Factory is Outside
Esther Shalev-Gerz's exhibition on work and its transformation
Museum Gustaf 1.4.2017—1.4.2018
Vilnius-born and Paris-based Esther Shalev-Gerz (b. 1948) is a subtle concept artist. In her photographic and video works she investigates how cultural identities are constructed and examines the role and status of traditional professions in a world that is global and undergoing a rapid digital transformation.
The exhibition Factory is outside comprises four interweaving series of works, the themes of which arise also from the history of the small industrial town. The mill has set the pace for the every day life in Mänttä for generations. At the same time, the radical restructuring of the traditional industry has had a strong impact on the locality.
In Sound Machine (2008), the looms at the textile factory have fallen silent and the workers recall their noisy working environment. The Last Click (2010–11) recounts the downfall of a highly-regarded camera factory and reveals the now empty workshops. Describing Labor (2012) focuses on depictions of work and labour in art.
Dead Wood (2016), shot in an ancient woodland in central Europe, recalls a time before the arrival of the wood and paper industries. This poetic work is an excursion into the essence of the forest with four people who represent different branches. Timo Valjakka is the curator of the exhibition.