Victory of the Sun
HAM gallery • 30.7.2016-11.9.2016
A human landscape opens up in front of us where the planetary changes are steered less by natural forces and rational sense, and more by fanciful attempts to achieve abstract freedom, spirituality and beauty.
Soon after all the areas of the globe had been mapped, conquering space became one of humanity’s most important missions. The Russian cosmists of the 19th century saw the Earth as a ship, which enabled them to travel towards God.
The name of Antti Majava’s exhibition, Victory of the Sun, refers to the plan for an opera named Victory over the Sun, which was created during the futurists’ first all-Russian union meeting in the town of Polyany in the summer of 1913. This opera became a culmination point for the art movement called Suprematism, which was possibly best known for Kazimir Malevich’s extreme abstractions, such as a black square on a white background.
Malevich’s Suprematist Manifesto (1915) begins with these words: ”Under Suprematism I understand the supremacy of pure feeling in creative art. To the Suprematist the visual phenomena of the objective world are, in themselves, meaningless; the significant thing is feeling, as such, quite apart from the environment in which it is called forth.” In 1921 Malevich wrote to his comrade Osip Brink: ”The earth’s surface is not organised. It is covered with seas, mountains. Some nature exists. I want to create instead of that nature, a Suprematist nature, build pursuant to laws of Suprematism.
Hannah Arendt begins her book The Human Condition (1958) by describing the flight of the first satellite through empty and silent space as it revolves around the Earth. According to Arendt, satellites and space programmes illustrate one of the basic traits of Western thinking: experiencing the body and the Earth as factors that restrict life and thinking.
In 2016, man has dominance over all ecosystems on Earth through land use, global warming, ocean acidification and numerous other changes.
Antti Majava’s Victory of the Sun reflects the suprematists and researchers’ views on ecological development until the present day. He simultaneously reflects on the role of the arts as a builder of the current condition of humanity, and in producing and spreading information which is highly important for our future.