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Artists' Association MUU » PAULIINA SALMINEN: Dividing Bond 31 August – 23 September 2012 MUU studio
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PAULIINA SALMINEN: Dividing Bond 31 August – 23 September 2012 MUU studio

pauliinasalminenThe video work Dividing Bond was produced in Marseille among adolescents living in the suburb of Busserine. The young people participated actively in the making of the piece, and the video footage is shot by themselves. Taking urban boundaries as its theme, the central motif of the work is the road running between a shopping centre and the residential area.

Boundaries are also explored more broadly and privately, in the residential area and the shopping centre as well as in homes. Nearly all residents in the suburb have an immigrant background, coming from several different countries, which makes issues of national identity and borders also an integral part of their lives.

Consisting of three simultaneous video projections, the work shows the shopping centre on one side, the suburb on the other, and the dividing road in between the two, with closeups of young people talking about boundaries and overstepping them. Sometimes we see people crossing the road in different ways, passing from one picture to the next. The pictures are like landscapes, they start from establishing shots in which each object is examined from the other side of the street, before the camera moves inside.

When the videos were shot, the crew had long discussions with the youngsters about the effects of different viewpoints on the interpretation of the picture, and the youngsters’ comments add another dimension to the pictures. They speak about invisible boundaries in the reality of their living environment: the houses of the “blacks” and the “whites” (i.e., North Africans), lawns where drug dealing is rife… The age of the youngsters (10–14 years) also puts them inside a zone of passage, in between childhood and the reality of suburban gangland. Their childish style of narration sometimes creates a stark contrast with the content of their words. In discussing the domain of their life, the young people address the so-called serious boundaries and injunctions in the same vein as lighter things.

The boundaries of playgrounds are just as relevant to them as the areas dominated by drug gangs, and they are still affected by the prohibitions of their parents. There are also shops in the shopping centre where they do not enter, and the entire mall can in fact be divided into different sides for the “young” and the “old”.

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Pauliina Salminen (b.1975) graduated as video artist from the Turku School of Art and Communication in 1999. She furthered her studies in Marseille at the Université de Provence, graduating from there in 2001. She has subsequently directed documentaries, gradually moving towards experimental cinema and media art.

Her work consists of installations, interactive pieces and linear videos. The works are often documentary in their approach, with abstract, painterly images blending into a more classical cinematic narrative. The themes in her work include immigration, exclusion as well as border areas and intermediate spaces.

Salminen has exhibited her installations in Finland (MUU gallery, Kluuvi Gallery, Cable Gallery, Rantakasarmi Gallery) and abroad, particularly in France, but also in Italy, Spain, Turkey, India and the United States. Her videos are regularly screened at several European festivals.



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