Riikka Tauriainen, Hydrocommons: Watery Bodies and Fluid Exchange, 2019. Installation view

Hydrocommons: Watery Bodies and Fluid Exchange

2019. Installation

It took us millions of years to get a little drier. As humans, we are containers carrying around our moisture within us, but this moisture is also constantly escaping as vapours or urine. Our porosity makes us vulnerable: when we overflow and when we lose our water. We are creatures of tonicity through and through. Not only "we" seemingly solid, dry people, but all life forms. With such thoughts, the artist moves within a post-humanistic world of ideas. Also, aquatic affinities should not be understood romantically or in a backward looking way, that's not the point, but rather in a profoundly materialistic relationality connected to living as well as dead matter.

The artist began thinking about the aesthetic consumption of watery worlds as being problematic. Underwater divers produce extremely attractive pictures. Jellyfish turn into a pure art of nature. However, with the right camera and good light one can just as easily aestheticize floating plastic bags. In this video, there is only plastic waste. Jellyfish can also multiply as a result of pollution. Tauriainen is interested in reflecting on her own anthropocentrism by thinking through the perspectives of jellyfish and aquatic creatures. She is trying to understand how we are not coherent creatures that are not just acting on their own accord, but rather ask how to think-with, live-with, and be-with other planetary organisms.

Riikka Tauriainen, Hydrocommons: Watery Bodies and Fluid Exchange, 2019. Installation view


Riikka Tauriainen has lived in Zurich ten years, where she completed her master’s degree. She grew up in Finland and studied also in Tallinn Estonia and in Berlin. Her works are internationally exhibited, including Helmhaus in Zurich in 2018 and 2017, Le Commun, B.timent d’art contemporain in Geneva in 2015, Siemens Sanat in Istanbul Turkey in 2013, Sinopale Biennial in Turkey and Biennial for Time Based Art in Zagreb Croatia in 2012, The Swiss Art Awards 2013 and 2012 in Basel, as well as a solo show at Les Complices* in Zurich 2010. In 2018 Riikka Tauriainen took part in the Artist in Residence program of the city of Zurich in Genoa, Italy. She presented her latest performance .On Feminotopias. in 2018 at the NGbK Berlin and a solo exhibition at Raum*Station in Zürich September 2018.

In appropriating sources coming from diverse fields – literature, history, gender and postcolonial theories – Riikka Taurianien proposes associations which relieve customary categories of their hierarchy. In challenging systems which legitimize power, she shows a line of thinking in motion, which functions through networks and analogies.