In her second solo exhibition at Galerie Barbara Weiss, the artist Laura Horelli, born 1976 in Helsinki, will show the video film You Go Where You’re Sent along with seven additional photographs. The artist pursues, in a broader sense, a semi-sociological working approach and is concerned in particular with the issues of female representation and self-understanding in public, media, and psychic spaces.
With You Go Where You’re Sent, Horelli presents a review of the varied, international stages in the life of her grandmother (i.a. 1936: Berlin, 1946-50: Rio de Janeiro, 1950-54: New York and Washington, 1968-72: Bucharest), who, before completing her studies to become a doctor and marrying a Finnish diplomat, took part as a member of the Finnish gymnastics team in the fringe events of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.
The video film (about 20 min. loop), which is projected on a screen in a darkened space of the gallery, strings together private snapshots and official pictures from her grandmother’s diverse photo albums – in the chronological sequence of selected stages of her life: black-and-white as well as colour photos which Laura Horelli chose in a protracted process during several visits at her grandmother. The images are commented on and analysed by Laura Horelli along with excerpts from discussions she had with her grandmother about the images.
As the wife of a diplomat, the grandmother frequently travelled abroad and on a regular basis she and her husband changed their place of residence. Their tasks were chiefly of a representative nature. The artist Laura Horelli is interested in the life-style and living conditions of her grandmother and especially in her female self-understanding and her role as a woman at the side of a diplomat. Was she successful in creating a balance between her profession as a physician, which she tried to pursue as far as time allowed, and her obligations as the wife of a diplomat?
In the entrance space of the gallery, the artist presents seven framed photographs as supplements, which are hung in groups. Three photos focus on the grandparents’ bookshelves, another on the large number of photo albums which Horelli leafed through. Next to it, one motif makes reference to the presence of the artist in the room: her notebook and recording equipment standing on the grandparents’ couch table. Another pair of motifs gives a view of the urban situation from an elevated perspective: one photo depicts the Strausberger Platz in Berlin, shot from the artist’s flat, the other shows the view from her grandmothers’ living room.