Photo: Marko Rantanen

Press release 24 September 2022

EGS’s endless three-letter journey reaches Serlachius Museums, Finland

Over the years, the three letters E, G and S have been drawn around the world at locations ranging from abandoned factories to nuclear submarine bases. The exhibition This Could Go on Forever, by EGS, one of Finland’s best-known graffiti artists, tells of its three-letter journey in different environments, realised with different materials. The exhibition opens at Serlachius Museums in Mänttä on 24 September 2022.

EGS has been painting graffiti since he was 13 years old. Over the years, his three-letter tag has been inscribed at various destinations in over 50 countries. Nowadays, the versatile EGS creates other art, but graffiti still plays a significant role in his production. The graffiti left behind also reflects his desire to remain anonymous.

The exhibition at Serlachius Museums is the result of a multi-stage process. EGS executed on the wall of an abandoned Estonian industrial building a graffiti work, which was documented, after which a three-part glass sculpture based on it was created at a well-known Finnish glass factory in Riihimäki.

The sculpture, in turn, accompanied the artist on his next trip to Estonia, inspiring a new painting, which was also documented, thus perpetuating the process. This Could Go on Forever consists of a documentary depicting the process, photographs of graffiti painting, glass sculptures, and graffiti painted by EGS directly on the wall of the exhibition space.

Geographical and historical dimensions

EGS’s exhibition combines geographical and historical dimensions. He often paints his graffiti on dilapidated buildings in remote areas of Estonia. They are remnants of the country’s Soviet past: disused factory or office buildings, abandoned collective farm chicken houses and Cold War missile silos. Over the decades, nature has begun to reclaim these cast concrete structures.

No one knows how long the graffiti or the walls they are painted on will be around. The whole process is documented on cine film, which lends emphasis to the interweaving of memories and the past with the present. Some of the photographs of the work process were taken with Soviet-made cameras that were in use when the factories were still in full operation.

The documentation of the graffiti has an important place in EGS’s production. The melancholy landscape is also strongly present in the This Could Go on Forever project. The setting becomes as important as the three letters painted in it.

Why has EGS specifically selected the abandoned ruins of Soviet Estonia? EGS’s art has a very personal twist: he addresses the history of society and of visual art through his own memories and background. Born in 1974, the artist has travelled in Estonia since the 1980s, and a significant part of his childhood was overshadowed by the atmosphere of the Cold War and a divided Europe. The work process elements of This Could Go on Forever are related to the processing and re-evaluation of this era.

In addition to EGS, the exhibition’s project team includes photographer Marko Rantanen and graphic designer Viktor Gurov. The exhibition’s project manager is Tomi Moisio, Curator of the Serlachius Museums.

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication designed like a newspaper and packed in a hardcover slip case. The publication has been issued by Parvs Publications Ltd.

EGS’s exhibition This Could Go on Forever is open at Serlachius Museum Gösta from 24 September 2022 to 5 March 2023.

Press releases and photographs:

For further information and image requests, please contact: 
Susanna Yläjärvi, Information Officer of the Serlachius Museums, tel. +358 50 560 0156

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

Visiting addresses:
Serlachius Museum Gösta, Joenniementie 47, Mänttä
Serlachius Museum Gustaf, R. Erik Serlachiuksen katu 2, Mänttä

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