MIKA KARHUThe Forgotten 2 5.1.2019 – 3.2.2019

Forgotten, 2018
indian ink on paper
70 x 50 cm

MIKA KARHU

Titled The Forgotten 2, my latest exhibition turns its focus to people whose fates go unspoken and whose lives remain unacknowledged by the powerful. It comprises a series of portraits that have sought to capture the presence of people who have been subjected to hostility and ill-treatment, people who have been forced into submission and of people who have simply and inexorably been forgotten. These are portraits of lives lost and suffering overlooked.

All of us are susceptible to power in one of more of its many forms. Power is permeates everything, assuming structural, tangible guises. The structural practices of power mould and shape us. Structural power comprises the norms and conventions that inhabit our cultural practices. Structural power finds its expression in law, in the architecture of government and governance and in the knowledge that facilitates our integration into whatever social circumstances we find ourselves in.

While structural power may move us all, the effect it has on us varies, determined by our socio-economic status, for example. For those who find themselves weakened and vulnerable in the face of society, power can be a violent and oppressive force. And yet power also has the capacity to teach us something, to create opportunities.

As an artist, I am fascinated by the repressive aspect of structural power, the emotional tensions it creates and its impact on human beings, and most particularly by why it is we never speak of it even though its effects and consequences are out there around us for all to see.

Although power is always exerted upon and experienced by the individual, it is by no means a private matter. These experiences link in to the complex web of interactions between us and all of our experiences share a certain something, a common denominator is there, even when our experiences seemingly fail to display an outward resemblance and might diverge, often significantly, in terms of the detail, too. All our experiences exist in a dynamic relationship between those doing the experiencing and some aspect of their external reality.

We are all bound to a context; all of us are the product of the community around us. That is how power in all its many iterations succeeds in touching us all, whether directly or indirectly. Those who exercise power and those who have it exercised upon them are everywhere and the relationship between them remains in permanent flux. The social context within which we find ourselves exerts a deciding influence over our aptitudes, our desires, our thoughts and our actions.

My solo exhibition argues that we would all do well to develop a better understanding of the divergent experiences generated by our highly complex world. Art can facilitate an exploration of how we can make society fairer and more just. Engaging with history, with the past, is just one way to do that.

Mika Karhu
Doctor of Arts, artist, researcher

 
  • karhu/2019/MIKA_KARHU_MENGELION_UNI_2018

    Mengel's dream, 2018
    indian ink
    72,5 x 53,5 cm

  • karhu/2019/MIKA_KARHU_NUKUTETTU_2018

    Put to sleep, 2018
    indian ink
    72,5 x 53,5 cm

  • karhu/2019/MIKA_KARHU_TUNNUSTUS_2018

    Confession, 2018
    indian ink
    72,5 x 53,5 cm

  • karhu/2019/MIKA_KARHU_MINUT_NUKUTETTIIN_JOUKKOHAUTAAN_2018

    They put me to sleep in mass grave, 2018
    tussi
    72,5 x 53,5 cm

  • karhu/2019/MIKA_KARHU_UNOHDETTU--2018

    Forgotten, 2018
    indian ink
    72,5 x 53,5 cm

  • karhu/2019/MIKA_KARHU_HEIKKI_2018

    Heikki, 2018
    charcoal
    81,5 x 66 cm

  • karhu/2019/MIKA_KARHU_LUTHER_2018

    Luther, 2018
    indian ink
    69,5 x 68 cm

  • karhu/2019/MIKA_KARHU_UNOHDETTU_2018

    Forgotten, 2018
    indian ink
    72,5 x 53,5 cm

  • karhu/2019/MIKA_KARHU_PAUL_CELAN_2018

    Paul Celan, 2018
    charcoal and ash
    87 x 71 cm

  • karhu/2019/MIKA_KARHU_ZYGMUND_BAUMAN_2018

    Zygmund Bauman, 2018
    charcoal and ash
    87 x 71 cm

  • karhu/2019/MIKA_KARHU_ANNA_A_2018

    Anna A., 2018
    charcoal and ash
    87 x 71 cm

 
 
 
 
 
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