Nina Kurtela: Inner Landscapes / Imaginary Homes

Nina Kurtela: Inner Landscapes / Imaginary Homes
22 June–23 July 2022

You are cordially invited to the opening of the solo exhibition by Nina Kurtela entitled Inner Landscapes / Imaginary Homes, which will take place on Wednesday, 22 June 2022, at 7 p. m. at the KiBela space for art.


Inner Landscapes / Imaginary Homes is Nina Kurtela’s first (solo) exhibition in Maribor. In the video essay Dear Aki, three letters addressed to Aki Kaurismäki are accompanied by scenes filmed in Dubrovnik and Helsinki. In her letters, the artist addresses the renowned Finnish director as an old acquaintance, although in reality, they are letters without a recipient. In this case, the director's name denotes a protagonist who longs for a distant and idealized Elsewhere and functions as a counterpoint to the artist's longing for an identity that would »offer her more opportunities.« Dear Aki is, therefore, like Nina Kurtela for the unknown Finns, only a presumed identity in which one can inscribe one's expectations with and without prejudice.

In search of an imaginary Finnish identity, the artist visited Helsinki and explored the possibilities of inscribing herself in a newfound space. Her search made sense when she found a neon sign reading »Dubrovnik« in Aki Kaurismäki's café. The dazzling sign reminded her of the Dubrovnik origin of her surname and created a link between these two distant places. Moreover, it was a film that proved to be the ideal medium for staging the excised categories of time, space, and the body.

The film is composed of layered, overlapping scenes that do not say much about a particular location. They could be understood as South or North, although even this division is not precisely appropriate or definitive. The edges of the filmed scenes, softened by the editing, merge into each other, and it is the chosen medium that has allowed the emergence of a third displaced/imaginary space. The scenes of the sea, palms, and pine trees, as well as the industrial motifs in the film, have an almost painterly quality and listening to the content of the letters, we are taken by the striking aesthetics of the newly created non-place.

Nina Kurtela
(born in Zagreb) is visual artist and a dance maker who works with choreographic and site-specific practices. Through her conceptual, often immaterial and time-based art practice she works with methodologies of endurance, presence, perseverance, rituals, daily practice and matter of chance while questioning notions of monetary values, immaterial labor, identity, intimacy, belonging, home and its fictions. She creates works across a wide range of forms; namely video, installation, performance, choreography and dance. Her work is presented internationally in a variety of contexts – in museums and galleries, theater, dance and film festivals, and in public space: KW Berlin, MUMOK Vienna, MSU Zagreb, HKW Berlin, 104 Paris, Tokyo Opera City Gallery, MMOMA Moscow, Royal Albert Hall London, Ars Aevi Sarajevo, Tanz Im August Berlin, Transmediale Berlin, Oberhausen Short Film Festival, Survival Kit Riga, X-border Art Biennial Sweden etc. She was granted residencies at: Amant Sienna, Q21 MuseumsQuartier Vienna, Cite interna- tionale des arts Paris, THAV Taipei, HIAP Helsinki, GeoAIR Tbilisi, CEC ArtsLink Portland Oregon, KulturKontakt Austria Vienna. She was nominated for the Berlin Art Prize (2018) and received following awards: Japanese Media Arts New Face Award Tokyo, X-border Art Biennial Award Sweden, Henkel Art Award (Young Artist’s Prize CEE) Vienna, Essl Art Award CEE Vienna. She studied »Dance, Context, Choreography« at the HZT, Universität der Künste Berlin and holds a diploma (MFA) in visual arts and art education from The Academy of Fine Arts Zagreb.


< Nina Kurtela, Delayering, solo exhibition at MKC Split, 2021. Photo: Gloria Lizde, MKC Split.

Admission free.

The project has received additional financial support from the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia and the City Office for Culture, International Relations and Civil Society of the City of Zagreb.

Opening hours: 10 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday, 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday.

Photo: Janez Klenovšek

Photo: Janez Klenovšek



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