Since the 1980s Jussi Kivi has been exhibiting internationally and creating works around his research on little-known, underground, overlooked or neglected places in Finland and abroad. Kivi’s work in Helsinki Biennial is based on his experiences on Vallisaari Island, which he has explored thoroughly right down to the subterranean passageways and closed sections.
Jussi Kivi (b. 1959) lives and works in Helsinki. Since the 1980s he has been exhibiting internationally and creating works around his research on little-known, underground, overlooked or neglected places in Finland and abroad. His works convey the sense of freedom gained from the explorations. Jussi Kivi’s projects often evolve as multidisciplinary works including photography, video, drawing, miniature landscape models, and maps. In his manner of sharing these experiences with us, and by uncovering aspects of their history of loss and renewal, Kivi prompts us to see and appreciate anew landscapes considered borderlines of nature and culture. For Kivi, landscapes of industrial ruin and generally disparaged, barren wastelands mirror the core of the fossil industrial culture destroying its own conditions of life on a planetary scale.
Kivi has spent many nights on Vallisaari Island during different seasons, even before it was opened to the public. While preparing for the biennial, he spent nights in a workshop container and in the abandoned apartment he chose as the site of his installation, Repository of Local Artefacts and Anomalies / Museum of Timelessness (2019–20). Kivi discovered the perfect location in a deserted apartment with a dilapidated 1970s interior in Block D of the Pilot House.
Left to the mercy of the elements, the building tellingly expresses the values of a society that wantonly squanders natural resources. Kivi’s installation comprises paper documents, photographs, objects found on the island, and miniature three-dimensional dioramas viewable in a dark room.
Photos: Matti Pyykkö