Joonas Jokiranta & Marja Patrikainen: Ajopuu on River Coma

Avajaiset 24.11. 18-21
Yö Galleria

Joonas Jokiranta’s and Marja Patrikainen’s joint exhibition ’Ajopuu on River Coma’ merges the worlds of two artists. The exhibition brings together Joonas Jokiranta’s paintings, Patrikainen’s painting reliefs and sculptures as well as Jokiranta’s ‘Swans’ video piece. In the soundtrack of the video, Jokiranta gives a sample of his vocal and percussion music, reaching shamanist tones and depth with some added electronic spice.

The drift log (‘ajopuu’) in the title of the exhibition refers to Jokiranta’s recollection of a drift log lifted from a lake when he was a child. ”I was carrying it with me from the storage in my parents’ home in Satakunta to Helsinki, and I forgot it on the train overhead shelf. Despite all my efforts, I was unable to find the drift log even from lost property. It had moved on,” Jokiranta says. As for Koomanoja (’Ditch Coma’), it is a creek that runs past Patrikainen’s home.

Most of Jokiranta’s paintings are acrylic works painted on pieces of fabric. The paintings come with an air of working class ‘underpriviledged poetry’, elevation of ordinary moments and scenes – everyday mysticism. A beggar, an elderly woman and a pizza eater are all characters who have grown into the sceneries of their lives. The swans swimming in the sea in the video piece reflect a natural event that has been reduced to only contain what’s essential in the many metaphorical meanings of stories and fairy tales. On the verge of questioning the metaphysical nihilism, or reality, Jokiranta thus probes his own role as a being, seeking humanity by means of his artistic work in paintings, videos and performances.

Marja Patrikainen’s works showcased at Yö Galleria are augmented paintings that seem to be seeking their way out of the two-dimensional world and into a three-dimensional reality. As they materialise on the walls like sculptures or reliefs, they seek contact with the viewer from twilight borderlands, figures reaching closer and originating from the mythopoetics of our collective subconscious. Their birthplace is in Patrikainen’s dreams in which she saw the figures for the first time in their visible forms.

The starting point of the artwork ‘The Queen of River Coma’ is a spirit that lives in the Koomanoja ditch that runs past Patrikainen’s home. For Partikainen, the ditch bank is a place of contemplation. The annual cycle is reflected in the ditch whose winter use is minor and underrated. "The proximity of the Queen of River Coma closes you in its arms while a hammock gives you a nest that sways and calms you down, stops you and wraps you in a hug," Patrikainen describes.

"My piece ’Lydia’ portrays an older woman who lives in me. On the outside, she illustrates the signs and furrows of all the years lived, but she won’t open her eyes as she already feels tired," Patrikainen says. The relief-like artworks emerge from "materials received, dumpster dived and found, or flea market purchases". They develop when a piece of cloth is dipped in paint and moved around. Sometimes the appearance of an artwork requires turning, throwing or tossing. The colour layers also come about in the same way. Playing with the intersection of two- and three-dimensional worlds links the painting with sculpture art and shakes the interface between a dream and the reality.

- Anna Yaarkilli