Beyond Water: installation by Erika De Martino
Beyond Water was a site-specific installation in beta SPACE gallery, consisting of 9 photographs printed on transparent supports, establishing a dialogue with the space.
Conceptually, this installation embraces one intrinsic value of Alvar Aalto’s architecture: the bond with nature. Water is not visible from the windows, but the shoreline of Laajalahti is very close by. Reconnecting the site to water acts as a reminder of this essential and precious resource, such a strong element in Finnish landscape identity. Identity and resource even more important at present, within the broader frame of recent threatening privatization laws.
Architecturally, the lightness of the installation counterbalances the solid presence of the marble, complying with the alternating existing opposites massive/airy, shadow/light of Aalto’s space. It is a ”slow” connecting space: the openings towards the inner green courtyard determine a slower rhythm of the walking pace, inviting to stop and look outside. Natural light can filter through the transparent prints detached from both vertical and horizontal surfaces. Hence, new visual planes are created in the architecture’s parti, allowing dynamic ovelapped visions within the existing rhythm.
Beyond Water is about discovering new opportunities beyond our standpoint. Stop and observe. Finding new places, another pace. It is about movement, pauses and new thresholds.
Erika De Martino born in Padova-Italy and currently based in Helsinki is an architect (MSc Arch) and artist working with photography. Her artworks have been shown in Finland regularly since 2007, as well as in Russia, China and Italy, under the patronage of the Italian Cultural Institute in Helsinki, the Embassy of Finland in Rome, Institutum Romanum Finlandiæ, Circolo Scandinavo. Among the most relevant exhibitions: the II Baltic Biennale in St. Petersburg and the 54th Venice Art Biennale-Italian Pavilion in the World, one of the displays being inside Aalto’s Academic Bookstore in Helsinki.
Her photographic projects and installations are strongly grounded in her past architectural practice. With photography she builds spaces. She is particularly concerned with exploring new dynamics of the image perception and interaction by the observer in the space. Her research develops across kinetic and optical art, architecture, land and bioart, with a site-specific approach. The relationships between natural/built environment, man/landscape, micro/macro scales, places and self-identity are the main themes she focuses on. Unconventional print supports allow her to articulate her work through different layers, suggesting the coexistence of multiple visual levels.
Curated by Emilio Zamudio Murillo and Ksenia Kaverina