Short films by Pilvi Takala
Nordisk Panorama Film Festival presents five short films by the Finnish artist Pilvi Takala; The Stroker (2018), Real Snow White (2009), The Committee (2014), Worker’s Forum (2015) and The Trainee (2008).
The films will be screened with English subtitles on Wednesday 23.9 at 7 pm, and non-stop in C-salen during the Gallery Week, Thursday 24.9 to Sunday 27.9 (NB! Saturday only 11am–1pm).
The Stroker, 2018
15:16 two-channel video installation (only video)
The Stroker is based on Takala’s two week-long intervention at Second Home, a trendy East London coworking space for young entrepreneurs and startups. During the intervention Takala posed as a wellness consultant named Nina Nieminen, the founder of cutting-edge company Personnel Touch who were allegedly employed by Second Home to provide touching services in the workplace. Nina strolled around Second Home being friendly to everyone, greeting and lightly touching people as she passed them by. It gets the office talking, workers gossip amongst themselves, visibly bonding over a common confusion. Nina was nicknamed ‘The Stroker’.
Real Snow White, 2009
The absurd logic of the ‘real character’ and the extreme discipline of Disneyland become apparent when a real fan of Disney’s Snow White* is banned from entering the park in a Snow White costume. As visitors are encouraged to dress up and a lot of costume-like merchandise is sold at the park, the full costumes are only sold for children. The Disney slogan ‘Dreams Come True’ of course means dreams produced exclusively by Disney. Anything even slightly out of control immediately evokes fear of these real, possibly dark and perverse dreams coming true. The fantasy of the innocent Snow White doing something bad is so obviously real, that the security guards and management refer to it when explaining why the visitor can’t enter the park dressed up as Snow White.
The Committee, 2014
Pilvi Takala was the winner of the 2013 Emdash Award, aimed towards the production of a new artwork for Frieze Art Fair. The artist invited a group of children aged 8 to 12 who were regulars at a youth centre in Bow, London to spend her award. They were free to spend the money any way they wanted, as well as to choose how they would formulate decisions as a group. In The Committee, the children explain how they decided to spend the £7,000 prize money, they discuss the process of decision making, and the values guiding their decisions.
Workers’ Forum, 2015
Workers’ Forum is an animated message conversation, the idea for which developed from Takala’s experience as a micro-tasker in the United States, in which she worked for a service where users pay to have a pretend girlfriend or boyfriend texting them. Through a crowdsourcing platform, the artist responded to the task ‘Write a text message that is positive, engaging and convincingly written in the voice of someone texting a significant other.’ The video is based on conversations that took place in a discussion forum between the micro-taskers, trying to figure out together how to be an invisible partner. Many workers felt compelled to invest more than the job required of them; spending extra time and effort participating in the forum, which is non-compulsory and uncompensated.
The Trainee, 2008
Three videos with a duration of 13:52 (only videos)
The Trainee has been produced in collaboration with international accounting firm Deloitte. In order to realise the project, the artist worked for a month as trainee in the marketing department of Deloitte, where only a few people knew the true nature of the project. During the month-long intervention, an initially normal-seeming marketing trainee starts to apply peculiar working methods. Gradually she shifts from the position of someone others believe to be normal, to the object of avoidance and speculation. We see the trainee sitting at her workstation in the consultants’ open-plan office space, or in the tax department library all day doing nothing. The videos reveal a spectrum of ways of handling the odd member in a group.
Image: Video still. Pilvi Takala, Real Snow White, 2009