Nastja Säde Rönkkö’s Milk & Decay exhibited in The IMAI’s four-part exhibition series Paradise Tossed

Nastja Säde Rönkkö’s Milk & Decay (2019) is exhibited in The Inter Media Art Institute‘s (IMAI) four part exhibition series titled Paradise Tossed. The video work will be shown in the chapter Paradise Tossed: In the Name of Life, from October 31, 2023 – January 21, 2024 at Video Lounge. The programme is curated by Kat Lawinia Gorska, Nele Kaczmarek and Darija Šimunović with special support by Lucia Horňáková. The Inter Media Art Institute, operating from Düsseldorf, Germany, is dedicated to exhibiting, archiving, and distributing time-based media art.

In Milk and Decay, a slow female voice intones the names of the months, from one July to the next, describing each month in poetic terms, rich with emotion and imagery that alludes to a recent disaster and its fallout: “Gentle hearts hurt the most. Millions of gallons of black gold.” The language switches from an assessment of the physical surroundings: “soil that bled”, to an analysis of internal states: “The black dot in our soul”, setting up a correspondence between human states and the condition of the planet. In Milk and Decay, lungs turn “plastic” as the voiceover lists the names of supermarkets from different countries, read out from shopping bags. But not all is lost. The work names species known for their ability to survive even the most virulent attacks. Such resilient creatures include cockroaches, coyotes, which even “multiply with death”, and fungi, which colonise the newly transformed world. Between the hilly and the flat, things might carry on as normal, but by portraying life at the extremes, Rönkkö stages a reckoning with life’s fragility, with the potential of its imminent demise. – Ellen Mara de Wachter

Nastja Säde Rönkkö (b. 1985) is an artist living in London and Helsinki. She works with video, performance, installation, participatory art, internet and text. She has exhibited and performed internationally in places such as Somerset House, London, Sydney Opera House, Sydney, SXSW, Austin, TX, Royal Academy of Arts, London, FACT, Foundation for Art and Technology, Liverpool and Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki. Recent solo exhibitions include for those yet to be, EMMA Museum of Modern Art, Espoo, Finland (2020), Altered Breaths, Future Feelings at Tampere Art Museum, Finland and for your charred bones and restless soul, Aboa Vetus, Art Nova, Turku, Finland (2019). She is the 35th recipient of the Young Artist of the Year 2019 title and award.

Paradise Tossed: In the Name of Life, October 31 2023–January 21 2024, Düsseldorf, Germany

More information: IMAI

AV-arkki has promoted and distributed Finnish media art since 1989. AV-arkki’s promotional efforts have made the artists’ participation in this event possible. If you want to hear the latest news from our distribution, subscribe to our newsletter!