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'These Trying Times' by Aapo Nikkanen at OPEN, Reykjavik



As we find ourselves navigating “These Trying Times”, meditation apps and online viewing rooms promise us relief through healing sensations and circular breathing, but the realisation that the ecosystem is collapsing is as real as the cope. Especially when you’re looking right at it through your kitchen window. 

For his exhibition in Open, Nikkanen not only portrays the feelings of dissociation from society and nature, but also looks for alternatives. A used garment can become material for a wearable artwork, and a severed arm turned into a candle holder becomes something not only sombre, but can also symbolise for a new start. In the installation “2700 litres”, the same amount of water is presented in plastic containers, equaling the amount of water needed to grow cotton to produce just one t-shirt. The material for the piece comes from a local start-up Bambahús, which upcycles used water containers into greenhouses and planters. 

The essence of the exhibition are the gestures of Nikkanen that travel back and forth from grim to hopeful, and from which he creates objects that are trying to capture the collective feeling of “these trying times”. And just as the times, the objects become more complex the more you observe them. 

16.1.21 — 31.1.21

OPEN

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