For his solo exhibition in STUK, the museum selected four works providing an insight into Taanila’s practice.
The large triple-screen installation The Most Electrified Town in Finland (2012) sketches a fifteen minute long portret of Eurajoki, a small town of 6.000 inhabitants on the west coast of Finland and home to a nuclear construction site. The ready-made marzipan sculpture Viimeinen käyttöpäivä [Date of Expiry] (2015) is shown alongside the video installation.
The exhibition in STUK continues with Taanila’s recent single-channel film The Earth Who Fell to Man (2017). Taking the Nicolas Roeg 1976 movie The Man Who Fell to Earth as his source material, Taanila systematically ‘erased’ man and especially the protagonist alien played by David Bowie, from the screen. The piece features only shots from the film that are without recognizable human beings: landscapes, buildings, backdrops, roads, the sky, the earth.
Nicolas Roeg’s film The Man Who Fell to Earth in turn was based upon American writer Walter Tevis’s 1963 novel of the same name about an extraterrestrial who crash lands on Earth seeking a way to ship water to his planet. Two sculptural works based on different editions of The Man Who Fell to Earth complete the installation in STUK. For these works, Taanila used a process parallel to traditional film editing, i.e. splicing. The books are works of moving image, quite literally: images are moved and taken out, erased, cut-out, transformed and discarded. The edits create a new tangible landscape.
Mika Taanila (s. 1965) is a filmmaker and visual artist based in Helsinki, Finland. He works with documentaries, experimental film and visual arts. Human engineering, utopias, failures and man-machines are recurring themes in his films and installations. Taanila’s works have been shown at major international group shows, such as Venice Biennale (Nordic Pavilion 2017), Aichi Triennale (2013), dOCUMENTA (2012), Shanghai Biennale (2006), Berlin Biennale (2004), Manifesta (2002) and Istanbul Biennial (2001). Solo shows include the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki (2013–14), Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2013), TENT, Rotterdam (2013) and Galleria Heino, Helsinki (2010). Taanila’s short films have been screened altogether at more than 300 international film festivals and special events. In 2015, Taanila was awarded with the prestigious Ars Fennica Award, the biggest Finnish art award.
Mika Taanila: The End, October 17 – December 16 2018, STUK, Leuven, Belgium
More information: STUK