Two videos by Sampsa Virkajärvi, What Remains? (2018) and With You (2011–2018) are installed in a group exhibition Aging World: Will you still love me tomorrow? in Seoul Museum of Art, South Korea. The exhibition is open from August 27 to October 20.
In With You, the old father is lying on the bed, too tired even to talk – it is time to say goodbye. The son tries to understand his father and himself as a middle-aged father of small children. The film examines the constantly changing relationship between a father and son – the intimacy, admiration, difference, silence. After years of distance, he is building a chance for understanding and – from the perspective of the son – some kind of continuity between them. The father, ready to give up everything, is capable of giving his son something that is essential and beautiful in its simplicity. Old photographs and narrow films have been used in the work.
What Remains? depicts the final years of a mother suffering from dementia in her own home, and the way the understanding of time and place changes as the illness advances: How many homes she lives simultaneously. The work also tries to describe some of the difficulties that an old person and her carer encounter when she does not remember, see and comprehend. In his works, Virkajärvi depicts with an intimate and essayistic approach the challenging nature of life situations and the form they take in the mind – what it is like now and how we can try to understand, tolerate and accept it.
Sampsa Virkajärvi is a visual artist and documentary filmmaker. His works deal with cultural issues and historical matters. Virkajärvi is interested in people’s experiences of living under the pressures of economical powers and technological changes. His works explore the ways in which people attempt to make the world more understandable and suitable for themselves. Virkajärvi’s works have been seen in exhibitions and festivals including Helsinki Art Museum’s Kluuvi Gallery (2008), Mänttä Art Festival (2008), Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma (2008) and Kunsthalle Helsinki (2001).
Aging World: Will you still love me tomorrow? August 27 – October 20 2019, Seoul Museum of Art, South Korea
More information: SeMA