Pilvi Takala to represent Finland at the 2021 Venice Biennale
Artist Pilvi Takala has been selected to exhibit in the Pavilion of Finland at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Curated by Christina Li, the exhibition will be commissioned and produced by Frame.
“I am thrilled to be making a new work for the Pavilion of Finland in Venice. My practice is slow, requiring a long research process, so I am especially grateful to Frame for approaching me for a proposal well in advance. The fact that I could start researching early on means I don’t have to make any compromises due to lack of time and can be more ambitious about what I’m making,” says Takala.
“We are very pleased to be working with Pilvi Takala. She is an artist with a very special artistic practice. This exhibition will give her the opportunity to further develop her unique view on the world,” says Frame’s Director and Commissioner of the Pavilion of Finland Raija Koli. “I’m also happy to have curator Christina Li on board our journey towards the exhibition in 2021. Her perspective and her previous work with Pilvi puts her in a perfect place of collaboration.”
Pilvi Takala divides her time between Berlin and Helsinki. Her video works are based on performative interventions in which she researches specific communities in order to process social structures and question the normative rules and truths of our behaviour in different contexts. Her works show that it is often possible to learn about the implicit rules of a social situation simply through its disruption.
Takala’s work has been shown at MoMA PS1, New Museum, Palais de Tokyo, Museum of Contemporary art Kiasma, Kunsthalle Basel, Manifesta 11, CCA Glasgow, International Film Festival Rotterdam, HotDocs, Witte de With, and the 9th Istanbul Biennial.
Takala won the Dutch Prix de Rome in 2011, the Emdash Award in 2013, and the Finnish State Prize for Visual Arts in 2013.
Christina Li is a curator and writer working in Hong Kong and Amsterdam. She was the Curator-at-Large at Spring Workshop, Hong Kong, where she served as the Director between 2015 and 2017. At Spring, she curated projects such as A Collective Present (2017), Wu Tsang: Duilian (2016), and Wong Wai Yin: Without Trying (2016). Her most recent exhibition, Dismantling the Scaffold (2018), was the inaugural exhibition at Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong.
As a writer, she has contributed to publications including Artforum, Art Review Asia, LEAP, Parkett, Spike, and Yishu Journal of Contemporary Art. She was the curator of Hong Kong’s participation with Shirley Tse at the 58th Venice Biennale 2019 and is currently working on a special project marking the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Art Basel with Kasper Koenig, and Hamza Walker.
“Having closely followed Pilvi Takala’s uncompromising practice for more than a decade, I am thrilled and humbled to have the opportunity to further our conversions in this forthcoming collaboration, and to bring Pilvi’s daring vision into fruition for this occasion,” says Li.
The exhibition in the Pavilion of Finland is commissioned and produced by Frame Contemporary Art Finland. Frame, an advocate for Finnish contemporary art, supports international initiatives, facilitates professional partnerships, and encourages critical development within the field through grants, visitor programmes and residencies, seminars and talks, exhibition collaborations and network platforms.
Frame has a varying practice for selecting artists featured at the Venice Biennale. For the 2021 Venice Biennale, Frame invited both the artist and curator. For the 2017 and 2019 biennials, Frame invited proposals in open calls.
The exhibition is supported by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.
Curator Christina Li and the artist Pilvi Takala in Helsinki. Picture: Ida Enegren