Tuomas Laitinen: MAPS AND MAZES

Helsinki Contemporary, Southern Finland, Helsinki, 11/30/2012 - 01/06/2013

Mannerheimintie 3 B


Tuomas A. Laitinen’s solo exhibition takes us where ordinarily – both physically and mentally – we cannot, or dare not, look. Laitinen goes underground: to the extensive subterranean networks and spaces spread out beneath the city of Helsinki. The result is a version of reality that mirrors above-ground activities, while at the same time somehow always taking it somewhere else.

Laitinen’s discoveries in Helsinki’s underground world are both familiar and unknown. This world is not an ‘either/or’ phenomenon, but very much ‘both/and’ in nature – and in a unique way that carries us along with into something strange and different, even extraordinary. It is not a series of vulgar horror effects, not some childish, supposedly fright-inducing spectacle, nor is it a documentary charting underground passageways. It is something else entirely, something that very definitely delves deeper, something that is authentically more malignant, but also more interesting.

The main work in the MAPS AND MAZES exhibition is the video installation This Way. This totally re-constructs the gallery space, creating a situation in which viewers are enticed into a stage designed specifically for the work: into a space and a situation in which the underground world looks directly at us, confusing our sense of time and place. “I have used the term “’in-between state’ to describe the feeling you get when your senses of time and direction become blurred. This state also allows for an acute focus on your own body and its pulses.” – Tuomas A Laitinen

Alongside the videowork, at the core of the exhibition are the light-box works, which he uses non-traditionally as a vessel for experiments. The light boxes reflect and display variations on the image world present in the videowork, stopping it very precisely and tellingly on certain visual details. These details bring out and give life to the beauty and magnificence of the underground world, its surprisingness and its mystery.

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Tuomas Laitinen

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