Corrupted Full Of Life: Interview with artist Matti Sumari


Esitämme (we introduce): Matti Sumari. His exhibition “corrupted full of life” started the new exhibition program for 2018 at Schimmel Projects – Art Centre Dresden. At the opening we had a chat with the Helsinki born artist.

by Maria Radke & Vanessa Knopp

Matti Sumari opened the exhibition program for 2018 at Schimmel Projects Art Centre in Dresden. Photo: Rasmus Roos Lindquist

VASiSTAS:
Matti, you are currently living and working in Malmö, Sweden. For the exhibition here at Schimmel Projects, you’ve used materials found at the industrial harbour of Malmö. Would you say that by using these materials, which come from a specific surrounding, the viewer is kind of prejudiced? And if so, are you playing with this circumstances? Why did you use materials with a background?

Matti:
In the exhibition at Schimmel Projects I used found materials from this specific milieu to give the viewer a feeling of the place itself. I like to play with the effect of showing video from a site together with the real, physical objects. This is a kind of mental transportation. Since many years I’ve been interested in all kinds of resources that are freely available in my urban surroundings and I have researched this subject through art. These free materials may be all types of waste products (usually called trash) or organic matter like plants and fungi and even digital unwanted material like the spam emails. The concept of these resources being “free” is linked to our way of life inside market economy and monetary system.

 

“Wanna know the Fibonacci Secret?”

 

Millstone II: Wanna Know the Fibbonacci Secret? Photo: Rasmus Roos Lindquist

VASiSTAS:
We wanna know what the Fibonacci Secret is!

Matti:
Wanna know the Fibonacci Secret? It was the title of a spam-email that I received a year ago. I discovered that the very old mathematical and geometrical ideas of the Fibonacci numbers are used today in the speculative profession of stock exchange traders as they try to foresee the erratic movements of the stock market. The secret is that this seems to work and the spam email wanted to sell me information about how to become rich in this game. I didn’t pay but made two sculptures about it instead.

VASiSTAS:
One of the sculptures we’re regarding here is from the series Residuals/Age of Shiny. There is a different version of it permanently installed in Italy. Why did you decide not to let this one have a stuffy breathing?

A sculpture from the series ‘Residuals/Age of Shiny 2016-2017’. Photo: Rasmus Roos Lindquist

Matti:
Yes there is one part from this series in a sculpture park in Como in Italy. The “stuffy breathing” aesthetic comes from my method of casting the concrete, I was using a plastic bag to get that effect on the surface. It ended up looking quite uncomfortable and scary, the figure suffocating under plastic – like a death mask. The faces in this sculpture series have all the essence of being somewhat in between non-living and alive, like mutated hybrid lifeforms.

 

“I haven’t had time to see too much of Dresden’s art scene but it seems that people are passionate and interested.”

 

VASiSTAS:
How do you feel about the vernissage? Do you think there are singular differences to the exhibition room you are a part of in Malmö? How do you experience the art scene here in Dresden?

Matti:
The opening felt like a great success! I’m very pleased that many came despite the stormy evening, people were curious and asked about the works. Now after the renovation Schimmel Projects as an exhibition space is a great setting for presenting art, it has a sophisticated feeling to it with a lot of character. I like the visibility from street level and the ambition to open up to public with their library corner. The exhibition space that I’m organizing in Malmö, Alta Art Space, has quite a different atmosphere since it’s more hidden in an industrial area with a rough architecture and we mostly present shorter exhibitions. I haven’t had time to see too much of Dresden’s art scene but is seems that people are passionate and interested.

Exhibition view from ‘corrupted full of life’ at Schimmel Projects – Art Centre Dresden. Photo: Rasmus Roos Lindquist

VASiSTAS:
How would you describe your daily life as an artist based in Malmö? Are you rather working alone or are you a group person?

Matti:
Since I share a studio with five other artists I’m always in contact and conversation with my colleagues. We help each other a lot but more behind the scenes instead of collaborating officially.

VASiSTAS:
Who is your spirit artist? Who’s been your role model while you were studying?

Matti:
Artists that I find interesting and inspiring are Mika Rottenberg, Simon Starling, Gordon Matta-Clark, Klara Lidén, Joseph Beuys and Sofia Hultén, to name a few.

 

“For me art is a way of seeing reality and life from many different perspectives”

 

VASiSTAS:
What does art mean to you?

Matti:
For me art is a way of seeing reality and life from many different perspectives, asking questions and giving strange answers. And something interesting to look at.

Biofoul. Photo: Rasmus Roos Lindquist

Big Thanks to Matti for your answers, a well done exhibition and a successful opening. Kiitos!

 

 

 

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written by VASiSTAS Blog

Isabella Engelhardt, Kerstin Klink, Maria Radke & Paula Wunderlich are writing for the VASiSTAS-Blog and support you with the latest reviews, interviews and texts on the contemporary art scene.

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