Surface Values
Eemil Karila

March 5 – April 11, 2009

In Surface Values, Finnish artist Eemil Karila reframes the perpetual question of what lends the institutional receptacle its pristine, unquestionable authority. Dispensing with the cold narrative's all too typical materials: four white walls, stark fluorescent overhead lights – Karila explores the endless recalibration of the exhibition space and the oft-unacknowledged sociopolitical implications in each reapplication of matte white paint. Previously exhibited at Rovaniemi Art Museum, Finland and Galerija Vartai (Vilnius), Lithuania, Surface Values marks Eemil Karila’s first solo exhibition in Berlin.

Alternating black light brings the performance of a marginalized actor into focus; the UV inks mixed into a solution of cleaning chemicals trace the motions of the part-time cleaner, a former nurse from the Ukraine with quiet poise. Herself a supportive figure in the ephemeral architecture of PROGRAM's network of collaborators, Ludmila agreed to take part in Surface Values on the conditions that her portrait not be permanently archived on our website, and that her last name not be used.

Eemil Karila (Rovaniemi, 1978) lives and works in Helsinki and Berlin. He studied at the Academy of Arts in Estonia (Tallinn), the Instituto de Artes Plasticas de Armando Reveron (Caracas, Venezuela) and the Academy of Arts in Finland (Helsinki). Recent solo exhibitions include Artscape, Gallery Vartai, Vilnius Lithuania (2009), MIKÄ ON MINUN ON MEIDÄN, WHAT´S MINE IS OURS, Rovaniemi Art Museum (2008), Bar9, Helsinki, Finland (2007), ”How to seduce a cynic?”, Gallery Mältinranta, Tampere, Finland (2006-07), while selected group shows include Smart, Christmas viewing, Gallery Korjaamo, Helsinki Finland (2009), ”Souvenirs”, Gallery S12, Bergen, Norway (2008), New Works, Gallery Fafa, Helsinki (2008). He has received numerous awards including the Finnish Culture Fund (Lapland Region) for artistic practice (2008), Visek project grant (2008), Lapland Art Council (2007), Valtos Foundation Grant (2006). []

The exhibition is supported by the FInnland-Institut in Germany  

Special thanks to Giulio Neri and Þrandur Rógnvaldsson.



press release 01.03.2009 [EN] [DE]

Eemil Karila

Cleaning Up
Artslant, 21.03.2009, by Ana Finel Honigman