The sculptures are collages of shapes made from trash and other industrial materials found in the nature and on the streets. The shapes were casted into concrete and Jesmonite. Installation consist also cut and reshaped table and chair legs painted with chameleon car paint, rubber band holders and pedestals which where made by using wooden note board from a metal workshop and plywood remains.
This text was written during the exhibition process. It takes the word “render” from the exhibition title and puts it into pieces (Reproduce, Convert, Melt down & Extend) in order to see what it is made of. The basis for this text is in conversations I’ve had with Tiina Raitanen during winter-spring 2016.
“I am making stones out of concrete.”
In her works Tiina Raitanen uses leftovers and abandoned materials she finds from her surroundings, together with paint and casted materials such as plaster, clay or concrete. The cycle of materials in her works is stunning: ones that are reworked into stoneware find their new shapes as casted sculptures representing stones. The relation between authenticity and reproduction is put to test, and when all is in constant process of evolving, the aura of the original becomes insignificant.
In her work Raitanen takes everyday objects, deconstructs them into pieces and then combines them again. Every piece of material is carefully chosen, carefully examined by the eye and the hand, and then carefully worked into something else. A figurative element can find it’s place as a black line, whereas more abstract shapes can be converted into something more allusive.
“Sometimes I am not anymore sure what it was originally.”
She calls her sculpted works future fossils, since to her they are imaginary artefacts that hold both the past and the future in their muster. She is interested in the life spawn of objects and as we talk, she wonders what happens, when all this matter is in touch with time, melt into one another, vanish and turn into sediments of soil? Or rather, can they even decompose, or only scatter around as scraps and shreds?
Render has one meaning as melting down; merging, dissolving and collapsing. When talking about her artistic process Raitanen emphasises the significance of touching in relation to thinking. In her way of working there is no separation between manual labour and contemplation, they both go hand in hand, and both feed one another. Each material selection as well as each mark made by the tools she uses, generate new associations leading the way to new possible meanings.
The artistic process evolves into different implications that come to be, when material and thoughts addressed are in constant affiliation with each other. What ends up in Raitanen’s exhibitions follows the same manifold pattern, as the process of a single piece: installations are formulated in relation to the time and space of the current location, and the situations are created by placing certain elements together. What the installation does, is in the affinity with the subject and the matter – in the subject matter.
Raitanen’s works can be seen linking and overlapping with the current discourses around anthropocene, posthumanism and new materialism. But if one looks more closely, it becomes clear that rather than being mere illustration of these theoretical approaches, Raitanen’s works actually already contain all the knowledge these theories pursue: the subjects and the matter she deals with embody and condense the philosophy and principles of thought in themselves. The artworks are in fact, systems of ideas embedded into practice.
The works are born from and within these situations we live in, and through these conditions they enclose the existent which will some day vanish, turn into something else. They go beyond the material, through the immaterial, extending into this situation where we are, faced with all the layers of information and times these elements hold.