Ea Vasko | Reflecting Spatiality

Ea Vasko | Reflecting Spatiality

Opening: 15 March 2024, 6 – 9 pm
Exhibition: 16 March – 20 April 2024
Venue: Persons Projects, Lindenstr. 34, 10969 Berlin

Ea Vasko can easily be called one of the most innovative artists from the Helsinki School. She has been working abstractly since the beginning of her artistic career, with her work taking an outstanding position within the Finnish art scene of the early 2000s. Even now, Vasko remains one of the few artists from this platform that continues to operate outside of figurative art. Staying true to her initial ideas, her work questions the basic principles of photography from the act of seeing to the objectivity of an image. Furthermore, she interrogates the different mechanisms of human perception, such as valuation or categorization. Vasko’s interests lie in an urban environments ability to fluidly move and change over the course of time. She utilizes reflections as a method of testing the limits of abstraction, sometimes driving her initially figurative subjects to a point beyond recognition. The exhibition will present a selected group of works, all which deconstruct various aspects of architecture and spaciality, and investigate further into our relationship towards urban space and space that is not perceived at all.

From early on, Ea Vasko was introduced to the cognitive skill of three-dimensional thinking with an influence from her parent’s architectual occupation. She has always been capable of analysing her surroundings, understanding spatial conditions used within her own artistic visions. Thus, one of her core topics is the process of perception itself. Reflections of The Ever-Changing (The Short Story of Now) is one of the artist’s most comprehensive observations. For this series, Vasko photographed reflections nightly in cities at close range.Through the reflections, she captures the constant change and movement that takes place in urban spaces. The artist compares these reflections to momentary experiences: the experience of now is fresh, abstract, and still apart from a logical timeline of history that we tend to build in our heads. The abstraction bears an unpredictable quality of the now while already indicating change that is about to happen. It is not completely definable yet – it is a part of a bigger picture. The reflection can be captured by a photograph, but after all, the camera is too slow to detain the ever-changing. Something in the picture has moved on already during the exposure.

Besides these more time-based works, Vasko spends a great amount of time on how to depict different aspects of spatiality. In Ma, the artist has been photographing so-called transitional spaces, such as corridors, hallways, and yards. The title of the series is a Japanese term that is used in art and architecture and translates to "gap” or "the space between two structural parts”. Vasko’s photographs raise the consciousness of these types of places that are usually not perceived or given much attention. Her pictures embrace the invisibility of transitional spaces and create dreamlike scenarios that bear as much significance as architectural photographs.
In Translucents, Vasko further investigates this field and challenges the traditional way of depicting architecture. Based on observations made through windows, the artist reflects upon architectural photography and how buildings are usually represented as clean and flawless results of long working processes. Aesthetically pleasing and often without any sign of life, this type of photography often bears an artificial character. Translucents can be seen as a shift of focus in showing that architecture is as much involved in the aging process as humans themselves: "The way everyday life has changed the buildings from a vision of the architect to a place formed by its users is a very inspiring subject to me and by that it is also one of the main themes in my work.”

Ea Vasko was born in Helsinki in 1980 where she lives and works today. She received an MA in Photography from the Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture (now University of Art and Design) in 2009. Since then, her work has been shown in many solo exhibitions, including Ma at Gallery Kant (Copenhagen, 2015) and Defining Darkness at G/P Gallery (Tokyo, 2009). Her work has also been exhibited in group shows throughout Europe, including Fin(n)ish: Fresh Contemporary Art from Finland, Rare Gallery (New York, 2014), Helsinki Abstract, Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska (Salzburg, 2012), and Touching Dreams - The Helsinki School, The National Museum of Photography (Copenhagen, 2011).

Ea Vasko, "#08", from the series "Reflections of the ever-changing (the short history of now), 2009, digital C-print, mounted on matte Diasec, 155 x 182 cm © the artist, Courtesy: Persons Projects.