Pilvi Takala • An Enthusiastic Yes
WITH THE PATRONAGE OF
Ambasciata di Finlandia a Roma
8th March 2019 – 7th April 2019
Opening: 7th March 2019 - 7 pm
An Enthusiastic Yes, Pilvi Takala's first solo show in Italy, focuses on her most recent projects developed over the past three years. The show is composed of two main video installations: Admirer (2018) and The Stroker (2018) that have been reconfigured especially for Careof, installed in both the exhibition space and the office space.
Both works take into account the topics of care, love, affection, and addiction, but also self-preservation and their various meanings and ways of being experienced, in private and intimate spheres as well as in a work capacity. Admirer is a nine-channel video installation based on email negotiations between Pilvi Takala and an anonymous "admirer". Admirer evidences a certain kind of gendered, online behaviour, one in which the risk of reprisal is minimal. The video work depicts how Takala and Anonymous negotiate the terms of an agreement, initiated by the artist in order to terminate all contact. The two-channel installation The Stroker is acted but based on real-life events after an experimental residency in a co-working space in London where Takala posed as a hired wellness consultant named Nina Nieminen, providing "touching" services to enhance the workers' mood. The responses of the ‘touchees’ varied widely, most were polite, but there were those whose body language registered a visible discomfort. Perhaps simply due to the cultural context of this invasion of personal space, or perhaps as a result of the inner conflict that arises when one does not feel able to truthfully or openly react. When unable to assert oneself, this kind of embodied negotiation may take the place of words. The nuances of movement demonstrate how people negotiate the dilemma of being mediated bodies under social pressure, and how such responses are controlled by the tacit conventions governing what is deemed to be ‘acceptable behaviour’. In the clear-walled, open-thinking space of The Stroker, we witness a physical negotiation of boundaries where there seemingly are none.