Exhibition in Korjaamo Gallery, Helsinki

Maarit Murka exhibition in Korjaamo Gallery, Helsinki

“Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”, 10.01.13 at 18.00- 20.00 opening event, 11.01.13- 10.02.13

Is the mirror a semiotic phenomenon? – Umberto Eco has wondered in his analyze related to the question- is the mirror image a sign? He claims, that in common sense, mirrors are just mirrors, but it might be somewhat meaningless to discover that the mirror image is a sign. Yet he wonders if mirrors help us understand or define signs in a better way or not. In a way mirror is reflecting the reality, but is the reflection reality? Does it become unreal since it’s not the real thing any more?

More and more we are surrounded with artificial elements in our world. Some are mirroring- reflection of the truth. Others are just referred as fake. Our lives are run by artificial intelligence, our body parts replaced with prothesis, our closed ones admiring images of people changed by plastic surgery. Artist Maarit Murka has grasped the perspective in her creation. The project “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear” analyses different images, subjects and items in mirror and the opposite. For the viewers, mirrors are as shifted reality- people see what they think is imperfection and emphasize it.

For the first time Murka is testing her capabilities on paintings of non- personal objects. Artist has always presented in her creation images of persons or testing the borders of human hyperrealism. This time, the paintings consist of shapes of objects, to some the shape may not mean anything, but what the artist is stressing out- it is not the person or personality, or the object with its objectivity, but the form of the item that is important. The reflection of each shape leaves the viewer wondering about the object, as it is covered with cloth, in a way to emphasize the simple things that surround us, and that we pay no attention to, even when they play incredibly important role in our lives.

The series “Objects” are paintings connected together into an installation that is a form itself. The paintings are literally placed on pedestals with quadrant shape. The language of traditional painting is fading away from today`s exhibitions, biennales and art- life. Modern mediums like video or sound is taking over the exhibition halls and how can a simple painting compete to a vibrant moving image or emotional sound? Maarit Murka is putting the painting in front of the modern mediums by painting the object in four dimensions. The viewer can see a shape from all the angles, installed together in one medium. Artist has proved that traditions can be modified into contemporary art. In addition, Murka has prepared installations with mirrors, taking the viewer through different tests, letting the visitor to start the dialogue about the perspective of vision and through that, helping to understand the fact that the objects, images or situations we see daily, represent a pattern of life that has been played along since the beginning of mankind. Murka is starting a new era in her creation with the combination of image analyze and perspective installations.

The series “Illusions” is a group of images from a photo staging, where the artist has used common people to point out the artificial elements, that we are surrounded by. Recently known to public is the spray tanning that is applied on people, giving a fake tan, which in the mind of people represents the beauty of a person. Artist shows the truth behind the scenes, the artificial elements are being ridiculed as superficial images, which rather devaluates persons individuality, than adding anything positive to it. Murka has tested the characteristic features of humans in her previous work, this time the analyze took her to a discovery, that most of the models were indeed pleased with the tan and wished to have the tan fully applied. Does that mean, that in fact the artificial visual effects improve persons self- esteem, so thinking that they look better, the subjects truly are emotionally lifted and positively changed? Ask yourself the same question, try to place yourself into the position of the subject, object or the artist.

As mirrors represent a certain mythological and atmospherical effect, the artist puts into perspective the items that we face in our daily life. In a way pointing out the artificial reality of something or someone that people view in mirrors over and over every day. People say, that once a mirror brakes, the person breaking it will have seven years of bad luck. Can this be true at any level? How and why this could happen? Murka searches for the truth, what lies beneath this obsession on reflection and emotions connected to it.

Tallinn, Estonia
December 2012