basic info : works

01 Bypass Surgery
02 Second Skin
03 Bearded Virgin
04 Insect Collection
05 Dialogue
06 Fertilization
07 Borderlne
08 Reformatory
09 Bodyspace
10 Dialectics of the Surface
11 Contacts and Kaski
12 Pyromania
13 Anti-dualistic Dualism
14 Neon-forest
15 various works

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INSECT COLLECTION, 2005. Newspaper on cardboard, collage-installation, variable size, detail. Kunsthalle Helsinki, Finland.



In Timo Heino's installation called Hyönteiskokoelma (Insect Collection), the walls of the exhibition gallery have been covered with newspaper collages put together out of passenger-car advertisements. The dimensions of the floor and the height of the space, together with the enormous number of small cars and the simple, lucid colours of the newspaper print, create an airy, even floating impression.

One thing that Heino's work does is to make the car odd and alien with its exorbitant quantity, which causes meanings and associations other than the commonplace to rise to the surface. For example, the car, when shown duplicated in such an exaggerated fashion in a work called Insect Collection, begins to resemble an insect. The structure of insects differs from that of mammals. Like cars, insects consist of shells and tubes containing liquids, rather than of solid, yet to some degree permeable tissue. From aerial perspective human cities undeniably look like they are inhabited by cars, not people, and the life in them in a way looks like the life in an ants' nest, equally purposeful and incomprehensible.

And yet, the room taken over by the installation is quiet, the only movements and sounds are those of the visitors and of the natural light. The whole thing is monumental without being pompous, but above all it is sacral - in the same way as old cult sites or the Pantheon in Rome. Visitors can lingeringly wonder at the truly miraculous and in many ways cruel cult of the automobile that defined life on earth in the second half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st.

Via the photographs the cars are present and absent. Behind each picture is a car, shiny and unused, as it was when the photographer came across it. But the moment it was taken is already long gone, above all mentally: the pictures as the viewer encounters them are old and the cars have been taken further, sold, used, or possibly crashed. It is like we were looking at old photographs of newborn babies. The softness, fragility and compostibility of the newspaper reinforce the melancholy awareness of the past as dead and gone. Weren't the cars captured in a picture specifically to suspend the moment and to create an illusion of immortality and timelessness?

Heino's work arouses the cultural unconscious and shows the presence of the car, a fetish of the everyday, but as though from a distance. This space is not a dwelling, a museum or a storeroom. We are in a cathedral of cars. Is it from our own time or from another?

(c)Pauline von Bonsdorff