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Artists' Association MUU » Johanna Lonka: Catch 
- sculptural installations
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Johanna Lonka: Catch 
- sculptural installations

Johanna Lonka: Loukuttomat, yksityiskohta, 2015

Johanna Lonka: Loukuttomat, yksityiskohta, 2015

MUU Cable


CATCH continues Johanna Lonka’s series of tableaux based on animals that undergo metamorphosis. The potentially beneficial traits of species are selected in a similar way as in early taxidermy, when there was no information or photographs of a species being prepared and taxidermists had to rely on their intuition.

Plant and animal species can often be found in urban areas and forests where they have relocated due to human activity. Whether the relocation was unintended or planned, the results can be surprising. The best-known examples include projects in biological pest control and aggressively spreading houseplants.

The piece named Trapless was inspired by a conversation about feral parrots. Alongside the obviously large adaptive capacity of the birds, the human aesthetic perspective evolves in response to environmental change or control.

When a representative of a species dreams of survival, being furry or cute are possibly the safest bets. This is also supported by news about what kinds of animal research are funded. On the other hand, an impressive appearance or extreme rarity can also lead to extinction because of collecting mania.

According to a global estimate, the extinction rate among amphibians is higher than in other animal classes, although we do not know all the causes for the decline. There are also cute species in this group. The axolotl has been found in only two natural habitats, both of them Mexican mountain lakes. The species is protected, but one of the two lakes dried up and population collapse suggests that it may also have become extinct in the other. The axolotl has the remarkable ability to remain externally forever a teenager – because of this trait called neoteny, the axolotl reaches sexual maturity as a larva. Another phenomenal characteristic of the species is its ability to regenerate limbs.

JOHANNA LONKA is a Tampere-based visual artist who works with a variety of media. In recent years, her main mediums have been sculptural installation, drawing and sound. In her work, Lonka examines the properties of living beings within a framework of the real and the invented; the transformation of places or concepts; and the activities of humans in their environment. Lonka’s art is often based on environment science news or documentaries, but her work is also characterised by the inspiration awakened by found materials and by playful experimentation. Her earliest suites of fabric animals was Unsuitables from 2004–2005.