Gated communities as artwork

Jenny. A mixed media painting

Jenny. A mixed media painting

Juan Kasari is a Finnish artist who uses modern clichés in his work. There are usually certain aspects in his art expressed through various art mediums.

 

 

Gated communities, seen as a trend in many countries by conceptual artist Juan Kasari, is the topic of this exhibition. It is presented very well through a series of mixed media paintings and video works, and deals with a half-documentary micro cosmos. It is an art study of a closed community where people live their own private and sheltered lives outside of society, dreaming for security and prestige. “The community of upper-middle class people interests me as a subject of artistic study,” says Kasari.

The exhibition takes a stand on social inequality but its criticism does not point at anyone. “I am more interested in a documentary and establishing approach rather than direct criticism,” he says.

Modern tales of the Trojan Horse

Some sociological studies have compared the creation of these types of walls to historical fortifications. What comes to my mind is the story of the Trojan Horse, and how a clever and creative mind can fool the best fortified wall. There is also an indication that safety in gated communities may be more of an illusion than reality, as there is no less crime in gated communities than in non-gated ones.

Guides for successful living

Presented as video installations, The Red Carpet Party, The Charity Gala, A Guide for Successful People and Gifts are guides intending to teach you how to act, interact and communicate with people in different situations. They are a kind of brainwashing, selling the idea of happiness and success as a synonym of economic power.

Exhibition: Me Myself
and I – The Gated Community
is at Galleria Jangva,
Uudenmaankatu 4-6, Helsinki,
from 17 September
to 5 October.

“Many people preach about how to act, how to look successful and how to make money. In Finland we have people lecturing about how to pursue this kind of life to be successful, which is a copy from America,” Kasari says and explains that even though gated communities haven’t entered Finland yet they can be found in Sweden and Denmark as a way of showing off. “To be rich and safe is a bit of an illusion.”

The exhibition’s theme is not strictly connected to any place or any country in particular. It is a global phenomenon that invariably touches every society. Kasari wants to represent and document what happens, what he sees. “You can find the same people with the same style and the same brands anywhere in the world. It is part of globalisation,” he says.

Juan Kasari is the founderand president of 00130Gallery Contemporary Art

Association.

http://www.80juan80.net

http://www.jangva.fi

The exhibition is not a criticism of rich people, it is a documentary, but it is seen as something quite hard for people who have this life-style, Kasari explains. “Some people I know were upset about the exhibition. This kind of theme is not visible in the Finnish art world. Political art is usually very straightforward,” he adds.

This thought-provoking and revealing exhibition brought me memories of gated communities, where kids are not free to play without having a guard close by. It is a kind of luxury prison for the insiders, and an unreachable world for the outsiders. A world I wouldn’t like to see in Finland.  

Gated communities. Video still

Gated communities. Video still

 

Susan Fourtane – HT
Susan Fourtane
Juan Kasari – Image

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About Susan Fourtané

As a citizen of the world, Susan began her search for her place in the world back at the beginning of the year 2000. After many travels looking for her place in the world, her soul found that place in Finland in September 2006. She has been living in Helsinki ever since, where she combines fiction and non-fiction writing with Philosophy studies and teaching.
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