Artist Salla Tykkä wins the AVEK Award for media art

Artist Salla Tykkä (b. 1973) has been awarded this year’s AVEK Award. The AVEK award for media arts, worth €15,000, is the most significant accolade in the field of media arts in Finland.


“The AVEK Award is an important accolade for me since it is awarded by a jury consisting of experts from the field of audiovisual arts,” Tykkä says. “I have been working hard in recent years, in new ways and in search of something new, which is another reason why this award feels especially gratifying. The monetary award is also a concrete form of support and recognition, with the help of which I can continue working on my current projects until they are ready for their openings and premieres.”

Tykkä graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2003, and participated in the Venice Biennale in 2001. In 2006 her short film Zoo won the Arte Award at the Hamburg International Short Film Festival, and in 2014 she won the Tiger Awards Competition for Short Films at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) with her short film Giant. In recent years, Tykkä’s works have been seen at the Biennale of Sydney, the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Art Centre in Belfast as well as the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle.

The AVEK award jury consisted of Director of HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme Juha Huuskonen (Chairman), Art Historian/Producer Nina Toppila, Curator/Researcher Taru Elfving and Media Artist Elena Näsänen, who was AVEK’s Commissioner for Media Art at the time. The recipient of the award was decided by the AVEK board of directors, based on a statement from the jury. The AVEK Award was awarded for the thirteenth time.

The jury appreciated Tykkä’s patience and her ability to boldly reinvent herself, both in terms of the development of her means and language of expression as well as the content of her works. Her works are strongly political, but instead of simply pointing fingers, they exude meaning on multiple levels. “The artist’s work explores repeating power structures via varying conventions related to images, othering the corporeal subject into an object of gaze and thus making it controllable,” the jury describe in their statement. “Her works also display an overarching theme of the concepts of gender and race intertwining with the depiction of nature and narrative, making them particularly topical in our modern times.”

Photo: Salla Tykkä, Giant, 2013.