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Reset is an installation made of sand, spread as a thin carpet on the floor of the exhibition space. On the surface of the clearly delimited sand layer, you can see ribbon-like bulges and dips that resemble fossils and the tracks they have left on the sediment. The forms can also be seen as wavy handwriting. They are like silent clues or writing that we cannot interpret. The work of art reminds us of how many things there are that we do not understand and that can only be expressed to a limited extent through language.
The name of the installation and the exhibition, Reset, refers to continuous re-settling or solidification – the cycle of matter and transformation. Each grain of sand in the installation has at some point been ground off from rock or fossil-based matter and will continue to transform with the movements of seas and the Earth’s crust. In the installation, the grains of sand settle, for a little while, into the form chosen by the artist.
Elina Vainio (b. 1981) is a visual artist who lives and works in Helsinki. In her artistic creation, she especially focuses on the boundaries drawn between culture and nature. In her opinion, people’s tendency to see themselves as something permanent and separate from nature is misleading. With installations that consist of only a few elements, Vainio draws the spectator’s attention to how both people and the surrounding world are in a constant state of flux.
WAMx 2020 – The Things We Are Made Of
As part of WAMx’s programme, the museum invites an international expert annually to plan the exhibition programme in cooperation with the museum. The programme seeks works made by interesting artists that examine new themes and current perspectives.
This year, the international expert is originally from Turkey, Ece Pazarbaşı, who works as a curator in Berlin. She has made the exhibition programme to be in accordance with its title The Things We Are Made Of. The programme turns our attention from what divides us to what unites us: At the end of the day, we are all made of the same elements. The exhibitions asks what we humans really are and what our place on this planet is.
WAMx: Elina Vainio: Reset 28 August–1 November 2020
Itäinen Rantakatu 38, Turku
Image: Detail from a draft for the Reset installation. Photo: Elina Vainio 2020.