Now you can enjoy art wherever you are! Amos Rex presents video artworks from the Generation 2020 exhibition online.
Generation 2020 artworks are presented online in two selections: Absurd times and Seeking connection.
“You know in a dream when you’re there, but you’re looking at the situation from far away?” – this question is posed in a work by Mimmi Ahonen, which is part of Seeking connection, a group of works within the Generation 2020 exhibition. In these works, there is a striving from detachment toward building new bridges through dreams, tears, nature and even videogames. It’s not always easy to reach connection, but feeling lost can open new perspectives and routes.
The artists included are: Mimmi Ahonen, Heikki Korkala, Nadja Koshevenko, Annika Luukko, Kai Nordfors, Kaisa Syrjänen and Maija Viipuri, as well as Aki Särkiniemi.
See the entire artworks below!
Ismo, a Gal and the Octave Police
Mimmi Ahonen’s Ismo, a Gal and the Octave Police, originally designed as an installation, features three stand-alone videos. In a way, they are dream speeches in which the speakers long for connections between friends, between generations and among all the people of Finland. Instead of dialogues, though, the people in the videos fall into talking about themselves, to themselves.
Content remarks: offensive language
Mimmi Ahonen (b.1999), Ismo, a Gal and the Octave Police, 2019
Laitela, Ismo Laitela
My name is Laitela, Ismo Laitela. The guy all of Finland knows, the MAN who wears the skin of actor Esko Kovero! I am the longest-living character of Finland’s longest-living daily TV show. You can hear my wheezy male voice every afternoon in SiinäTuubaPaska parodies played in the halls of middle schools and every night at 7:30 PM. And when you close your eyes, there is Ismo.
I exist in Finnish consciousness, even if I’m not real. (laughing) Just kidding! I am real. I am the dad who beats his gay son. I am the Facebook comments beneath the red-green columns of Helsingin Sanomat. Finland is not red and green, it’s blue and white. And if someone brings up the word colorblind, poke them in the eye with a stick. I am Finland. I am the trauma of war we carry when we say nothing and in our suicide statistics, even today. Believe me. I am probably everyone who watches The Grump [Mielensäpahoittaja], but not a single DREAMGIRLS member. DREAMGIRLS who?
Laitela, Ismo Laitela. I am ISMO! But not the Ismo who entered Finnish consciousness on January 26, 1999. I’ve changed. I no longer beat anyone. No, Ismo no longer hits. I can be transphobic, because my son corrects me, says I shouldn’t. I can call a transwoman a former man because I’ll take her to the altar. All my TV sins are atoned because I am a fool, I am stupid, I am Ismo. Ismo… Ismo can do anything.
I only exist, because my world would fall apart without me. Without Salatut Elämät, there is no Ismo, and Ismo exists not without Salatut Elämät.
Once I had a dream, a nightmare. I woke up to the lights shining brightly on set. Not as brightly as they used to, though. From the prop window, I gazed outside and saw that Pihlajankatu street was on fire. Pihlajakatu turned into Huvilakatu, as it does for everyone who grows up watching Salatut Elämät and moves to Helsinki and forgets about it. Forgets about me! In the nightmare, my world of 20 years melts away and there is only Elias Gould with his guitar, strumming about this place. What does Elias Gould know about anything?
I Had A Sex Dream About My Best Friend
I had a sex dream about my best friend. I had a sex dream about my best friend. Doesn’t hurt to say it. It was one of them summer night’s dreams, the milieu right out of our million memories. We were out for a beer and then got a burger, which was normal, yeah, but then I watched you dipping soy sticks into the only vegan dip and the dream sorta jumped. And you know when you’re there in a dream but also watching it from far away, kinda like a fly? We were drunk at mine, only it wasn’t my place. Your teeth were on my neck and your tongue in my throat and I drowned myself in your arms… I had a sex dream about my best friend. Or I wasn’t really your best friend in the dream, since it wasn’t my place neither, I was someone else. I had a dream about you with someone. The person had that same Ikea rug with black-and-white stripes in their apartment, the one like everyone has, only they had it first somehow. It was better that way, actually in every way and just for you. You were so happy, and I thought in the dream, not thought but felt, just knew, that you’d be the one. Now that we’re here, I feel like I’m with a famous person, I don’t really know how to be and I have to breathe more deeply and talk smarter and now that I’m saying this out loud, I think I’ve changed. So I thought that if we had one of them Black Mirror technologies, you could look at my sleep catalogue and tell me if I’m the one who was with you in my dream. Because if it was me… because if it wasn’t me then get the fuck out of my dream. Nights are long anyway when you see a dream where you fuck your best friend. Yeah. I guess it does hurt to say it.
The Octave Police
What were you dreaming of?
I don’t remember what I saw, but I did wake up awfully tired. Like really fucking tired. Slept seven hours, which is like solid enough, or not like one of those happier people’s standard eight hours but yea seven hours I can live with. Some live with freakin’ four hours. And in junior high, I’d never even sleep but like whoa, how tired am I now.
Then the previous night I slept nine hours and didn’t wake up once, but when that iPhone went off at seven, my eyelids and limbs and all those thoughts weighed like a ton. They weighed, they weighed so… I skipped all classes that day, got a six-hour nap. Six hours. I woke up in the dark, all tired. Then that reminded me of that Christmas holiday in maybe eighth grade when I’d been online all night and got to bed earlier than usual. Like two. Then I woke up at four and was like damn fuck, chick, slept until the afternoon again. So I pulled my pants up and thought I’d go to grandma’s next door and eat Italian salad, which we always made in buckets at Christmas. That must’ve been my only nice Christmas memory. Grandma was pretty cool with making the Italian salad without ham, it was my first or second Christmas without meat. Or maybe we made one special for me, I dunno. But anyway, that was there and I ate buckets of it.
But then when I noticed that nobody else at home was up, I looked at the clock again and realized it was four in the morning. I had my first iPhone, where I’d set the AM/PM time, cos that’s how cool I was. It was four A-M. I’d slept a couple of hours. Sure, I must’ve been tired then too, but also, I was embarrassed by sleeping so long. That weighed on me so much more. I’m always embarrassed if I sleep until twelve. Fucking ew. I miss grandma. In my dreams I always meet her and get this peaceful feeling, it’s weird. Actually it’s like really weird and sad, in my dream, grandma and I we’re talking, or I’m telling her some stuff about school or theater, like I’m workin’ on a piece for some fuckin’ phenomenal art museum and she was proud I think, dunno. Maybe asked what phenomenal. I asked if I can use her windowsill as inspiration. Sweetener, nerve drops, obituaries – all that.
Mom wrote on her own Facebook post that she still thinks that she seldom thinks that what if, but if grandma would’ve seen me pull that high school graduation speech, she would’ve probably been so excited. This made me wanna cry. So in my dreams I always see grandma and when we hang, you always know that grandma’s dead. But it doesn’t really matter then, I just think how cool it is that I still see her. There’s always that kinda bittersweet feeling, like if only I could take that into this reality, another world, the real world. But it’s secondary in the dream. After those dreams, I wake up pretty sad but also like comforted. I dunno if I’m that tired then. Now that I think about it, reminds me that I still need to see my little sister with a graduation cap on, if she wants one. Or just see her as one of those twenty-year-old crises. Like so that she’d have to know who she was and it wouldn’t matter if she didn’t, but it would just be like great to see it. And hug her. So that she’d be all embarrassed and I’d hurt her ribs. And I have to see how the trees of Hämeenkatu grow back. That I so want to see. And the tram of Tampere. I dunno if I wanna see the ending of Salatut Elämät the TV show, it kinda scares the crap out me. Like so much, it’s ridiculous. Both because there’s no good ending for the show and also, something else would have to take its place as Finland’s crappiest TV show. What if it’s me who’s gonna do that? A lot of those people from the show went to my school. Shit.
On the sixth day, God fell asleep on the couch and didn’t make it to Sunday’s gender meeting, so he sanctified Sunday as the Sabbath. The rest of us on that to-do list were forgotten. At least God got some sleep.
And what’s this have to do with me?
It doesn’t. I’m sick of speaking with the rules of this world.
I’m so sick and tired!
I’m so sick and tired of this arm of mine, both of them actually, all my tendons and joints. I’m sick of the entire world. The world is nothing but a chest full of laws. The world is guarded by those whatever octave police, who question everything that is most me in me. I’m so sick and tired, bored, exhausted, fatique-ridden, tired as Lou Reed in that one song, tired as all my dead cats. All my dead ideas, my voice, my face and all my mes. Those whatever octave police pointed out everything in me to shreds except my lungs. Those whatever octave police questioned my vocal cords and porcelain cheeks and cut off my locks. A cruel joke to have me breathing in an inferior body and pumping blood into limbs that aren’t mine. I’m not the tough guy. I’m not anything anymore, except wrong. I only have one dream.
I dream of dancing with a sniper. I dream of tangoing with a sniper. From the edge of the ballroom, the sniper picks up the wallflower that’s me and spins me around like all those carousels my mother couldn’t afford to take me to.
And then the sniper dips me one last time and shoots a hole in my neck, right here in my Adam’s apple.
You don’t even need precision. That lump is just sitting there, waiting to be blown off. Have my bellybutton too, a reminder that I was even born to this world and this skin.
It’s no good, talking about dreams.
It’s no good, talking about dreams.
The Elevator Effect
In The Elevator Effect, take a virtual step sideways and get lost in an alternative-reality lift that swirls with colours, shapes and rhythms. This 360-degree video experience is best conveyed by headphones and VR goggles. If you don’t have access to these, you can experience the work with a regular computer or mobile device.
Heikki Korkala (b.1995): The Elevator Effect, 2019
Nadja Koshevenko’s short animation argues for the significance of even the smallest weed. In this urban tale, a young woman comes across two dark figures who are eradicating weeds growing between paving stones. The main character watches, paralysed and helpless with shock. Later in the evening, she treats the plants in her own home with a gentler hand.
Nadja Koshevenko (s. 1995): Angel Wing (Begonia corallina ‘Luzerna’), 2019
“What makes you cry?” artist Annika Luukko asks her Instagram followers. In her work Crying Spells, we see the answers to this question, as well as weeping individuals. They aren’t afraid to show their tears, instead looking directly at the camera. Some people feel ashamed to cry in public, although for many of us it is an essential way to vent our feelings. The artist wants to give you permission to cry, if you feel like it.
Annika Luukko (s. 1998), Crying Spells, 2019
Saying goodbye and
and the fear
Just Five More Minutes
Kai Nordfors’s work tells of a nocturnal dream. “Just five more minutes”, the main character thinks early one morning before returning the sleep world for a moment. There they meets an ancient, magical creature, a young peryton, a winged stag, which they sadly must leave behind as he continues on his journey. Beyond its endearing colour scheme, the work deals with feelings of loss and loneliness.
Kai Nordfors (b. 1998): Just Five More Minutes, 2019
Blazemountain, a game artwork dealing with alienation and detachment, is inspired by online discussion sites and the sometimes rowdy nocturnal life of Helsinki’s Sörnäinen district. Ultimately though, the main role is played by love and the varied ways of expressing it. You can download the game demo and experience the game artwork by playing it on a PC computer.
Content remarks: offensive language
Aki Särkiniemi (b.1998): Blazemountain, 2019
Lovely? is an artwork including photos, videos and a soundtrack that all convey a striving toward communication. Drawing one’s outlines under the gaze of society becomes a laconic act of listing and counting, one that may make the listener laugh and cry at the same time.
Content warning: food/eating disorder
Kaisa Syrjänen ja Maija Viipuri (s.1997/1997): Lovely?, 2019
I skipped breakfast ‘cause I had to eat at least something at school. Or friends would’ve noticed something weird.
I didn’t eat anything before six yesterday.
I drank five cups of coffee and three bottles of water, so I wouldn’t feel the hunger.
I ate a bag of raw carrots because they have so few calories.
I ate some soy yoghurt yesterday and an entire watermelon.
I bought chocolate bars from four different stores, so the salesperson wouldn’t realise I’d eat them all.
In the queue at the shop, I’m always thinking about how others stare at me and my groceries.
I walked 17 kilometres frantically, having eaten a pizza with my friends the day before.
I lied to my mother about having eaten lunch and a snack during the day. In reality, that evening yoghurt was all I ate that day.
After walking 15 km, I decided that my evening snack would be two raw carrots. I ended up eating a cinnamon bun, a bag of carrots, soda, three pieces of bread and half a bar of chocolate.
I can’t have food at home, as I’m afraid I’ll wake up at night and eat it all.
I had Pirkka peanut butter straight from the jar after a fast that lasted all day. I couldn’t stop.
I think about food all the time.
I had to lie that I’d already eaten.
I’m starting to get a panicked smile when someone asks why I won’t join them in eating.
I counted the combined calories of the box of quark, banana, porridge and coffee, and went for a compulsive walk.
I walked for 10 km and decided I wouldn’t eat anything in the evening.
Despite my decision not to eat, I ate three pieces of bread in a row and a pack of ice cream.
I can’t stop eating.
I took a laxative every other day for two weeks.
I know two warm meals a day is not too much.
I’m vital when I feel the ketose.
A banana has slightly less than 100 calories.
Wheat makes me swollen.
Hunger makes me itch.
My period is scant and my breath smells of ketose.
I saved the perfect Instagram photo, so it would motivate me to not eat tomorrow.
No one suspects I have an eating disorder.
I’m always putting up a front.
I’m constantly lying about something.
I monitor what others are eating.
I get worried if someone has eaten less than me.
There are days when I eat right and a lot.
What does eating right and a lot even mean?
I bloat easily.
Quitting would be to fail.
Eating is to fail.
Not eating is to fail.
To fail is the worst possible situation.
I fail on a daily basis.
I may start to smoke cigarettes, so the hunger would stay away.
I decide to eat one nectarine. I end up eating all three.
Food doesn’t survive at home, I eat everything in the cupboards.
I can’t control myself.
When I was little, I was told to enjoy eating, as an adult it all just piles on.
Now I’m an adult.