Friday 17. May 2019
Serlachius Museums presents American artist Matthew Day Jackson’s first solo exhibition and role-playing game in Finland
Maa, a new exhibition by Matthew Day Jackson at the Serlachius Museum Gösta in Mänttä, imagines a post-apocalyptic world thousand years in the future, made uninhabitable by humankind. What has become of life on Earth’s surface without human influence, and how has the world recovered from the destruction? And what of the human survivors who have become subterranean refugees, and the scouts that are sent to explore the devastated surface and assess its healing process? What does it feel like the first time you see the Moon and stars that are only known through myth and storytelling?
Maa is comprised of two complementary parts that interweave archaeology, evolution theory, occult ritual, Gothic cathedrals, colour theories, horror and sci-fi literature, and the history of the conquest of space. The first component is an installation of figurative sculpture made at human scale, created over the past ten years. These works exemplify Jackson’s return to the human form as a wry testament to anthropocentric self-regard. The sculptures are mapped within the exhibition space on the Golden Section, the calculation studied in Ancient Greece to the present day, and a recurring schema in Jackson’s work.
The sculptures are unique works but, grouped together, the figures speak to each other and the other component of the exhibition, the role-playing game Maa. The post-apocalyptic landscape of the game and engagement with its world is another possible access point for engagement with the sculptures. Maa may be played within the exhibition space in the company of the figurative sculpture, or in the location of one’s choosing, in a group or as a solo experience. The Maa game box replaces the traditional exhibition catalogue.
Matthew Day Jackson is an artist of the information age. He is insatiably curious and interested in the interconnectivity of ideas, places, people and objects, and making skilful use of the hits that search-engine algorithms offer him. His works, whose conceptual offshoots are multi-directional, are reminiscent of complex maths equations or the forking paths in Jorge Luis Borges’ imaginary gardens. They are intellectual stages on which history and age-old myths view their own mirror-images in the distant future.
The exhibition Maa is curated by Timo Valjakka with exhibition design by Tarja Väätänen. The role-playing game Maa is designed by Matthew Day Jackson together with Tom Morton (Contributing Editor, Frieze magazine) and Juhana Pettersson (Vampire the Masquerade, 5th Edition). The exhibition has been co-produced with Hauser & Wirth Gallery.
Museums in the middle of the forest
The Serlachius Museums Gösta and Gustaf form an exceptional museum complex in Finland. The museums are situated in small town in the middle of the forest. In 2014, Art Museum Gösta received alongside it a timber-frame extension, the Pavilion, designed by the Barcelona architecture studio MX_SI.
With addition of the Pavilion, Serlachius Museums have also become a major player in the field of contemporary Finnish art. Each year, the museums present a number of fascinating Finnish and international contemporary art exhibitions. The Serlachius Museums are renowned for their high-quality art collection, which is constantly being supplemented with thoughtful acquisitions.
The Serlachius Museums are open:
in the winter season 1 September–31 May, from Tuesday to Sunday 11 am-6 pm
in the summer season 1 June–31 August, every day 10 am–6 pm
Serlachius Museum Gösta, Joenniementie 47, 35800 Mänttä, Finland
Serlachius Museum Gustaf, R. Erik Serlachiuksen katu 2, 35800 Mänttä, Finland
@serlachius #maatheroleplayinggame #maatheexhibition
Timo Valjakka, Curator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Juhana Pettersson, Game Designer, email@example.com
Susanna Yläjärvi, Information Officer of Serlachius Museums, firstname.lastname@example.org, +358 (0)50 560 0156.