to build an intimate situation for sharing didn’t become the only aspect of this work – as I realized by listening to people’s reactions. “Whisper” got much broader interpretations that I expected. For visitors, it became a fascinating wonder between representation, hyperrealistic sculpture, and the real human ear. When the ear was absent, the black hole created the illusion of a black painted surface. Both of these states showed that there is no one way to interpret works of art, but that they are open to many readings. My eager to do this month-long performance came from the need to find a new angle to experience art. I wanted to know what the works of art in exhibitions encounter every day. In these times when things are expected to happen by pushing the button, it was exciting that the state of artwork was bonded with my presence. It was always a surprise what was seen on the wall – an ear or a hole.