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Released on 24 May 2024

Nastja Säde Rönkkö: Those Who Kept the Light

Turku Art Museum, Darkroom 7 June– 15 September 2024

Join us for the press preview on Thursday, 6 June 2024 at 11 am at Turku Art Museum. The artist will be present on the occasion.

Opening on Thursday, 6 June 2024 at 5-7 pm. Welcome!

Those Who Kept the Light is a series of works that focuses on the sea and related myths and stories. It consists of ten poetic videos created on the basis of Nastja Säde Rönkkö’s journeys and texts written during the years 2020–2021.

During her travels in Denmark and Norway, she discovered stories and legends about women who oftended the light in the lighthouses. Often they were family members of the actual, male lighthouse keepers: wives, sisters, daughters who performed the task on behalf of the lighthouse keeper. As she wrote the manuscripts, in which women in which women play a powerful and unusual role, the stories fed off each other, until the ten final stories took shape.

The video works are based on the idea of love or affection that transcends the boundaries set for ways of loving. Love appears as between people, but also between humans and other beings. The wind and the sea have awareness, emotions and a voice of their own.

The theme of the exhibition is also related to the climate crisis and the destruction of the fragile ocean ecosystem. Love for the sea can be seen as a longing for a state where people have a life-sustaining connection to the environment they live in. The exhibition explores the meaning of vulnerability, desire and memory through myths and open-ended narratives. It brings out the power of longing and imagination that unites people. Through barren northern seascapes, the exhibition progresses to places of comfort, empowerment and emotion.

Nastja Säde Rönkkö (b. 1985) is a visual artist living in Helsinki. She works with video, performance, installation, participatory art, the internet and texts. Her projects explore the relationship between the digital age and power, humanity and the future of our planet. She is particularly fascinated by how love, slowness or affection can be quietly radical ways of being and acting in the world. Her art deals with social relationships and the basics of humanity, intimacy, empathy and presence: how they are constructed and what they mean. Nastja Säde Rönkkö has been awarded with many international media art awards. In Finland she was the recipient of the Young Artist of the Year award in 2019 and the Below Zero art prize in 2023.

Those Who Kept the Light

Commissioned by: Kunsthal Rønnebæksholm and Kulturbyrået Mesén
Generously supported by: The Finnish Cultural Institute in Denmark, The Finnish-Norwegian Cultural Institute, The Nordic Culture Fund, Nordisk Kulturfond, AVEK, The Finnish Cultural Foundation, Tönne von Christierson’s Foundation and Fritt Ord and Bergesenstiftelsen
Cinematography: Aake Kivalo

Those Who Kept the Light has been exhibited as an installed version at Kunsthal Rønnebæksholm in Denmark and in Kunthalle Seinäjoki. At Turku Art Museum, the work will be shown as a single-channel projection. The exhibition is supported by the Finnish Heritage Agency.

For further information
Curator Annina Sirén
Tel. +358 50 3568 800

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