CAM presents the first solo U.S. museum exhibition of Finnish contemporary artist and renowned documentary filmmaker Mika Taanila. Mika Taanila: Tomorrow’s New Dawn features a number of significant videos and installations created over the past decade as well as several important new works. The artist uses the documentary form to consider and often critique the implications of humanity’s drive towards advancement, frequently emphasizing the failure of utopian visions to fulfill their promises and questioning the costs associated with progress.
Tomorrow’s New Dawn presents the North American premiere of The Most Electrified Town in Finland (2012), Taanila’s groundbreaking work about the construction of the world’s most powerful nuclear power plant in western Finland—the first to be built in the West since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. This expansive, three-channel video installation arrives at CAM following its world premiere at dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, Germany, in summer 2012, where it received critical acclaim. Also featured in the exhibition is Six Day Run (2012), a single-channel video installation about a Finnish runner’s participation in a grueling New York City race in which athletes run continually for six days on minimal sleep in order to achieve what spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy describes as “self-transcendence.” Tomorrow’s New Dawn also includes a new body of experimental photograms titled Black and White Movies (2013), inspired by climactic scenes in major Hollywood film productions, as well as several other works that illustrate the significant gallery practice that Taanila has developed over the past decade.
Mika Taanila (b. 1965, Helsinki, Finland) lives and works in Helsinki. For more than twenty years, he has created works in film, video, photography, sound, and installation that investigate various technological developmentas and the innovators behind them. Solo and two-person exhibitions include Mika Taanila: The Most Electrified Town in Finland, KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (forthcoming, fall 2013); On The Spot #4, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany (2008); Zone d'éclipse totale, Dazibao, Centre de photographies actuelles, Montréal, Canada (2007); Une histoire saccadée (with Erkki Kurenniemi), Institut Finlandais, Paris (2006); Hotel Futuro, Spacex Gallery, Exeter, UK (2005); and Mika Taanila: Human Engineering at Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich (2005). Taanila’s films and installations have been featured at more than 200 international film festivals and exhibitions, including dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany (2012).
Mika Taanila: Tomorrow's New Dawn is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by Kelly Shindler, Assistant Curator.