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Baltic Sea Plastique

[person_by] Tuula Närhinen

November 2020

Tuula Närhinen (1967, FI) examines the visual potential of natural events. She constructs numerous visual interfaces enabling us to move beyond the obvious and to trace invisible and unimaginable natural phenomena. She presents her works as installations comprising photographic series, drawings and/or sculptures. Närhinen has also built various (pinhole) cameras that record what she imagines the world might look like for animals. For her installation Baltic Sea Plastique, Närhinen explores the complexities of plastic waste as an environmental pollutant. This work combines the plasticity of visual arts with the creative and resilient capacity of marine life. Using plastic waste she gathered at Harakka Island (near Helsinki), Närhinen assembled odd marine creatures that she recorded underwater with a self-made instrument called ‘Water Colour Scope’. This resulted in eight 5-minute videos in which the plastic sculptures are featured as quasi-organic art works. Furthermore, the installation contains analytic drawings of sections and elevations of the hybrid objects on a 1:1 scale. Despite her employment of an empirical and experimental methodology, allowing for natural phenomena to manifest themselves, in Baltic Sea Plastique Närhinen’s intervention playfully navigates on the edge of imag(in)ing the nonhuman condition.
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Tuula Närhinen
Tuula Närhinen (b. 1967), Helsinki (FI) holds a Doctorate of Fine Arts (DFA) from the University of the Arts Helsinki. She is a graduate of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts (MFA), and the Helsinki University of Technology (M. Sc. in Architecture).

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