Pilvi Takala – Close Watch
Opening: Friday, June 9, 2023
The Finnish artist Pilvi Takala presents Close Watch, a new video installation that examines work cultures, communities and the presence of security in our everyday lives. For a period of six months, Takala worked as a security guard in a shopping mall in Finland. This multi-channel installation is based on her experiences and conversations, as well as those of the other security guards working in the mall. The work questions the complex roles security plays in society, providing protection, and at the same time maintaining control.
As part of Pilvi Takala's artwork, the exhibition also includes a website: Check it out.
The video-installation was filmed during a three-day workshop organised by Takala, where she and her former colleagues discussed and tested new approaches to their roles as security guards. The conversation she developed is centred around violence, racism and toxic behaviour in the workplace, which reveal themselves through the examples of work experiences reported by the guards.
At its core, Close Watch facilitates a shift in expectation and observation; on one hand, as viewers we are confronted with the fact that we are often being closely monitored. On the other hand, our position is shifted to that of the observer: we are the ones watching the security guards discussing their role and working cultures. The inner workings of the world of security are laid bare to the wider public, raising questions about how we wish to be watched.
This is Pilvi Takala’s first solo exhibition in Switzerland. Close Watch was first presented in the Finnish Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale (2022). At the Migros Musuem für Gegenwartskunst the work has been expanded to include new elements and an expansive public programme addressing the complex themes in the exhibition.
Pilvi Takala (*1981, lives and works in Berlin and Helsinki) creates video works based on performative interventions in which she researches specific communities to question social structures. The resulting projects have been on view in venues including Seoul Mediacity Biennale; Manifesta 11, Zurich; Centre Pompidou, Paris; New Museum, New York and Kunsthalle Basel.
Curator: Dr. Michael Birchall