Sep 13–Oct 27, 2013

Hannu Karjalainen: The House Protects the Dreamer

Alvar Aallon katu 7, 40600 Jyväskylä Map
Tue–Sun 11 am–6 pm

The Alvar Aalto Museum’s autumn season continues with contemporary art. Visual artist Hannu Karjalainen’s exhibition The House Protects the Dreamer will open to the public for the first time on Friday, September 13. In it Karjalainen explores the social phenomena concealed beneath architecture, and the way that different motifs shape our built environment. One underlying theme is modern architecture’s dreams of a new and better world. The main role in the exhibition is played by an experimental film of the same name.

The film follows the work of a fictitious modern architect in and around a residential house designed by Aulis Blomstedt. Key elements of the film are the various theories of proportions and dimensions that Vitruvius, Le Corbusier, Blomstedt and other architects have derived from an idealized human body.

“Architects are shown here as kinds of alchemists for whom, for instance, dance and music are equally valid methods for investigating space as drawing a line on paper. In the film the role of the architect is played by the actor Heli Haltia and the dancer by the Berlin performance artist Dwayne Strike,” Karjalainen says.

Architecture has also provided a framework for Karjalainen’s previous work. In an exhibition at Galleria Sinne in Helsinki in 2012 he took a poetic approach to the Norwegian architect Sverre Fehn’s much-criticized Skådalen School for deaf children. Karjalainen does not usually portray buildings in his works, but investigates the designer’s intentions and the meanings that the buildings acquire.

Karjalainen won the main prize at the Turku Biennial in 2007 and was chosen as Finnish Young Artist of the Year in 2009. His works have been shown in numerous group exhibitions in Finland and abroad. In recent years, Karjalainen has had solo exhibitions in Helsinki, Oslo and Zurich.