The exhibition Human Space / Ljudski Prostor by artist-architect Ulla-Maija Alanen is based on a study of the architecture of anatomy and the anatomy of architecture, with intriguing photographic works that let viewers look into the underwaterworld, the human body and architectural space. The exhibition will be opened to the public by the Finnish ambassador Timo Rajakangas in Oris House of Architecture on September the 29th at 6 pm.
There is an essential relationship between architecture and the proportions of the human body, and he who has not made himself master of the human form and especially anatomy, will understand nothing of architecture. Michelangelo
When thinking about the human relationship to architectonic space we of course talk about experiencing space, but the space in which our experiencing takes place often remains outside the discussion. We experience and perceive external space but our skin delimits these experiences within our own physical, internal space: feelings are manifested in our body.
When we step into the gallery we step into our own internal landscape. The architectonic space and the body’s space merge, and the latter takes on a new dimension when our internal landscape, structures and proportions present themselves to us as architectonic allegories and metaphors. The topography of the human body becomes a landscape, a geography of the skin. The earth, air and water breathe and are encapsulated in the moment of capturing the image: the invisible form that the person’s movement leaves in the space becomes visible, and underwater photographs resonate with the liquid landscapes of MRI images.
When we move in water our skin is like a membrane that separates our internal ocean from the water outside the body. The different membranes inside us are layered skins that carry and transport the flows inside us. The surfaces that demarcate architectonic space can also be seen as the skin of the building, the task of which is – just in the case of the boundary surfaces of our own body – to simultaneously separate and connect.
Ulla-Maija Alanen is a Helsinki based artist and architect whose art productions have been presented in different parts of the world. She has, among other things, been a pioneer in large-scale façade projections that offer a comment on the urban space. Her current production consists of several underwater video and photographic exhibitions as well as cultural work with the elderly: she is working on improving the living conditions of people with memory impairments by means of art and architecture.
Soundscape: Maija Ruuskanen
Special thanks to: Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Kordelin Foundation, the Embassy of Finland in Croatia