Anssi Pulkkinen, born 1982, is a visual artist living and working in Helsinki. He graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2008, majoring in sculpture. Currently he is working on his DFA at the Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts Helsinki. Pulkkinen works predominantly with sculptures, installations and moving image, with an interest in space and architecture.
Street View (Reassembled)
The starting point for Anssi Pulkkinen’s art work Street View (Reassembled) are the ruins of a destroyed Syrian home that have been shaped into a caravan-like, touring installation. The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux commissioned this new work of contemporary art on the theme of homelessness in spring 2016. The ruins were transported to Europe from Syria in the spring 2017 with the support of the Finnish Syrian Friendship Association.
The work provokes questions around issues such as home and belonging, public and private space, reality and its representation as well as the colonial cultural tradition. Through his art work, Pulkkinen studies the meanings that are evoked in us by the imagery of ruins and fragmentation. How does our relation to the ruins change when they are transported thousands of kilometres into a new spatial and social context in Europe? The art work opens up for multiple readings as it approaches, for example, the romanticised notion of ruins in the Western cultural tradition, or the phenomenon of “refugee art”. The work discusses not only the process of value formation but also the utopias and realities of human mobility. “In my work, I try to shift the attention from our surrounding reality not only to the victims and sufferers but also to our own role as viewers.”