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Artists' Association MUU » Rita Jokiranta: Horizons
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Rita Jokiranta: Horizons

Rita Jokiranta: Horizons1 November – 24 November 2013

MUU gallery


The point of departure in the project was the fate of Finnish emigrants who went to America in the early 20th century and the possibility of comparing them with that of those who did not go. Through album photos, archive material as well as new video footage and photographs, the video installation traces the life, landscapes and family of two brothers who about a hundred years ago lived on different sides of the Atlantic.

I set out to find traces of their life in mines, ports, forests and agriculture, and to see the landscape; what kind of places they settled in. For comparison, I also travelled to see what their native regions in Finland are like today. Many things had disappeared, and social and economic circumstances had changed. A hundred years is sufficiently long for people and their work to be forgotten. And landscapes – a century had changed them, too.

Thus the project became an attempt to remember. To remember that which had already been forgotten. To ask, even though it was no longer possible to get answers.

People’s hopes for the future are nevertheless similar regardless of place or time. People are always looking to the horizon, dreaming of a better life. The history of Finnish emigrants should help us remember similarities with the migrants of our time.

The work was shot on location around Lake Superior in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota in the United States, and in Ontario in Canada. Footage in Finland was mainly shot in Pirkanmaa, Southern Ostrobothnia and Hanko.

Rita Jokiranta works with moving image, photography, installations, light and sound. Her art frequently explores the dynamic between image, event and interpretation. The viewer’s own interpretation has always been an essential aspect of her work, whether in video or photography.

Since 1989, Rita Jokiranta’s works have been shown in numerous solo and group shows in Finland, Scandinavia, and elsewhere in Europe. The most recent of her previous works include the video installations Between Strength and Weakness in the Cable Gallery in Helsinki 2013, Here, and Beyond in the ARS 11 satellite exhibition in Åland Art Museum 2011, and Every Image Is a Beginning in Forum Box, Helsinki, 2011. She has also made several public artworks, and is represented in a number of important collections.

Thanks to
Kirsti Pettersson, Nancy Ranta Moreland, Keith Moreland, Kari Soinio | Jim Pellman, Kenneth Makela, Kathy Eisenstrom, Velma Doby | Jorma Saarikko, Leena-Maija Rossi
and all others who have helped in various ways
Alfred Kordelin Foundation | Arts Promotion Centre Finland | Konstsamfundet