Between reality and fiction
Academy of Fine Arts Munich
The questionable perfection of beauty, the hard physical drills, the artificial female role templates and our cultural subconscious shaped by the cinematic images of Hollywood all belong to the leitmotifs of artist Salla Tykkä, who lives and works in Helsinki. Since 1998, Tykkä (b. 1973) has been shooting short films that are presented in exhibition spaces and film festivals and that laconically abstain from any commentary. At times as staged dramas, at other times as documentary observations, these films analyze our collective memory through the cliché situations imparted on us by mass media. Films like ‘Lasso’, ‘Cave’ or ‘Zoo’ (2006) depict leading female characters in fictitious key scenes derived from horror to Hitchcock film classics. Recent works, such as ‘Air Above the Ground’ (2010) about the dressage cruelty inflicted on the Lipizzaner horses, or ‘Victoria’ (2008), a time lapse of an only nocturnally and very briefly blooming water lily, use the supposedly objective documentary vantage point in order to question the idea of beauty. Tykkä most recent work, ‘Giant’ (2013), a cinematic visit to the training location of Romanian gymnasts who were once legendary for their grace, was honored at this year’s International Film Festival Rotterdam with the Tiger Award for the best short film.