Recent Exhibitions

Lucky’s Dance Sinne Gallery, Helsinki 28.6-10.7.2022

The film gets its inspiration from a scene in Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett in which the character Lucky does a dance. The drama script, which otherwise has detailed stage directions and dialogue, does not make clear how the actor is to perform the dance. In her artistic work Haikala is interested in texts, especially in passages such as this that are open to interpretation, or in details in margins or in parentheses. Lucky’s Dance has two characters, who dance in front of the camera. Haikala has invited in a professional dancer, Meri Pajunpää, who makes short dance improvisations. Haikala herself is the other character, who studies and memorizes these improvisations and then then repeats them from memory. The piece ends with material in which both dancers imitate trees in motion. It is a study of the relationship between two different bodies, of the interaction between written text and visual material. At the same time, it is a work that looks at memory and the passage of time, and sheds light on questions of freedom of artistic interpretation and its limits. The film has mainly been shot on digital camera, but there are also short passages taken on narrow-gauge film (8mm). On the soundtrack, Haikala herself opens up and talks about the constituent parts and the factors that influenced and inspired the work’s creation.

Hippolyte Korjaamo, Helsinki 21.1-13.3.2022

My solo exhibition at Hippolyte Korjaamo in Helsinki ended at 13th of March 2022. I presented there pictures from two photographic series: The Only Happiness I know is Sad Happy, and Verloren in vertaling / Perdu dans la traduction.

The technical point of departure in both series has been lens-based performances. The works of the two series are also interconnected by an attempt to place the body in space and time, and by the idea that we communicate by other means than just speech, language or writing. Melancholic humour travels through all exhibited works.

A glimpse of the exhibition. All photos by Minna Kurjenluoma.

Thank you Finnish Cultural Foundation, Art Promotion Centre of Finland, Frans Masereel Centrum.


haikala_press1_wielsThe Only Happiness I Know is Sad Happy was a solo exhibition in WIELS Contemporary Art Centre’s Project Room (Brussels) 17.12.2016-8.1.2017. The exhibition consists of photographs and a performance. You can find pictures of both under ‘photography’ and ‘performance’.

“In this exhibition, Eeva-Mari Haikala visualizes time, memory and longing through photography and the interaction of body and space: ‘The suggestion of “the painterly” as a philosophical concept is central to my work. Drawing from Gilles Deleuze, I look at painting, and painterly photographs, as an attempt to render the emotional forces behind certain subjects visible. I am interested in evoking an inexplicable sense of melancholy that arises in relation to indeterminate spaces—what Georges Perec calls “spaces without function”.

During the opening night, the otherwise ‘still’ exhibition space will be filled with movement. The artist invites four other dancers to translate their personal feelings and physical sensations into a session of free movement. No choreography or composition, but rather a continued yet intimate performance unfolding in the presence of the public. The music playlist is composed by analogy with the five rhythms of dance practice: flowing, staccato, chaos, lyrical and stillness. In addition, a spoken text is recited, recounting an online chat session between Haikala and an anonymous man. The question that guides the chat session is taken from Virginia Woolf’s autobiographical writing: ‘Who is the person to whom all this happens?'”

The performance was created with the artistic assistance of Thomas Dupal. Danced by: Thomas Dupal, Meri Pajunpää, Hugo Mega, Jack Vincent.

The exhibition was supported by the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux, Arts Promotion Centre Finland and the Finnish Cultural Foundation.