Four video-performances

Pilvi Takala
Four video-performances
23.03 — 17.04.16
Artist’s talk and screening: March 22, 2016, at 6:30 pm
Looped screening 23.03 – 17.04.2016
Cinema Dynamo, 4th floor of the Centre d'Art Contemporain. Free entrance.

The Cinema Dynamo presents four video works by the Finnish artist Pilvi Takala (b. 1981, Helsinki).
In her work, Takala trespasses smaller microcosms, using a hidden camera to document a single, subtle act of transgression of established social conduct. In doing so, she unsettles the unspoken rules of various ambiguous societies

Real Snow White, 2009, 9.15 min

The absurd logic of the “real character” and the extreme discipline of Disneyland become apparent when a real fan of Disney’s Snow White is banned from entering the park in a Snow White costume.

The Trainee, 2008, 14 min

To realize The Trainee, the artist worked for a month undercover as trainee in the marketing department of the multinational Deloitte. Gradually she shifts from the position of someone others believe normal to the object of avoidance and speculation. If apparent activity and browsing Facebook during working hours belong to the acceptable behavioural patterns of a work community, sitting in front of an empty desk, thinking, threatens the peace of the community. The videos and slideshow reveal a spectrum of ways of looking after the odd member in a group.

Players, 2010, 7.50 min

Players portrays a community of six poker professionals who live among a larger poker community in Bangkok. Playing poker is more just a way to make money than a passion for them, but the rules that govern their community follow the logic of the game. The systematic and analyzed way these poker players look at everyday life may seem absurd, but this shock might be more over their ignoring their original society than over the way they have built their own.

Drive With Care, 2013, 12.54 min

Based on Takala's time spent undercover as a teacher in an elite boarding school in the USA, Drive With Care explores people's strategies for survival and how faculty members and their families negotiate their own space within the institution. The piece is about finding loopholes - places to breathe - while being careful not to violate shared rules.

Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève
Rue des Vieux-Grenadiers 10,
1205 Genève
P.O. Box 121, 1211 Genève 8

Workers Forum in Artforum

Pilvi Takala
Asmalı Mescit Mh., Meşrutiyet Cd No:93
January 30–March 27

When the sun sets in Istanbul, the architectural hodgepodge of Beyoğlu—the main cultural and (especially) nightlife artery of the city—comes alive with palpably garish, universally dramatic lighting on its fin-de-siѐcle and post-’80s facades alike. The source of this visual din, an uninterrupted series of light-accessory shops, proceeds uphill, culminating in a gigantic LED panel atop the Marmara Pera hotel that serves as a screen for the nonprofit art space YAMA. Established by Sylvia Kouvali (the founder of Rodeo Gallery) with support from Kağan Gürsel (the hotel’s owner), YAMA—which means “patch” in Turkish—has in the past “patched in” works by the likes of Claire Fontaine, Wael Shawky, and Jordan Wolfson to the fabled Istanbul skyline; now it has become the sight/site of Pilvi Takala’s Workers Forum, 2015.

Workers Forum, in its various incarnations, showcases various messages collected from an online support message board for the employees of a microlabor platform—in this case the US-based service known as Invisible Girlfriend/Boyfriend, which sends its customers SMS messages from imaginary partners. The negligible pay, Takala admits as a veteran employee, leaves no doubt that the workers—often addictively—carry on for pleasure. While there are strict virtual boundaries to intimacy with customers, messages on the forum evince a bizarre community in the making: “I am proud of us,” writes a certain “Garish,” while “Jesse” complains: “People are not convinced that we are real.” Despite perhaps failing to create a semblance of reality, these fictions of affection are fraught with competition: “Ebony,” an employee, complains that “the new ones do not bother to play their parts” and prompts a collective call among other experienced employees to oust the newbies without proper work ethics. The conspicuous and decidedly benevolent desire to serve better and spread kindness for almost no pay, a comical allegory of good government, stands in silent but scathing contrast to the state corruption and police violence that Istanbul harbors.