Uudenmaankatu
Maija Holma,
Reverse Alchemy
27.7. - 14.8.2016

Maija Holma
Käänteinen alkemia / Reverse Alchemy
27.7.-14.8.2016
Galleria Huuto Uudenmaankatu

Aine ylitti olemattomuuden kynnyksen,
niin se loi itsensä,
se on Jumala.
Ehdoton. Täysi.
Sen tahto ja voima on samaa,
sen olemassaolo niin täydellistä,
ettei se voi tehdä mitään.
Ei muuttaa maailmaa,
itseään.

Tiina Kaila: Valon nälkä (WSOY, 1986)

My work has always been led by the nature of the material available. I have recently switched from peculiar pieces of plywood and concrete that I have found, which are beautiful in their own right, to using materials that are even more readily available, materials that one mainly feels like they are drowning in. In recent times I have worked with A4 pollution and polypropylene, plastic used for example as minced meat packaging.

My motifs come from bushes, from the interfaces between nature and culture, from built environments that are under construction or already falling into disrepair. A critical moment, the composition or the subject is not important in my pictures. They are absent-minded glances to the side of the road, material for the final image which will be created through the collaboration of the substance and photograph.

I observe the earthly journey of material objects with almost religious devotion. I make my decisions, above all, on esthetic grounds but esthetics is also intertwined with the history of the material object and the present of its journey. I hope that beauty would appear in my art in the form of depth which is not only about sensual pleasure or comfort, although partly it is. The materials and subject matters also offer views of grief and being in touch with the laws of the industrial world.

I am puzzled by the valuing of different substances, the value that is given to them in the human world. The substances that have been processed the most by people become worthless in the human world. Wood and clay are valuable natural materials, while plastic is despicable junk. If kitsch is the absolute denial of shit, as Milan Kundera claims in The Unbearable Lightness of Being, then the most high-end design is kitsch. It is continuous valuing: What is a valuable substance? What is a valuable shape and what is not? Minced meat packaging is shit because it symbolized everything that we should get rid of – industrial meat production, lack of interest in the production process of daily food and mountains of waste. However, it is also esthetic valuing to state that minced meat packaging is shit.

In reverse alchemy, substances make a long journey from an organic substance in prehistoric forests into fossils and further into oil and plastic through human processing. They become a threat to the entire living nature and from the human perspective they become the scum of the material world. My exhibition is a desperate attempt to reverse this process, an attempt to restore the value of the substance in question by bringing it into the sphere of art.

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