Galleria K | Michael Mauracher | Looking back: Kemijoki and other works | Artist talk | Lauantai 25.8. Klo 14-15

Young Woman balancing on the river Kemijoki, 1944

Michael Mauracher on Taiteilijatalo Gjutarsin elokuun residenssitaiteilija! Vantaan taiteilijaseura järjestää Galleria K:ssa taiteilijatapaamisen lauantaina 25.8. klo 14-15. Looking back: Kemijoki and other works -luennolla Mauracher kertoo töistään, työskentelytavoistaan ja ennen kaikkea perhehistoriastaan. Miten Mauracher käsittelee perhehistoriaansa valokuvan keinoin taiteessaan? Mikä merkitys Rovaniemellä ja Kemijoella on Mauracherin omassa elämässä? Galleria K:ssa on esillä Lapin taiteilijaseuran näyttely Pohjoinen virta, jonka ympäristö luo erinomaiset kehykset Mauracherin luennolle ja sen sisällölle. Tule kuuntelemaan kiehtovaa tarinaa Mauracherin äidistä, suomalaisesta säveltäjästä, Yrjö Kilpisestä, ja siitä, miten taiteilija ammentaa yllätyksellisistä elämäntarinoista inspiraatiota taiteeseensa.


Come and join an artist talk with the residence guest of August, Michael Mauracher of Austria! On Saturday 25th 2-3 pm in the Gallery K, Mauracher will present his work and discuss the different aspects that affect his art, such as his mother’s life story and her time spent in Rovaniemi, Lapland in the 1940s. How does Mauracher ’s family history present itself through the medium of photography in Mauracher’s work? What is the meaning of Rovaniemi and the river of Kemijoki in the artist’s life?

Salzburg based Austrian photographer Michael Mauracher will give an insight to his artistic research project, that has led him to Finland as the 2018 resident in the artists’ exchange residency program between the cities of Vantaa and Salzburg. Like often in his work, the starting point of Mauracher’s interest on a theme arises from rather ordinary photographs that have been sitting around unregarded for a long time until they find his attention finally through new constellations.

Artist statement:

In my work, Kemijoki, the original photograph is an anonymous snapshot of a young lady in a fancy swimming outfit, balancing coquettishly on a pile of trees in a wide stream during midsummer. The only indication on the back simply states: Finnland 1944. I found this loose single photograph in the photo album of my mother that was illustrating her travel as a young person to Finland in the summer of 1938. The descriptions of the photographs in this small album are mostly topographic, but also have some inscriptions of the names of the people, shown in the pictures.

After her death, 10 years ago, I realized that two of her poems she had left behind would help me go deeper under the surface of the somehow simple documents. Little by little, I realized that I was dealing with issues of love and death, imbedded in a personal story in a precarious political time in Austria and as well in Finland.

Suddenly a Finnish composer, Yrjö Kilpinen, was entering the stage. I found a love letter from him to my mother and it might be possible that it was him, who took the snapshot of the woman at the river. The one poem is about a love affair of the two (Had they met in Austria or Germany during the war as well?), the other is about a traumatic, lonesome struggle at night against the drowning in the middle of the river Kemijoki.

What if…… of course is not a relevant historical question, but I have to think about it, what if I would have been born into a Finnish/Austrian relationship, or even more dramatic, not having been born at all, if my mother would have drowned 10 years before she was giving birth to me.

Waterproof Marine Case filled with Water from the river Kemijoki, 2018

Varo voimakasta virtaa, 2018

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