Venetsia building, Helsinki 7.8.–30.8.2020

The IRL version of Impotent images installation was on show in the waterfront building Venetsia (Venice) in Lapinlahti historical mental hospital area, Helsinki.

Two rooms featured 13 pieces of work, one of which was a diptych. The first room was cleared for this installation only, and provided an intimate and harmonious space for the opening pieces of work. A projection screen was erected in this space, complementing the light boxes and regular large-sized prints, while shedding soft light into the room.

The second room was the actual Venetsia gallery, which has hosted monthly exhibits regularly since 2017. This space features a large opening into another room, which provided a marvellous place for a translucent screen and a large scale projection. The same wall in the gallery featured light boxes, thus contributing to a wall of light.

The overall theme for the installation was various forms of violence and this theme was loosely split between the two spaces: the first room covered cultural, ecological and structural violence, while the gallery exhibited work that relate to physical violence.

The Venetsia building was erected in 1895 as bakery and laundry, and expanded in 1906 to house a small coal-fuelled power station for the hospital area. In the 1910s, a third floor was added to accommodate hospital service staff. During the war it was hit by shrapnel and until recentely squatted. Today, it houses the gallery, an urban nature centre, art school, meditation space, as well as several work residences – and once again a bakery.