”What does it mean to be an individual now? And where are we going? I’m very interested in those kinds of core issues,” says Doug Aitken. The effect of technology on the individual and society, the accelerating mobility of information and people, and the means of coping in our rapidly changing world are subjects Aitken considers in his work.
“We are living in a new era, one of complete connectivity, where screen space has become seemingly equal to the physical landscape. This surreal shift in evolution brings us into uncharted waters, a new frontier, one for which we are not fully prepared. These artworks question how we navigate a world of increasing speed and transition, the direction of where we can go and how we can confront the future.”
Aitken’s first solo exhibition in Finland includes a selection of works which illustrate the wide range of the artist’s practice, including large-scale video installation and sculpture created over the past decade.
Kiasma’s fifth floor gives center stage to SONG 1, 2012/2015. This large-scale video installation is presented on a 360-degree double-sided screen which visitors can wander in and around. The work takes as its structural starting point the popular song I only have eyes for you, written and first recorded in 1934.
Aitken invited dozens of musicians to make their own versions which form a soundtrack to performers in everyday scenarios, such as nocturnal car parks, highways, a factory and a café.
“The work has no beginning or end,” Aitken says, “you can decide how long you watch.”
Aitken’s artworks have been described as hypnotic and dreamlike – immersing oneself into them may result in losing the sense of time and place. The artist hopes that an encounter with his work would be empowering: the viewer is free to take what they want from the art and make the experience their own.
Doug Aitken (1968 California, USA) lives and works in Los Angeles. He is widely know for his innovative installations in which time, space and memory are fluid consepts. Aitken’s work has been featured in numerous exhibitions around the world. He participated in the Whitney Biennial and earned the International Prize at the Venice Biennale in 1999 for the installation electric earth.
Aitken has received numerous awards ranging from the 2012 Nam June Paik Art Center Prize, the 2013 Smithsonian Magazine American Ingenuity Award: Visual Arts and most recently in 2019, the ArtCenter College of Design Lifetime Achievement Award.
His works have been shown in Kiasma once before: he was part of the ARS01 exhibition nearly twenty years ago.
Gallery name: Kiasma
Address: Mannerheiminaukio 2, Helsinki
Opening hours: Tue, Sat 10:00 - 18:00, Wed-Fri 10:00 - 20:30, Sun 10:00 - 17:00
Open: 18.09.2020 - 10.01.2021