Thursday, April 24, 2003 to Saturday, May 31, 2003

    April 24 to May 31, 2003 (Ottawa) May 23 to June 19, 2003 (Finland) a Canada-Finland exchange exhibition about truth and communication Tomorrow’s News is an exchange exhibition between Finnish and Canadian artists and institutions. Our collaboration was premised upon our countries' shared research in and dependence upon media and telecommunications systems. How, we wondered, do artists in these countries react to phenomena such as information overload, the increasing rate at which news material is consumed and becomes entertainment, the media's effect on morals and values, and our loss of faith in the idea of the ‘truth’ of what is happening around us? An open invitation was issued to artists in both countries to submit works addressing these issues. The Finnish have all brought their own voices to the discussion. Their approaches vary, ranging from the manipulation of existing news material to interviews and visual material produced by the artists themselves. The appropriation of advertising formats, the contemplation of the role played in our lives by virtual reality and computer games, and the status and significance of fact and fiction are also highlighted. This exhibition casts an ironic eye on the commercial production of the work of art and the susceptibility of the recipient to news and TV entertainment. The artists share an emphasis on individuality, personal choice, freedom of expression, and the importance of dialogue. Indeed, the overall message could read: for a culture of slowness, against increasing consumerism and superficiality! Weather conditions on any particular day affect our state of mind, as do the news reports we read or hear. Is there a picture of a landscape that is not also a weather report? What, apart from the weather, causes the strong emotions that landscape painting is traditionally thought to express? Jari Silomäki’s photograph series My Weather Diary (ongoing since 2001) combines landscape photography and notes on global and personal news items. Silomäki’s idea is to take one photo every day and to add either a piece of world news or a personal event. These pictures stir strong emotions and personal memories on many levels, through the landscape, the text, or the whole formed by these parts. Minna Heikinaho has chosen everyday life as the forum in which to display her works. A local individual often gives the introduction to a particular place, society, and conditions of life. Heikinaho is interested in the value of the individual, in how he or she relates to society and its values. She is interested in difference, which can place barriers between us and something that is unfamiliar to us. I’m going outside from the inside, but I’m still outside (2002) consists of a photograph, graffiti and a video that prompt questions about immigrants, social security, and other social issues. The Iconoclast group was formed in 1998 to create user interfaces for everyday life. Its starting point is always social and focused on the individual. Iconoclast aims to help people find the best of all possible worlds by freeing the imagination from its straitjacket of boring routine. Instructions, tools and structure charts are of primary interest: these are all means of making things work and understanding how things function.Truth/In/Formation (Social Toolbox 4), is a book published in a large edition. It is divided into the parts "proposition", "example" and "exercise", and gives readers an opportunity to consider and practice the production of reality and fiction. Jiri Geller is the leading figure in the group ROR (Revolutions on Request), which breaks down barriers between art and handicraft. Continue (2002) is the first prototype of a series of sculptures, and uses an object that any family might own - a joystick. As an object, the joystick refers to the presence of a computer in every home, the popularity of computer games and the way in which virtual reality is becoming everyday reality. Cast in bronze and set aflame, this small object is elevated -- ironically, perhaps critically -- to the highest possible status, raising questions about what information technology and computer games mean for today’s society. Juha Mäki-Jussila works in several different media, from watercolours to video art as well as object and spatial installations. Mäki-Jussila’s works nearly always have their point of departure in ordinary materials, situations and phenomena associated with family life. The video In order of appearance (2001) is a moving, ironic encounter between the sensitive viewer and the entertainment industry. This rhythmic combination of sound and image is typical of Mäki-Jussila’s video art. According to the artist, this work is also an educational piece – it shows how entertainment becomes flesh. This transformation is not unusual; it happens every primetime. The title of Lena Séraphin’s photographic series, I can’t remember why I am here (waiting for the next move), (2001) suggests that common amnesiac moment when we are forced to return to where we were just a moment ago, in order to remember what we were doing and why we wanted to go from that place to the next. The photos have an intriguingly vague, doubtful, wallpaper-like quality, and may not even be noticed by viewers. However, their presence will be felt by all in the same way as some passers-by linger in our minds – not because they did or looked anything out of the ordinary, but simply because they blended in with their surroundings partcularly well and, therefore, when noticed, suggest stories. Media artist Juha Huuskonen manipulates television news footage and gives viewers the chance to interact with it in real time in The Moment of Long Now (2002). The words of the newsreader are slowed down to the extreme, becoming meaningless movement, a slow and meditative cascade of images. This work was inspired by The Long Now Foundation, which seeks to promote “slower and better” thinking and creativity with its basic idea of a 10,000-year time perspective. The sounds, which form an integral part of the artwork, are created by the musician and architect Tuomas Toivonen, and are made by repeatedly compressing and expanding the source material until only the essential elements are left. Paula Toppila Bios: Canadian artists exhibited at MUU Galleria and the Photographic Gallery Hippolyte (Helsinki): Milutin Gubash (Vancouver) Luis Jacob (Toronto) Jason St-Laurent (Ottawa) Tagny Duff (Montréal) Isabelle Hayeur (Montréal) Tim Dallet (Halifax)