In this exhibition Laura Horelli is showing her video Haukka-Pala (A-Bit-to-Bite), 2009, and her most recent work, The Terrace, 2011, as well as the six-part photo series Terrace of European Single Person in Kileleshwa, 2011. On the occasion of the ceremony of the awarding of the Hannah-Höch-Förderpreis 2011 to Laura Horelli, the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein is simultaneously presenting a solo show with a comprehensive catalogue of the artist´s works (1999–2011).
Haukka-Pala consists solely of television pictures of Laura Horelli‘s mother, a nutritionist who wrote and presented a children’s TV programme on good nutrition for Finnish State Television during the two years before her death – from 1984 to 1986. The artist overlaps these staged public images with a voice-over narrating her own memories and comments on loss and trauma from the perspective of a ten-year old. She also reads excerpts from her mother’s diary, which the latter wrote in her mid-twenties. The public image is thus deconstructed by the private. Haukka-Pala was made for the exhibition The Collectors, curated by the artist duo Elmgreen und Dragset for the Danish and Nordic Pavilion at the 2009 Venice Biennale.
In The Terrace, Laura Horelli addresses her childhood experiences in Nairobi, where she lived for four years with her family in a modernist compound in the later 1970s and early 1980s. The work includes video recordings of the compound and its buildings, filmed by the artist during visits to Nairobi in 2010, and also photographs of varying sizes and quality that were taken by her mother and document the everyday life of the family in Nairobi. These various perspectives are accompanied by the artist’s thoughts and ideas in a voice-over. Horelli reflects on the social and physical environment of the gated area and particularly on the relationships between the tenants and the employed staff there.
In both of these films Horelli continues her conceptual approach, based on addressing reality in a subjective way. Personal stories are used to examine structures in society. The borders between the public and the private become diffuse.
Charlotte von Uthmann