Johanna Ketola Valley L447

17 April – 24 May, Lower gallery

Valley L447 is an installation composed of two video works along with a selection of photographs and sculptural elements.

With this video installation, I am looking at the relationship between humans and nature in the 21st century, particularly with regards to the representation of nature as a commodity in contemporary consumption culture. The working process for this project was inspired by semiotics, global consumption culture with its large-scale spread of cheap products, the forest, along with haiku poems and their way of depicting the world.

As I was creating this piece, I tried to become aware of my direct impact on my living environment. Similarly, as I became preoccupied with the delicate particularity of the nature around my living habitat, I became increasingly horrified by the ever-growing amount of hazardous substances and non-degradable materials rapidly spreading everywhere on a global scale – due to globalisation, and relentless mass production along with the growth of convenience based values.

In my work, I am looking for a certain kind of precision while at the same time presenting a poetic, figurative interpretation, more than the simple description of the subject. Valley L447 is a place in which natural, unnatural and everything in between is combined. Apart from the aesthetic experience of nature, another perspective, which arises from the accelerating change of the environment, is that of cultural nature – human interpretations of nature, traces left by people in nature, and on the other hand, the question of the definition of nature. Nature seems to be a place that has been invaded: in it, on top of it, inside it, all around it, has been invaded by Fremdkörper (foreign body).

The work emits a calm feeling, but also speaks to the audience in a sensorial experience of alienation and semiotic tension. This is not a fantasy, but rather the detachment from reality, the creation of a new world using different groupings and organizations; a visual world subconsciously coherent.

The soundscape for the video-work in this exhibition was composed by musician Petri Alanko who is part of the band Talmud Beach.

I would like to thank all those who participated in this project: Petri Alanko, Aimo Enroos, Irma Ekman, Kaisa Ekosaari, Piia Heinävaara ja Vitja-koira, Matti Harju, Minna Harju, Hanneli Hiiri, Minna Kaukonen, Vuokko Lehtonen, Tuula Merisalo, Jenni Nieminen, Arto Niiranen, Sari Pylsy, Anni Roivas, Kimmo Sarastenpää, Marjaana Seelbach, Minna Taipalus, Heikki Toivonen and Eevaliisa Veijanen as well as the Jämsä Region Nature Friends, Erätukku, Retkitukku, Rautia Jämsä, Tarvikekeskus Jämsä, Börjes Kotimäki and Aramara Ratsastus.

Johanna Ketola is a visual artist who graduated as a photographer from the Lahti Institute of Art and Design in and went on to receive her Masters of Fine Art at the Academy of Fine