On March 9, 2001, a retrospective exhibition on the work of Ulla Jokisalo was opened to the public at the Helsinki City Art Museum’s Meilahti galleries. Jokisalo’s art is distinctive and exceptional. She has introduced a strong female perspective that is subjective and confessional to Finnish art.
For Ulla Jokisalo, making pictures is a means of building her own idiom and identity. Mixing past and present and fact and fiction is a key element in her pictorial thinking. Her focal themes are memory, childhood and the relationship between mothers and daughters. Memories have in fact become a central topic for Jokisalo. Motifs such as childhood photographs reappear in different contexts, but are merely a starting point for her work. She takes a photograph and modifies it by cutting, sewing or adding other elements, such as scissors, needles and thread.
Methaphorical objects and signs define Jokisalo's expression, but above all they define time flowing through women, time that is contorted by gaps and repetition. Reverting to her own experiences and family ties between women constitutes the temporal structure of Jokisalo's works. Time stitches memory to the body....
Jokisalo repeats and modifies her themes. The emphases vary from the aesthetic of cruelty and the quest for feminine pleasure to nostalgic yearning showing through from beneath the archaic layers of the mind. Repetition is the archaeology of the mind, a reverting to the seed, a point where the past can take on a different guise. But to return always means to return to one's memories, not to history or to the past as such.
- Arja Elovirta
The exhibition at the Meilahti galleries includes works from the period between 1980 and 2000. In addition to works displayed in earlier exhibitions, there are previously unseen and also completely new ones. A book about Jokisalo’s art will be published in connection with the exhibition. It includes an article by art historian Arja Elovirta.
The Central Association of Finnish Photographic Organizations FINNFOTO has sponsored the exhibition.
For more information: Curator Jari Björklöv, tel. +358-(0)9-310 87046, +358-(0)50-377 0956 / Educational Curator Kirsi Väkiparta, tel. +358-(0)9-310 87007, +358-(0)50-336 1980 / press material: Press Secretary Karri Buchert, tel. +358-(0)9-310 87004, +358-(0)50-304 6707.
Guided tours: Free tours in Finnish on Wednesdays at 17.00 and on Sundays at 14.00 in Finnish and at 13.00 in Swedish every second Sunday of each month. To book tours at other times and in other languages, please call +358-(0)9-310 87003.