NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

Marja Saleva's exhibition ''Surprise Paradise Disco With King Size Flowers And A Black Swan'' is open at Galleria Huuto.

first the background disappears from the image, then the colors, then the light
a black silhouette finds its place in the middle of the white surface,
moving its arms and legs

the expectation is here, written in the air

contrary to all expectations, the scene freezes
I try to make the image move, but the weight of the events is too much,
their logic is invisible and elusive

this is an illusion, a memorized play with norms and ideals playing the main role and me as an outsider, sitting in this theater like a prisoner, chained to the script, I stare at the image reflected on the wall, unaware of anything else, I think that this is reality

Surprise Paradise Disco with King Size Flowers And A Black Swan is an installation that deals with romantic love, the related expectations and disappointments, the feeling of being an outsider in a relationship-centered society. It is an unsuccessful rite of finding a partner, a frozen scene and the silhouette of a script that did not live up to the expectations.

The exhibition consists of photographs printed on different materials and cut into different shapes as well as an inflatable pool toy, a disco ball and colored light. The plastic pool toy is a reference to the concept of a black swan – a surprising and very unlikely event with an enormous impact. Together the images, items and light form a three-dimensional collage that one can walk into.

Photographs are on display implicitly. They have been reduced to black figures, solid color surfaces, shapes cut out of their backgrounds. Visually they resemble a simple, early method of creating images – silhouettes. In the simple images, the figure or gesture is recognizable, even though the image is only formed by something that has no light. Imagination and reality get mixed up.

Silhouettes play a role in an ancient myth and love story in which the daughter of a potter, Butades, drew the outline of the shadow of her loved one’s face on a wall. This allowed her to keep a picture of the man who was leaving. I am drawing a mere illusion. What am I trying to preserve, whose silhouette am I drawing?

Marja Saleva earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the Turku Arts Academy in 2013 and her Master of Social Sciences degree from the University of Turku in 2001. Her works are often based on a direct, documentary photograph that she alters using various forms of digital manipulation.

The exhibition and artistic work have been supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation and Arts Promotion Centre Finland.

Further information:
Marja Saleva
+358 40 832 0702

Gallery name: Galleria Huuto

Address: Eerikinkatu 36 / Kalevankatu 43, Helsinki

Opening hours: Tue-Sun 12:00 - 17:00

Open: 05.02.2021 - 28.02.2021