2. October 2015
Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen
101 FOR ALL
17 Oct – 22 Nov 2015 at Helsinki Kunsthalle
Tietoa projektista suomen kielellä täällä
101 For All is a new set of works by the Ars Fennica awarded artist duo. The exhibition spreading into Kunsthalle Helsinki looks beyond the opinions and statistics of a cross-section of the Finnish population as 100 individuals address sensitive topics in the intimacy of their own homes.
Since the parliamentary elections held in spring 2015, Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen have visited private homes all around Finland to interview people about their personal relationships to topics that tend to spark an endless debate in the media. The 100 interviewees represent a statistical sample in terms of age, gender, region, level of income and education: 51 women, 49 men, one with a Ph.D., five registered immigrants, six Swedish-speaking Finns, thirty residents of Uusimaa, one from the Åland Islands – and so on. At the time of the opening, 93 participants have been interviewed. Seven more subjects will be added midway through the exhibition.
The interview material is composed of views on 30 public debates ranging from immigration to privatisation, and from nuclear power to euthanasia – and not forgetting the health impacts of butter versus margarine. The reflections of the participants reach very personal levels as they link their experiences to their views.
The title piece 101 For All includes about 65 hours of video interviews. In the “sleep mode” of this interactive video installation only the muted images of the interviewees are visible, projected on the main wall of the Kunsthalle. Visitors can pick – one at a time – their desired selection of answers from the available topics, and the interviewee that they want to hear speak. The 101th person – as referred to in the title – is the visitor, exposing the piece in his or her own way to other visitors.
On the other hand, 101 makes a reference to learning. The number is an international code for an introductory course in an educational context – it has also become known in Internet slang as an acronym for the basics of a topic. Perhaps 101 For All is then the 101 in forming an opinion – an introductory class on how our personal experience affects our whole worldview. The piece creates a unique opportunity for a listening comprehension exercise at a time where listening to others and getting to know their standpoints with an open mind seems to be the most radical of acts.
An encounter with one hundred Finns, and a reflection on affecting others and being affected, is also the starting point for other works in the exhibition. The Library of Influential Books – shown in its build-up phase at the Mänttä Art Fair in the summer – is now exhibited in its complete form. It comprises of 98 books that have had a defining effect on the mindset of the interviewees (two out of one hundred were unable to name such a book). In the piece Former Opinions, people recite opinions that they have since left behind, with their backs turned towards the camera. At the exit, visitors are also offered the chance to dispose of any opinions they no longer need.
The artist duo also became interested in the use of statistics and the power in interpreting them as a link to forming the general opinion. Through a wider scope, the exhibition also looks into representation: can one individual or a small group of people ever represent “everyone”? What about the ones left in the margins?
The exhibition includes two special events:
1 Nov, 1 – 4.30pm
GUIDED TOURS IN THE OPINION JUNGLE
Three people dealing professionally with public phenomena and having an impact on opinions present their outtake of choice from the 65-hour long collection of interviews called 101 For All. Each presentation lasts 30 minutes, followed by a discussion with the audience.
1.15pm Opening words by Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen
1.30 – 2.30pm Anna-Stina Nykänen, journalist and columnist, Helsingin Sanomat
2.30 – 3.30pm Outi Kuittinen, researcher, think tank Demos Helsinki
3.30 – 4.30pm Noora Dadu, actor and director
20 Nov, 4 – 8pm
LOVE, DEATH AND MARGARINE
A four-hour long potpourri by Kalleinen and Kochta-Kalleinen composed of answers to different questions by the 100 participants. The interviews chosen for this showing have subtitles in English.
Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen are a Finnish-German artist duo living in Finland. They have worked together since 2002 and exhibited their work around the world. They have received two major art awards in Finland: the AVEK media art award in 2012, and the Ars Fennica award in 2014.
The exhibition has been supported by Kone Foundation, Finnish Cultural Foundation, Centre for the Promotion of Audiovisual Culture AVEK / Elena Näsänen, Oskar Öflund Foundation, Arts Promotion Centre Finland and Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE / Sari Volanen.