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Short shadow, long journey – The universe of Rax Rinnekangas

Visual arts

Short shadow, long journey – The universe of Rax Rinnekangas

A prolific filmmaker and photographer, the author Rax Rinnekangas' works are an attempt to bring light into an ever-darkening world. This retrospective-style showcase will present his oeuvre through two exhibitions, a documentary series and the premiere of his Matka Edeniin (A Journey to Eden) feature film.

Rinnekangas (b. 1954) stands out among his Finnish peers by the decidedly international scope of his work. His documentary and art house films on themes such as art, modernist music and architecture are regularly screened at festivals and museums across the world. Rinnekangas is also a well-known photographer: he has had more than 60 exhibitions in many different countries in such places like Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain.

Rinnekangas has published more than 25 books in Finland and further afield, including novels, short stories, essays and illustrated works. In his work, Rinnekangas explores themes such as European identity, Holocaust legacy, guilt and atonement and the aesthetics of space and light. He has received numerous awards in recognition of his work, including the Finnish State Prize for Photographic art in 1989 and the State Prize for Literature in 1992.

Rax Rinnekangas' work is defined by his strong understanding of the character of the world. Summing up his philosophy, he says: "Every day we must come to understand that each intelligent act - a sentence, a photograph, a drawing, a composition - contains the healing message that can slow down the encroachment of the negative within us. This is what I am committed to in my work".


Rax Rinnekangas at Helsinki Festival:


1. Film screenings at the Ateneum Hall

Documentary film series 26-28 August 2011 at the Ateneum Hall
Tickets: Ateneum Art Museum ticket office, €10/€8 (Students)

Night of the Arts, Friday 26 August, 18:00-20:00
Language: Spanish and Finnish
Subtitles: Finnish

Saturday 27 August, 13:00-17:00
ZAHARA & URGA (60min, 2004)
Language: Finnish
Subtitles: English

Sunday 28 August, 14:00-17:00
Language: Finnish and Russian
Subtitles: Finnish

The film screenings are part of Helsinki Festival and are organised in cooperation with Ateneum Art Museum, Bad Taste Ltd and the Doc Point Documentary Film Festival

2. Exhibition at Laterna Magica

Viimeinen maa - Finlandia (The Last Land - Finlandia) exhibition
19 August - 3 September 2011
Laterna Magica
Rauhankatu 7, 00170 Helsinki
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11:00-17:00, Sat 11:00-15:00
Free entry

The exhibition comprises the film Viimeinen metsäpoika - The Last Forest Boy (2007) 28'

On the Night of the Arts 26 August at 16:00, the gallery will host a screening of Suomalainen ajatus (A Finnish Idea) (2009) 57'.

3. Five Master Houses of the World - Outdoor film screenings at the Museum of Finnish Architecture

A series of five Rax Rinnekangas films will be screened in a marquee at the Museum of Finnish Architecture at Kasarmikatu 24. Free entry.

Night of the Arts, Friday 26 August, 20:00-22:00
Melnikovin talo (Melnikov House), Russia
Introduction: Professor Juhani Pallasmaa
Villa Mairea, Finland
Introduction: Professor Kristian Gullichsen

Sunday 28 August, 20:00
Casa Estudio, Mexico
Introduction: Rax Rinnekangas

Monday 29 August, 20:00
Le Cabanon, France
Introduction: architect Jorma Mukala

Tuesday 30 August, 20:00
Koshino-talo (Koshino House), Japan
Introduction: architect Markku Komonen


4. Face to Face - Transatlantic

A photo cinema installation comprising some 90 colour photographs on the Oedipal relationship between Old World Europeans and New World Europeans.

Amos Anderson Art Museum
19 August - 31 October 2011
Tickets €8/6/4 available at Amos Anderson Art Museum

Opening hours: Mon, Thu, Fri 10:00-18:00 / Wed 10:00-20:00 / Sat, Sun 11:00-17:00 / Tue Closed


5. Matka Edeniin (A Journey to Eden)

Premiere of Matka Edeniin (A Journey to Eden)
Bio Rex 31 August 2011, 19:00
Tickets €8 (full-price), €7 (OAPs), €5 (concessions), available through Lippupalvelu

This film by Rax Rinnekangas charts the wintry journey of two artists, hailing from different cultural backgrounds, as they travel through the renowned La Rioja wine region in Spain. One of the men, Ignacio, lives in Finland and is traumatized by the guilt he feels over a car crash, which has left his daughter in a medically-induced coma in Helsinki. She is due regain consciousness in ten days time. The other man, a Spanish-based illustrator name Comaz, is at a dead end creatively. A female model, central to his long-standing Hands theme, no longer wishes to continue working with him. During their journey, the men visit churches and convents around La Rioja to view art works depicting human hands - and sample the region's wines along the way.
While visiting a hilltop, they meet a vagabond by the name of Fireman. He guides the two men to a chapel built by a reclusive monk, where unexpected events alter their relationship with guilt, forgiveness and the struggle to believe - their whole lives.

Language: Spanish
Subtitles: Finnish / Swedish

For further information, visit: www.matkaedeniin.fi (Finnish only)


Photo: Rax Rinnekangas



Fri 19.8. - Wed 31.8.   
August / September 2011
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