Rauma Biennale Balticum 2016 Vulnerability

"Vulnerability Matters" Laboratory Exhibition

The laboratory is curated by Gerardo Montes de Oca.

Imbalance, cross media installation, 2016

Erik Pauhrizi (ID/DE)
Roberta Lima (BR/AT/FI)
Mare Tralla (EE/UK)
Miriam Haile (ER/DK)

This collaborative installation is a reflective and emotional response for this laboratory. Several days of an intimate process oriented gathering, intense discussions and exchanges around notions of vulnerability, decoloniality, sexism, racism and modernity, among others. It is a performative and physical outcome that overlaps the different participant's experience with the common word "Imbalance". As a result of the laboratory the group made a cross media installation that consists of sound, image projection, video, photographies and objects. This text can not recall all what was experienced, exchanged and discussed in the laboratory, these are only some comments on a partial viewpoint. The artists in the laboratory brought very interesting and meaningful perspectives, adding important and necessary critical elements to Rauma Biennale Balticum 2016 through the Laboratory.

At the entry of one of the cellars of Rauma Art Museum, the artists decided to created a layered collaboration of different works. There is a sound installation in the first area of the cellar which has a form of a small tunnel. It is an audio recording of a live performance made by the artists on the 22nd of August 2016, in one of the Museum's cellars where their installation is also exhibited. The idea of this performance was to bring the laboratory's discussions and experiences into the cellar. The performance consisted of each artist performing what she or he considered relevant to bring into the cellar while recording it at the same time with a sound recorder at hand. Along the tunnel there are four pairs of speakers that play simultaneously each artists's contribution. We can hear different sounds of dialogues confronting white male dominance, sounds of negotiation and collaboration, melodies of Estonian songs that remind us about the intersections between nationalism and anti-Imperialism.

This element of the installation addresses different possibilities to react, respond or break through not only to the logics of patriarchy, modernity and coloniality, but also to a created situation with unset outcomes.

In the next small room of the cellar one of the participants, Erik Pauhrizi, offered to the rest of the group one of his previous works (An Indonesian Woman in Colonial Era, 2014) as a platform for exchange and dialogue to discuss sexism, colonialism and nationalism both in Western and non-Western countries. The artwork as platform consists of some t-shirts hanging on the small room. They are made of some transparent fabric with the image of a Balinese woman on it. They are hung on hangers that Erik burnt in the forests of Rauma, in order to point to the violence involved in the act of profiling people. Because of the fact that the transparency of the fabric does not fully cover the body of the person wearing them, the t-shirts would be banned by religious groups in Indonesia. Erik asked Mare Tralla, Miriam Haile and Roberta Lima not to be models and pose for him but to do a collective act to open up a discussion. The three female artists wore the t-shirts without underwear in the cellar and he took photographs of them. Such photographs are both a document of a performance and artworks to talk about, and are placed on a pedestal next to the t-shirts.

The work addresses a critique to religious groups in Indonesia that put religious values above the civil rights stated in the Indonesian constitution. At the same time it addresses issues of racism, sexism, colonialism and Islamophobia that are worryingly increasing in Western countries. The artists sharply and literally put these topics on the skin. While addressing the body politics and the notion of identity, the performative act makes physical and visible psycho-social of processes of perception, projection in racialization. The agreed and expected dialogue among the artists remained open, fact that pointed to the importance of a sustained dialogue –and difficulties – in order to allow room for untold histories.


Erik Pauhrizi, An Indonesian Woman in Colonial Era, 2014

Erik Pauhrizi, An Indonesian Woman in Colonial Era, 2014

Photo: Titus Verhe


This passage leads us to the last room of the cellar. The word "Imbalance" in black letters with a white background is projected onto a white board serving as a screen. The edges of both the projection and the board do not match, the border overlap. Such subtle but powerful move makes visible the artificiality of modern frames, and the inherent operations of displacement and imbalance embedded in coloniality visible. Echoing and dialoguing with Grada Kilomba's "While I write", exhibited at Rauma Biennale Balticum 2016, and Ehler's performance Whip it good! –where she lashes a white canvas with a whip with charred coal – discussed in the public talks among other artists and works, the collaborative artwork reverses processes of othering and radicalization through a digital medium, while pointing to the physical and conceptual edges of both the surface and the projection.

Imbalance, a lack of relation, describes powerfully the grounds, or better put, under the grounds, of coloniality, modernity and many untold histories. It points to one of the main fractures of modernity in history and today's society. Rolando Vázquez's pointed to the question of "what is unacceptable?" and the urgency of the humbling of both modernity and Eurocentrism.

The strong statement of the Laboratory's artists condensed in the word Imbalance, projects the lack of relation onto the white surface. Hence, imbalance can also be embraced as the space for re-activating and making visible those untold histories and ongoing injustices.

Text by Gerardo Montes de Oca.

Jane Jin Kaisen (DK): Excerpts from Reiterations of Dissent, video installation, 2011/2016

Reiterations of Dissent illuminates the suppressed history and fragmented memories of the Jeju April Third Uprising and Massacre of 1948, which unfolded shortly before the outbreak of the Korean War on the filmmaker´s birthplace, Jeju Island.

In a brutal crackdown of a local resistance, South Korean police and rightist paramilitary groups, under the auspices of the United States Military Government in Korea, waged a “red hunt” that would unleash genocidal violence upon large parts of the civilian island population. The ideologically charged event was systematically silenced for five decades, and its memory remains contested to the present day.

Composed of eight different video narratives, the Reiterations of Dissent uncovers various underlying political motivations and portrays how the un-reconciled trauma of Jeju 4.3 continues to resonate through multiple forms: the island's present landscape, evocative literary representations, recurring memories of survivors and relatives, shamanic rituals that mediate between the living and the dead, and in protests against the construction of the Jeju Naval Base.

As part of the Rauma Biennale Balticum Laboratory, Jane is presenting an excerpted version of the work: the video Ghosts which is composed of poetic memories of the Jeju April Third Uprising and Massacre, and Lamentation of the Dead, a shamanic ritual invoking the spirits of those who were killed.


Jane Jin Kaisen, Excerpts from Reiterations of Dissent, 2011/2016

Jane Jin Kaisen, Excerpts from Reiterations of Dissent, 2011/2016

Photo: Titus Verhe


Artists participating in the Laboratory


Artists participating in the Vulnerability Matters Laboratory

Jane Jin Kaisen (left), Gerardo Montes de Oca, Erik Pauhrizi, Mare Tralla, Miriam Haile, Roberta Lima.

Photo: Titus Verhe


Miriam Haile, Eritrea. Grew up in Oslo, Norway, based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Artist and activist. Her work and artistic practice mainly focuses on questions around colonial history, migration, urban isolation, and border politics. Her work revisits different methods of examining video archives and also how online archives is a form of our new “futuristic” documents. She often seeks to instigate an interdisciplinary dialogue, with a political landscape, investigating how one might understand moving imagery and it´s archive. Often presented within multimedia installation.

With a political landscape, cartographies, and affective potential her projects hopes to play a critical actor in the art field of examining and perhaps confronting the viewer/reader on their objectivity and also investigate how one might understand how moving imagery produce meaning. Possibly also a historical recovery by using video archives as a medium.

Co runner, editor and curator of Mondo books //An artist run mobile art-bookshop.

MA from the Royal Danish art academy//fine art/media department (2015).

Jane Jin Kaisen, born in South Korea and adopted to Denmark in 1980.

In her research-based art projects that take the form of film, video installation, performance, writing, and discursive events, she approaches silenced histories, entangled personal and collective memories and embodied experiences of difference.

Jane received her arts education from the University of California Los Angeles, the Whitney Independent Study Program, and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts where she is currently a PhD candidate in artistic research focusing on the aesthetics and politics of translation.

Roberta Lima, Brazil born Austrian artist.

After graduating with a degree in architecture in 2001, Roberta Lima moved to Vienna where she now lives and works. In 2007 she earned a Master’s degree in Fine Arts and in 2013 her PhD in Philosophy at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.

Roberta focuses on her own body as theme for her work and uses various media, such as photographs, video and installations. Additionally she investigates space and appropriates aspects of different places and contexts – from subculture to science, from popular media to historical reference and feminist theory – for producing art and starting discussions on the role of artist and viewer.

Solo Exhibitions (selected): 2016 “Queer way” (donaufestival, Krems)/“Future Past Light Cones” (Siargao Island – The Philippines) 2015 “Parallel Vienna” / “Kaleidoscope” (Kunstlerhaus, Vienna) “Latin America Solo Projects” (ARCOmadrid – Madrid, Spain) 2013“InsideOut” (ABC – Art Berlin Contemporary, Berlin) 2012 “Aesthetics of Risk” (Galerie Charim, Vienna) / “ReBirth” (Defibrillator, Chicago) / “Displacement” (White Box, New York)

Group Exhibitions (selected): 2015 “WITH EYES AGHAST: TRANSMANNERIST REACTIONS (xhibit, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria) / “Face Forward” (Kunst Arzt, Kyoto, Japan) / “VIENNAinTRANSYLVANIA” (Atelier Patru, Cluj-Napoca, Romania) / “Self-timer Stories” (MUSAC, León, Spain) /“Urban Diary” (Charim Gallery, Vienna) / “Mujeres Alcanzando la Luz” (Casa Museo del Banco Nacional de Panama, Panama) 2014 “Selbstauslöser” / “Self-timer Stories” (ACFNY, New York) (Museum der Moderne, Salzburg) 2013 “S/HE IS THE ONE” (Kunstraum NOE, Vienna) / “Hetero q.b. ” (Museu do Chiado, Lisbon) / “Steel and Freedom” (Otto Zoo Gallery, Milan) 2012 “IN ACTION – Performance, Aktionismus und Konzepte” (Salon Dahlmann, Berlin) / “Nacht” (Ostlicht, Vienna) / “Tracing Paper” (Galerie Charim, Vienna) 2011 “chuan men” (Amelie Gallery 798, Beijing) / “Wiener Glut” (KIT, Düsseldorf) 2010 “where do we go from here?” (Secession, Vienna) / 2008 “Synchronicity” in collaboration with Dorit Margreiter (11th International Cairo Biennale).

Erik Pauhrizi, Indonesia. Based in Germany.

Erik focuses on Post-Colonial issue through conceptual approach; he often utilises text, drawing, painting, photography, video/ lm, object/installation to analyse how human figures are represented in political culture. He also investigates the relationship between east, west and middle east, immigrants, refugees, citizens and nationalities and explores individual and collective memory, sleep, life, death and identity.

Finished his Meisterschüler studies under Professor Michael Brynntrup in 2016 (won the jury’s Meisterschüler Prize 2016). He studied Diplom from 2009-2012 video art/ experimental film and Photography under Professor Michael Brynntrup and Professor Dörte Eißfeldt at Braunschweig University of Art / Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig (HBK). In 2005 he received B.A. from Faculty of Art and Design at Bandung Insitute of Technology, Indonesia (Cum Laude).

Erik has exhibited his works in Indonesia, Australia, Austria, Egypt, New Zealand, China, Germany, France, Philippine, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, India, Spain, England, and Lebanon, including his solo exhibitions “The Poison of Our Sins” in New York, 2011. In 2014, he received an award from freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL/ MuseumsQuartier in Vienna, Austria for an artist residency program and a Post Colonial Flagship Store exhibition. in 2013. He was also selected for The First South East Asia Triennale, National Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia. In 2012, he was selected for a group show at Singapore Art Museum Exhibition, “Panorama: Recent Art from Contemporary Asia”. And in 2010, Erik won an award and received grants from Asian Cultural Council for his research on artist-run contemporary art space program, in co-operation with the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York-USA and his artist in residency program, in co-operation with Westbeth Artists Community, New York-USA.

Mare Tralla, Estonia, based in the United Kingdom.

Mare Tralla is an interdisciplinary artist, organizer, curator and activist. Her professional art career started in Estonia in the early 90s, where she became one of the leading interdisciplinary artists of the younger generation. Drawing from her personal history and everyday experience her practice was in direct critical response to how the transition period of East-European societies affected women. She was one of the very few conducting a feminist revolution in the field of contemporary art in Estonia. She employs and combines variety of media, from video, photography, performance and painting to interactive media. As an activist she is involved with Act Up, London, No Pride in War coalition and LGSMigrants. Her recent socially engaged performative projects deal with queer experiences, gender issues, HIV, investigate sustainability and economics.

Her recent text contributions can be found at “Watched! Surveillance, Art and Photography “, Buchhandlung Walther König, 2016; “re.act.feminism a performing archive”, eds. Bettina Knaup and Beatrice Ellen Stammer, Verlag für Moderne Kunst, Nürnberg, Live Art Development Agency, London 2014; ‘quite queer’ ed. Claudia Reiche, thealit Frauen.Kultur.Labor, Bremen 2014.

Artist in Recidncy programmes include: Wexner Center, Columbus Ohio, USA (2000), HIAP, Helsinki (2010-2011).

Recent exhibitions include: ‘Amor”, Oi Futuro, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (2016), “Love At the Edge”, Gallery Arsenal Power-station, Białystok, Poland (2015); “1995”, EKKM (Museum of Contemporary Art Estonia) Tallinn (2015); “Aferlife of Gardens”, Art Museum of Estonia KUMU, Tallinn (2013), “Girls Next Door” Visby Art Museum, Sweden (2013), “Hetro.q.b”, Museu do Chiado, Lisbon (2013), “re.act feminism 2”, Academy of Arts, Berlin (2013), Tallinn Art Hall & Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona,(2012), “Untold Stories “ Tallinn Art Hall (2011), “Gender Check” Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw (2010) & MUMOK Vienna (2009), “Angled towards the other” Pamenkalnio Galerja, Vilnius & City Gallery, Tallinn (2011), “Crazy Love” Tartu Art House, Tartu (2011), “Retrospective video exhibition”, Threshold, Perth, UK (2011).

Graduated Estonian Academy of Arts Department of Painting (BA 1995) and received an MA in hypermedia from the University of Westminster, London in 1997

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