Tatu Tuominen,
METROPOLIS – Collage City
11.11. - 29.11.2015

Tatu Tuominen
METROPOLIS – Collage City
Galleria Huuto Uudenmaankatu

Visualization of architecture in a two-dimensional form is known to be challenging. There are photographers who specialize in architecture. Built environments have been used as themes in painting for just as long as natural landscapes. Today visualizations are created for commercial purposes primarily using computer programs.

Tatu Tuominen’s new collection of works entitled Studying Modern Architecture with a Knife is an ambitious documentation of the ideals of modern architecture. It abandons the straightforward realism which is typical of documentation, instead building an overall interpretation of the esthetics of design and scale. In spite of the two-dimensional nature, the works manage to convey a spatial experience, an interpretation of what the scale and rhythm of the space and the arrangement of masses might feel like when one is next to the building.

Tuominen builds his works using images from architectural books and magazines. He cuts the images carefully to create the desired architectural shapes and glues the pieces together to form a new entity. As the material used in the collage comes from books and magazines, it also includes occasional letters and layout-related details. This also links the works to the history of collage, to the modernists who composed their works of advertisements, wrapping paper and newspaper.

Tuominen’s collages are so carefully executed that one has to take another look to realize that they consist of pieces. The base used is a classic printmaking paper which also provides margin for the works.

Tuominen has dealt with the same theme in his video Standing in the Ruins. In the video the camera goes around the leftover pieces of paper generated in the process of Tuominen’s collage series. The music playing in the background makes the video feel nostalgic and futuristic at the same time. Tuominen has created the soundtrack by sampling, modifying and arranging tiny pieces of the music Gottfried Huppertz composed for the film Metropolis. The slow movement of the camera and the eerie buildings made of paper pieces make one think of video games and surrealistic future visions and the despair smoldering in them. This association is interesting because it was despair that fed modernism in architecture after the war. The new emergence meant a new mindset but also pomposity.

There is something surrealistic about the collages and the video. The layered built shapes lead the viewer to future cities where every surface is a basis for projection.

Tuominen does not describe the current state of architecture nor is the relationship between his works and the ideals of modernist architecture very descriptive. Instead his approach is explanatory. He tries to sort out why modernist architecture has ended up in its current form.

There is also some idealism behind his works. How could architecture be improved and developed on the basis of the old ideals?

Veikko Halmetoja

Tatu Tuominen (b. 1975) is a Helsinki-based visual artist whose art deals with architecture as well as the significance of print matter in the world following the digital revolution. Over the past ten years Tuominen has displayed his works at various solo and collective exhibitions in both Finland and abroad. In recent years his art has been on display, for example, at the Lahti Art Museum, TRI Kunsthalle in Tampere, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, the Mänttä Art Festival, Art + Shanghai Gallery in Shanghai as well as Gallery Aarni in Espoo.
Tuominen earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from the Finnish Academy of Fina Arts in 2006 and he now works there as the Lecturer of Printmaking.

The exhibition has been supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation and Arts Promotion Centre Finland.

Tatu Tuominen
p. 0442631028