RBB 2012 Human Nature

RBB 2010 What's up sea?

RBB 2008 Flower Power

RBB 2006 Wake up!

RBB 2004 Talking to me?

RBB 2002 Basic Elements

in Finnish

Rauman Art Museum 19.6. – 12.9. 2004

Talking to me? is an exhibition of contemporary art from the countries around the Baltic Sea in Rauma Art Museum in summer 2004.

The theme of Rauma Biennale Balticum 2004 is about communication and broken communication, lost information and misunderstood messages between worlds apart, real and abstract. Information, thought forms, myths and models are basic elements of human life, but in the vast ocean of information essentials get blurred. Having the right information in right place in right time make things work, but an occasional wave of random data may contain sparks for something emerging.

Talking to me is also about worlds coexisting or colliding. Although global scale is more and more the prevailing way of looking at the world, conflicts and contradictions are dividing worlds and realities. Encountering alien worlds, realities and cultures may provide a fertile ground for making life better and more beautiful. Unfortunately misunderstanding seems to be a built in procedure preventing any excess of happiness in human life. The mutual relations of different worlds - different zones of reality - is also manifesting itself between artwork and spectator.

Artwork can be seen as an imaginary world created by artist. When audience meets the artwork there are two worlds whose relationship is not always without problems. The spectator is standing on a treshold of indifference and inspiration, asking "Talking to me?"

Rauma Biennale Balticum has since 1985 been presenting contemporary art from the Baltic Sea area. Rauma town is situated on the west coast of Finland. Rauma Art Museum is located in the Old Rauma, an original Nordic wooden town, one of four UNESCO world heritage sites in Finland. The history of the biennale began when Biennale of the Gulf of Bothnia with artists from Finland and Sweden was for the first time arranged in Rauma Art Museum in 1977 . From the year 1985 the exhibition has included the whole Baltic Sea area. From 1998 the exhibition has been a part of the Ars Baltica network.

The patron of the exhibition is Ms. Tanja Karpela, Minister of Culture of Finland.

Graphic design:Tero Juuti


G-Lab (Laura Garbštiene & Arturas Bumšteinas) LIETTUA/Lithuania
Arunas Gudaitis LIETTUA/Lithuania
Mira Heija SUOMI/Finland
Yuri Khorovski & Alexander Savko VENÄJÄ/Russia
Kristina Inciuraite LIETTUA/Lithuania
Karolis Jankus LIETTUA/Lithuania
Klara Kristalova RUOTSI/Sweden
Elina Merenmies SUOMI/Finland
Krišs Salmanis LATVIA/ Latvija
Arsen Savadov UKRAINA/Ukraine
Björn Schülke SAKSA/Germany
Dominika Skutnik PUOLA/Poland
Marika Seidler TANSKA/Denmark
Jaan Toomik VIRO/Estonia
Ania Witkowska PUOLA/Poland
Documentaries: Sergey Losznitsa, Alina Rudnitskaya VENÄJÄ/Russia

More about the artists:
G LAB (Laura Garbštiene b. 1973 & Arturas Bumšteinas s. 1982) | LITHUANIA

The video “Invasion” by the G LAB group is a panoramically filmed work – a take, excerpt or document – of the making of a movie. A real scene from actual reality, where actors do not act at all but live in the present moment. Soldiers give away their weapons, forget their roles, the set and their lines. An everyday situation and human relationships achieve a larger-than-life scale. The music of the piece is composed by well-known Lithuanian composer Antanas Jasenka.

G LAB, Invasion
Arunas Gudaitis (b.1973) | LITHUANIA

The work of Arunas Gudaitis is also based on reality, a documentary way of filming the environment. Tree of Wisdom records a peaceful everyday situation in which two students are having a conversation in English in a park in Vienna. The Ukrainian girl is giving a private lesson to the Taiwanese girl, in the background there is an idyllic park scene related to the Habsburg monarch. It is like a wallpaper. The situation is very picturesque and related to scenes in art history – such as the paintings of Gainsborough. The work addresses the meeting of different cultures, the effect of tradition, nature and milieu on people's communication and conversation.

Arunas Gudaitis
Mira Heija (b.1979) | FINLAND

Mira Heija’s work Kommunikatze is a form of communication resembling chat, but with all communication via drawing or through images and symbols instead of words. The artwork will be on display at the web address http://www.heija.net/kommunikatze/ . The piece is Heija's degree work for the School of Fine Arts and Communication in Tampere. Community and communication are emphasized in Heija's work.

Mira Heija
Yuri Khorovski (b.1946) & Alexander Savko (s. 1957) | RUSSIA

Khorovski and Savko connect figures of pop culture with historic photographs. Happy Teletubbie figures are placed among the leading personages of Nazi Germany. Teletubbies are talking doll-like figures, each one having a special sign of its own. Khorovski & Savko puts the sunny and safe world of the Teletubbies next to the evil and cruel core that exists within man. How close they can be - on the same meadow, overlapping The pictures also show the lifeline of man from childhood to maturity. The viewer can almost hear the idiotic voice of a Teletubbie saying again and again "big hug". It is all that matters.

Yuri Khorovski & Alexander Savko
Kristina Inciuraite (b.1974) | LITHUANIA

The communal life of girls in a special children’s foster home is described in Spinsters, a video work by Inciuraite. She does not properly show any people. There is just one young girl shown - and a scarf hides her head. But we can hear the sounds of girls talking and the music they are listening. The simple image and sounds tell of fury and defiance, but also of loneliness and hopelessness.

Kristina Inciuraite: Spinsters, video, 2003, 5 min
Karolis Jankus (b.1974) | LITHUANIA

The short films of Karolis Jankus are stories combining brutal black humour with a yearning for happiness and love, the problems of the individual, violence and freedom.

Karolis Jankus, Girl and Bones / short film / 2003 / 04.42min / black and white /
Klara Kristalova (b.1967) | SWEDEN

Kristalova is a sculptor who makes surrealistic sculptures about the phenomena of everyday life. Man is depicted in half-view from the waist down, or separate hands are seen mixing dough. Steam rises from the pot, somebody has thrown a flower vase out of a window or on the floor. Kristalova forms her sculptures from different masses and gives movement to her artworks by hiding motor parts in them. While describing things that initially seem to be easy to approach and recognizable, the artist also includes something terrible and weird. The viewer has to think what on earth has happened or is about to happen.

Klara Kristalova
Elina Merenmies (b. 1967) | FINLAND

Elina Merenmies makes narrative paintings and drawings that include stories, emotions and grotesque horror. She does not tell any great tales. Instead, the images come from within. They are surrealistic portraits of good and evil, their eternal struggle and unity. In the facial images, the mouths are highlighted, with swollen lumps, big holes or closed tight with teeth forming jail bars.

Elina Merenmies
Krišs Salmanis (b. 1977) | LATVIJA

The work by Salmanis’ is based on a Latvian heroic tale about a mythical beast resembling a bear. The artist has done the work as a process – creating a figure for the hero and the movements, processing the pictures serially into a cityscape, and finally combining the pictures into animation. Salmanis has also developed an individual font resembling Arabic calligraphy.

Krišs Salmanis
Arsen Savadov (b. 1962) | UKRAINE

In his photographs, the Ukrainian artist Arsen Savadov has installed theatrical and absurd tableaux vivants depicting what remains of the dreams and heroism of the collapsed Soviet ideology. At first glance the glorious pomp resembles an overdosed museum of Communist iconography, but in focusing on details the solemn message is found to be mutated into a surrealistic carnival with faded allusions to original imagery.

Björn Schülke (b. 1967) | GERMANY

Looking at Schülke's works one can sense the illusion of encountering almost some kind of intellect lurking in mechanic and electronic devices. Warm-spirited irony flavours engineering joy in his high-tech constructions. There are also allusions to more sinister applications of technology in his insect-like surveillance machines such as"Observer #2" resembling a science fiction image of an alien life form.


Björn Schülke
Marika Seidler | DANMARK

"two emotions at the same time... is it possible?"
(from Marika Seidler's video IMAGINE)
Seidler's video installation IMAGINE renders visible the thoughts and fantasies of the young about landscapes, spatial relationships and - in LEBANON/SYRIA - the meeting of different cultures. Through a filmed staging we are thus offered insight into the thoughts of young people about what gives life meaning. Seen from the inside - from the subjective perspective of the young - we are confronted with images from a desert island, abstract landscapes, fantasies about Paradise, and stalactite caves. In the grey zone between dream and reality we become privy to private experiences and thoughts revolving around architectural utopias. The films create illusions of other, parallel, realities. IMAGINE is a panorama that tears down borders between here and there, between you and i. Time has become relative, (as in dreams) and powerfully fragmented. Perspectives and meanings are skewed. The way the work is experienced changes depending on where the viewer is standing.

Dominika Skutnik (b.1971) | POLAND

The artist has done installations about electric wires and a video, where wave crashes into the shore in hexametric rhythm. Originally studied as a painter, she shows a delicate sense of structure and material in her later work also.

Dominika Skutnik
Jaan Toomik (b. 1961) | ESTONIA

Jaan Toomik's video "Dancing with Dad" shows the artist performing a dance at the grave of his father. The hectic dance can be seen as a way of seeking contact with the world beyond the grave, a manner of communication dreamed of since ancient times. As much as an attempt to communicate with the dead is desperately brave it also manifests the cultural gap between generations believing, more or less, in Jimi Hendrix-style shamanistic ecstasy and those subscribing to a more restrained rationality.

Jaan Toomik: Dancing with Dad, 2003, 3.55 min. DVD
Ania Witkowska (b. 1978) | POLAND

Witkowska opens new perspectives on our everyday environments, modifying emergency signs used in public spaces. A green sign with a simple message to guide us to exit the building turns into a vigorous call to exist. Another exit sign with a running figure turns into a human treadmill questioning our programmed routines.

Ania Witkowska: 2 copy
Documentary films | RUSSIA

Sergey Losznitsa (b. 1964): Portrait, 2002, 28 min

The static images of the film show ordinary Russian people. The rhythm is slow, the composition of the pictures remains the same, and only people and scenery change. Each composition is based on the golden section. The film includes no speech, just the sounds of nature. Despite this, the people speak directly to viewer. Who are they and what do they want to tell?

Alina Rudnitskaya (b.1976): Communal Residence, 2002, 13 min

A document, done in a humorous way, about a man, who tries to convince people to move out of a communal residence into private apartments in St. Petersburg.

Sergey Losznitsa: Portrait, 2002, 28 min. documentary film

Information and contacts:
Rauma Art Museum
Kuninkaankatu 37
FIN-26100 Rauma, Finland
+358 (0)2 8224346
+358 (0)2 8222183 fax


In cooperation with:

Rauman kaupunki
City of Rauma

The Finnish Ministry of Education

Oy Rauma Stevedoring Ltd

Teollisuuden Voima Oy
Industrial Power Company Ltd

Rauma Biennale Balticum 2002

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