Kristoffer Ala-Ketola (1991) graduated from the Yale School of Art in 2019 and works with moving image, sculpture, painting and installation art in Helsinki. His works have been exhibited at the Shin Gallery in New York, Kunsthalle Helsinki and other exhibitions in Europe and the United States. His video works have been shown at the Helsinki International Film Festival and the Video Art Festival Turku. Ala-Ketola’s works deal with emotions, their formation and how they are reflected in our environment, and they aim to provoke thoughts about the politics of our time, the psyche, behavior and the structures of our culture. Ala-Ketola’s stylistic methods and themes include camp, grotesque and opposition, and his works often feature both humorous and melancholic elements.
Exhibited at Taidehalli’s Video Screenings 13.5. at 5 pm & 17.5. at 6 pm
Dreams and Delusions
HD-video, 00:10:00 min, Editio 1/5 +2AC
Kristoffer Ala-Ketola anchors his video work in the dark milieu of uncertain forms of existence. Interest in the formation of identities melts into the genre of portraiture and gives way to a stew of new and unknown characters. Ala-Ketola marks these personas with body horror, the grotesque, camp, queerness, and absurdist humor to fixate on the liminal edges between the fantastical and monstrous.
In Dreams & Delusions, an unnamed character is slowly turning unnaturally red. They first notice small red marks on their skin, but as the video progresses, they are consumed by it more and more. The urban environment is both seemingly empty yet filled with quiet but chaotic noise. The process of reddening is interrupted by sudden visions of a mysterious portrayal of an inner demon. In this dream-logical sequence the viewer is not given straight narrative nor answers, but rather images and soundscapes to meditate this transformation. It is left ambiguous whether the transformation is metaphorical or physical – blessing, illness, or a state of mind.
Merging fantasy, queer theory, and psychology into visual language – its signs reflecting and contradicting each other – Ala-Ketola creates a vortex of associations through themes of transformation, desire, solitude, change, healing, and coping. The video attempts to make visceral the dissonance and difficulties of becoming.
Music: Maria Korkeila, Techtheist, Kristoffer Ala-Ketola Actors: AJ Fusco, Kristoffer Ala-Ketola
Artist’s portrait - Patrik Rastenberger
Artwork images - Dreams & Delusions, video, 2022, Kristoffer Ala-Ketola