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Tatu Tuominen – Artist Statement

Bringing forward the contradiction between idealistic architectural future visions and the subjective real life urban experience is the core of my artistic practise. My aim is also to inspire viewers to envision utopias of their own. I enjoy creating my own applications of apparatus that arise from the history of printmaking, the printing industry and the possibilities of digital technologies.

In my work I deal with modernist ideals of living. More precisely, my work explores the imagery that is printed on the pages of books that address the history of modernism in architecture. Usually these pictures depict a perfect and unchangeable city with practically no human presence. In my artistic process I appropriate these desolate images and make my own renditions of them by altering and juxtaposing the visual elements they contain. While doing this I reflect on the significance of graphic arts in the midst of the digital revolution.

When making collages, instead of reading the aforementioned architecture books, I cut the offset-printed images on the pages into pieces and put them back together into new combinations. My videos are made by shooting the by-product of the collage process, the cut paper scrap. I have composed the soundtracks of these videos by sampling and playing back minuscule snippets of the score music from sci-fi movies that take place in a city in the future. So not only the visual content of the videos but also the soundtrack is a collage. I use the method of sampling – the strategy of golden age hiphop music that I’ve adopted from my passion for making beats – not only in conjunction with sound but also visually in the case of the Carceri Contemporanei prints. In the process of making these prints I have extracted odd lines and fragments from vector format plans and elevations of the quintessential Finnish modernist architect Alvar Aalto, and made my own versions of his iconic buildings by using computer-operated drypoint as a tool.

Print and collage are the subject-matter of my work which I handle with a multi-media approach: collage, painting, moving image, sound, printed matter, paper cut-outs or light installations. By taking apart the imagery of modernist utopias and amalgamating them into new arrangements, I question the norms that be and create alternative representations of what our present and future environments could look like.