Avia - Jussi Heikkilä & Jyrki Siukonen

Mar 19. – May 24. Holvi

Thoughts about flying have a strong aesthetic dimension. Bird’s ability to spread their wings and rise into the sky and people’s desire to follow are both abundantly described in romantic terms.

Jussi Heikkilä and Jyrki Siukonen have been creating work about flying for many years now. Heikkilä’s relationship to this theme began as an observation of birds, and Siukonen is interested in the history of people’s attempt to fly. Both artists often approach the theme from a cultural history perspective. The result is not pictures of birds or airplanes, but artwork about symbols and interpretations of flying. The viewer is challenged to mentally soar with the artwork.

Jussi Heikkilä (born in 1952) has worked on themes of ornithology for over 20 years. He comes from a background of active bird watching, which has inspired his passion of all birds form the common Willow Warbler to rare arctic species. Heikkilä has also compared the annual migration patterns of various birds on airport-type arrival/departure monitors, displaying flight control for avian traffic.

Heikkilä’s work usually shows great concern for the influence of human activities and the pollution of the environment. Thoughts about flight can also evoke the threat of the Avian Flu, global finances and throwing money into the wind. On the other hand, it can also materialize as extremely small series of dots, which are derived from constellations named after birds.

Jyrki Siukonen (born in 1959) has studied the relationship between art and aeronautics with artwork as well as in writing. His doctorate thesis “Uplifted Spirits, Earthbound Machines. Studies on Artists and the Dream of Flight, 1900–1935” (written at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2001) dealt with the artist’s role in the early history of flight. Many of Europe’s first pilots were artists and Finland’s first airplane was bought by a sculptor.

In Siukonen’s work, the thought of flying can be shown in many surprising forms. The sculptor Tatlin’s unsuccessful flying machine is remembered by a pair of winged underpants, and on behalf of the faster than sound Concord, we have a sheet music with erased staffs. Flying is also associated with Kafka’s story of the coal bucket rider and Wittgenstein’s patent application for an airplane propeller.

In 2004, Jussi Heikkilä and Jyrki Siukonen held joint exhibitions together in Turku, Finland and in New York, USA.

The exhibition is part of the Jyväskylä Museums’ collective of events and exhibitions in Magic of Flight. More information www.avoinmuseo.fi/lentamisenihme