Jyri Pitkänen

The works of Jyri Pitkänen (b.1979 in Helsinki) have been exhibited in Finland and abroad since 2004. His work is based on photograpy, but also includes video, audio and performance art as well as community­based art projects. He tackles issues of seeing, being and beauty, often through minimalistic reproduction. In 2014, the City of Tampere awarded Pitkänen a professional artist grant. In addition to the Mänttä Art Festival, Pitkänen's works will be exhibited this year in Galleria Ars Nova in Savonlinna and the Voipaala Art Centre in Sääksmäki. In addition to his art, Jyri Pitkänen teaches photography to children and young people at the Sara Hildén Academy and is a multidisciplinary art instructor at the non­profit organization Omapolku ry. He is also known as the lead singer of the band Sunny&Cloudy.

Jyri Pitkänen's work Social Landscapes (Mänttä) is on display at cafés
Alex (pictured) and Wilhelmiina. (Photo: Timo Nieminen.)

Through art, someone may discover a prayer, while another will find a political or a social message. Art is multidimensional, like the mind. It needs a lot of room around it. For me, art is about sharing meanings, but also questions and the courage to doubt the prevailing realities.

A detail from Sosiaalimaisemia (Mänttä).


Jyri Pitkänen: Social Landscapes (Mänttä), 2015, an intervention to commercial space

Jyri Pitkänen adds a new dimension to the views from the café windows of Mänttä. He has interviewed the businesses and other communities visible from the windows about their views on foreigners. The results of the interviews are displayed in the cafés for the customers to read. As they look outside, in addition to the physical reality, they see the kind of values the businesses and communities represent.

Jyri Pitkänen with the Omapolku Group: Quintet (A Composition for Five Voices), 2015, video

For some time, Jyri Pitkänen has worked with the Omapolku group comprising of youths with intellectual disabilities. The video is a recording of a performance where members of the group perform their composition, with everyday objects such as a scrubbing brush or a fluorescent light grate acting as instruments. The work highlights the soundscape which in its postindustrial simplicity takes the audience on a meditative journey, allowing them to reflect on the ultimate meaning of creativity.

(KH & DK)

Jyri Pitkänen with the Omapolku group: Quintet (A Composition
for Five Voices)
, 2015, video. The work is on display at
the Mänttä Library. (Photo: Tiina Nyrhinen.)

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