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Helsinki School

Gallery Taik Persons

Ea Vasko's artwork focuses on questions concerning seeing and perception. Her photographs are often abstract; her intention is to let the viewers determine the pictures’ visual contents for themselves. Vasko investigates looking as an action, and how looking can be influenced through pictures. Seeing as a function is an important point of departure in her works: How many or how few recognizable elements does our brain need in order to form a complete visual perception? An abstracted photograph rarely stays on the level of abstraction, because one always attempts to find references to reality and the location where the picture was taken. During the experience of looking, an abstract photograph changes from an abstraction into something else – from a detail into a landscape, from the meaningless into the meaningful, from abstract into representational, from surface into space.

Vasko's works examine urban environments. A city space is alluring because of its motion and changeability; it is vast and multiform, but very difficult to perceive. As a space, a city is not absolutely definable. Instead, its character depends on individual experience. The spatial experience has been a very important theme for Vasko in her artistic processes. In her recent series she concentrates on the momentary experiences, which she has encountered in a nightly cityscape.

Reflections of the ever-changing (the short history of now) is Vasko´s latest series of photographs. She has photographed reflections in nightly cities from a very close distance. Through the reflections she pictures the constant change and movement that is happening in a city space. A reflection has an ability to gather the light surrounding it to one, abstract picture on a surface. Vasko compares these reflections to momentary experiences: The experience of now is fresh, abstract and still apart from a logical timeline of history that we tend to build in our heads. The abstraction and a certain kind of unpredictable quality of now are just like the picture seen in a reflection; it is not totally definable, yet, it is just a sighting. The reflection can be captured to a photograph, but it looks like the camera is too slow for the ever-changing world as well. Something in the picture has moved already during the exposure.

Defining Darkness is a series of photographs in which Vasko investigated nightly spaces as well as the process of seeing in the dark. In a dark space there is not enough colour or light for the eye to clearly perceive it. In a way, a picture taken in clear light is like a fact. It does not leave any room for imagination. When the object is clearly recognizable, it is also easily ignorable. Darkness, on the other hand, is comparable to some sort of uncertainty. Not being able to see could be interpreted as a symbol of not knowing, of not being in control. In the series Defining Darkness, Vasko photographed nightly spaces lit by only artificial light. They are picturing different ways of trying to control a dark city space trough our ability of seeing. These themes are about four different types of darkness, from the chaos of artificial light in a big city to the dimness of a private bedroom.

The series Translucents is based on the idea of abstraction discovered in architecture. Vasko is questioning the classic way to perceive the object and the space in the picture. From this perspective, the pictures are placed in between the limits of the abstract and the recognizable. In her interpretation the true nature of architecture is in translucencies, distortions and reflections on surfaces as much as in aging and the wearing out of materials. Some objects of these images exist in reality and some of them are scale models that Vasko built herself. By building models she controls the nature and she hints to the viewer what there really is in the image. What happens in the viewers mind when the necessities for the perception of space are getting less and less in the picture?