Charles Sandison

Ars Fennica 2010

Charles Sandison makes poems in light

The Scottish-born Charles Sandison represents a growing generation of artists in Finland, who have a background in immigration, adaptation to a new home country and language, and an interest in new media, computers and the projected image.

His works are poems in light, ornaments of light, which have strong ties with words and their meanings, which place the written word alongside the visual, and hence bring in a different social dimension.

Perttu Rastas

Born 1969, UK

EDUCATION
1991-1993
Master of Fine Art, Glasgow School of Art, UK
1988-1991
Bachelor of Art (hons), Fine Art Photography, Glasgow School of Art, UK

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
In Finland
2008
Sinuhe, Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki
2007
Covenant, Aurora-hall, Oulu
Oma Kuva, Galleria Rajatila, Tampere
2004
BBAAaa, Galerie Anhava, project space, Helsinki
Living Rooms, Room X, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki
Cohesion, Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art, Turku
2002
Lacus Somniorum, Galleria Kari Kenetti, Helsinki

Abroad
2010
Writing with Light, Yvon Lambert, Paris
2008
Proclamación Solemne, façade projection, Grand Palais, Paris
José Saramago, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo, Brazil
Systema Naturae, Deus creavit, Linnaeus disposuit, Kulturhuset, Stockholm
Correspondances: Sandison – Monet, Musée d’Orsay Art contemporain, Paris
José Saramago, Palácio Nacional de Ajuda, Lisbon
2007
José Saramago, Fundación César Manrique, Lanzarote, Spain
Subtext, CentrePasquArt, Biel, Switzerland
Paik Gallery, Seoul
Cryptozoologies, Gallery Arndt & Partner, Berlin
Utopia, Galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris
2006
The Book of Light, Fundacio La Caixa, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Recent Works, Galerie Max Estrella, Madrid
Irakurgela – The Reading Room, Koldo Mitxelena, Donostia – San Sebastian, Spain
Received Text, Centre pour l’image contemporaine, Geneva, Switzerland
2005
The Blind Watchmaker, Galerie Arndt & Partner, Zürich
Good and Evil, 2YK, Berlin
Galerie Baronian-Francey, Brussels
Hello World, Galerie Yvon Lambert, New York, USA
Galerie Jean Bernier, Athens
Living Rooms, Cornerhouse Centre for Visual Art, Manchester, UK
Éigse Carlow, Ireland
2004
Projections, Galerie Ulrich Fiedler, Cologne, Germany
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, Austria
Tribes, Lisson Gallery, London
2003
The Human Array, Galerie Frank, Paris
Axis, Centre d’art Contemporain Georges Pompidou, Cajarc, France
Broken Light, Lieu d’art Contemporain, Sigean, France
Living Rooms, Sketch, London
2002
Gallery Baronian-Francey, Brussels
Nourriture, Artcurial, Hôtel Marcel Dassault, Champs-Elysées, Paris
Good & Evil, Galleria Frank, Paris
Between Heaven and Earth, La Criée centre d’art contemporain, Rennes, France

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
In Finland
2008
Entre chien et loup – at dusk, EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art
Purnu, Orivesi
Honkahovi Art Centre, Mänttä
2006
Ars 06, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki
Vaiheilla 06, with Teija-Tuulia Ahola, Pori
Light Treatment, Retretti
2005
LightTreatment, Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art, Turku
2004
Mänttä Art Festival
2003
2nd Triennial of Pirkanmaa, Tampere Art Museum
2002
Mänttä Art Festival
2001
Young Artists’ Exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki
2000
1st Triennial of Pirkanmaa, Museum Centre Vapriikki, Tampere

Abroad
2009
Embrace! Denver Art Museum, Colorado, USA
Black Hole, Centro Cultural Andratx, Spain
Conflicting Tales, Burger Collection, Berlin
Locus Solus, Galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris
Les Silences de l’écriture, Palazzo Dugnani, Milan, Italy
Art-Living Scene, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo
Au pied de la letter, Domaine départemental de Chamarande, France
Eye: Material Matters, Pallant House Gallery, UK
Art Protects, Gallery Yvon Lambert, Paris
Silent Writings, Espace culturel Louis Vuitton, Paris
Quand la première ivresse des succès bruyants… CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, France
Nothing is Permanent, La Centrale Electrique – European Centre for Contemporary Art, Brussels
2008
Speaking Out Loud, Nederlands Instituut voor Mediakunst, Amsterdam
Le Grande Tour, Villa Medici, Rome
Holy Fire, art of the digital age, iMal, Brussels
Heartquake, Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem
Pasiones privadas, visiones públicas MARCO Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, Spain
Blood on Paper, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Blown Away, Krannert Art Museum, Illinois, USA
El cuerpo (con)sentido: una (re)presentación visual, Centro de Historia de Zaragoza, Spain
2007
Performa 07, the Stephan Weiss Studio, New York, USA
MAXXI Installazioni, the National Museum for the XXI Century Arts, Rome
Il faut rendre à Cézanne, Collection Yves Lambert, Avignon, France
Utrecht Manifest 2007, Central Museum Utrecht, Netherlands
Noche en Blanco, Madrid
Miniartexil, Como, Italy
The CB Collection, Roppongi, Tokyo
Art Protects, Galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris
Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Huarte, Spain
Centro Arte Contemporanea, Siena, Italy
Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London
Art Protects, Gallery Yvon Lambert, Paris
Again: serial practices in contemporary art, Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art, Hartford, USA
2006
A Tribute to Cézanne, Galerie Yvon Lambert, New York, USA
Contos dixitais, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Spain
Hyper Design, 6th Shanghai Biennial, China
Extiem, Watou 2006 Poëziezomer, Belgium
Ordering and Seduction, Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich
Breaking the Ice, Bonn City Art Museum, Germany
All Digital, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, USA
2005
l’art de produire l’art, Le Fresnoy National Studio for Art, Lille, France
Scrabble, Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Gran Canaria, Spain
Documentary Creations, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland
Locus Lophem, Kunsthalle Lophem, Belgium
Corpus Bruges, site specific project, Bruges, Belgium
2004
De leur temps, collections privées françaises, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tourcoing, France
Habitat, Galerie Arndt & Partner, Berlin
Algorithmic Revolution, ZKM Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Austria
Villette Numérique 2004, Paris
Ein Leuchten, Museum Der Moderne Salzburg, Austria
Panorama 5, Le Fresnoy, Lille, France
Typo, Moderna Museet, Stockholm
2003
Collection Yvon Lambert, November, Avignon, France
The International 3, Manchester, UK
Talking Pieces, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany
Sans Commune Mesure, Le Fresnoy, National Studio of Contemporary Arts, Lille, France
2002
De concert, oeuvres d’une collection privée, Fonds régional d’art contemporain des Pays de la Loire, France
Avesta Biennale, Sweden
2001
Im Buchstabenfeld Die Zukunft Der Literatur, Neue Galerie Graz, Austria
Plateau Of Humankind, the 49th Venice Biennale, Italy
1994
Museum of Cultural Anxiety, Institute of Contemporary Art, London
1993
Wonderful Life, Lisson Gallery, London
1992
Invisible Cities, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, UK

TEACHING AND OTHER POSITIONS
2003-2004
Le Fresnoy National Studio of Arts, Lille, France, visiting professor
1997-2001
Tampere School of Art and Media, Finland, Head of Fine Art
1996-1997
Tampere School of Art and Media, Finland, lecturer
1992-1995
Glasgow School of Art, England, lecturing assistant

BIBLIOGRAPHY
2010
Au Pied de la Lettre, exhibition catalogue
Art Forum, January 2010. Exhibition review, Embrace, Denver museum of Art
2009
ptah.09, interview, Timo Valjakka
Les Silences de l’écriture, exhibition catalogue, Gilles de Bure. Studio Graphique Louis Vuitton, Paris
Nothing is Permanent, exhibition catalogue
Embrace!, exhibtion catalouge
Quand la premère ivresse des succès bruyants, exhibition catalogue
2008
Taikasana, Aamulehti, Tiina Nyrhinen, January 6th
Sandison/Monet, exhibition catalogue
Blown Away, exhibition catalogue, Dugan and Fox
2007
Este Volumen II de la Colección MUSAC, exhibition catalogue
Covenant, exhibition catalogue
2006
Ars 06, exhibition catalogue
Hyper Design, 6th Shanghai Biennial, exhibition catalogue
All Digital, exhibition catalogue
Breaking the Ice, exhibition catalogue
Irakurgela, exhibition catalogue, text by Pavel Buchler & Ana Martínez Collado
2005
ArtForum, October issue
New York Times, Art in Review, 15.07
Corpus Bruges, exhibition catalogue
Documentary Creations, exhibition catalogue, Kunstmuseum Luzern
Välähdyksiä Wäiskistä, exhibition catalogue, Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art, Finland
2004
De leur temps, collections privées françaises, exhibition catalogue, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tourcoing.
France. ADIAF 2004, p. 332
Framework, The Finnish Art Review, 2/2004, interview, p.64-69
Exit 16, photo feature
Jamais vu, exhibition catalogue, ALPHANT Marianne, Le Fresnoy, p.120
Ten Years, exhibition catalogue, Arndt & Partner
Ein Leuchten, exhibition catalogue, Museum Der Moderne Salzburg
Art Forum. February, Guitemie Maldonado on Charles Sandison
Helsingin Sanomat, 18th January
2003
Art Press, p. 87, October, Catherine Millet
Talking Pieces. Text und Bild in der neuen kunst, exhibition catalogue
Die Welt, 26.012002 Review, Beaux Arts, no. 221, October, page 46
AN magazine, page 22, October
Art Press, no. 283, October, page 29
Flash Art, Aperto Helsinki, May, vol. XXXIV, no.224
Art Review, May issue 2002, Ossian Ward
Sans Commune Mesure, Image et Texte dans L’art Actuel. Jean-Luc Nancy, Regis Durand, Savine Faupin,
Charles Harrison, Alain Fleischer, Jean-Pierre Rehm. Editions Leo Scheer 2002
Between Heaven & Earth, catalogue/book work, La Criee center d’art contemporain,
Photo feature, Zoo magazine, London, issue 12
2001
Im Buch Stabenfeld, Die Zukunft Der Literatur, Peter Weibel. Neue Galerie Graz
Review, Black Box Biennial, article by Thomas Lail, Artbyte magazine, September
Genius In Exile, article by Neil Cameron, The Scotsman Newspaper, June 19th
Artist Stays in Petsamo, Maila-Katriina Tuominen, Aamulehti Finland
Plateau of Human Kind’, catalogue
Electa Documents, catalogue, Finland

HOMEPAGE
www.sandison.fi

DAVID ELLIOTT’S STATEMENT

It was extremely difficult to make a choice about the “winner” from the five artist candidates for the Ars Fennica Prize. Not only do I believe that art is not a competition, although it may and certainly should be a struggle with one’s material and own self, but also I was being asked to distinguish between works which in their origins, media and intentions were essentially incomparable. For me this was not an issue of the quality of one artist over another, in this respect the standard was encouragingly uniform, but rather of my experience of the works in the exhibition and then putting this together with what else about the artists’ previous production I was either able to see directly or to understand from conversation and catalogues. As a result of this I now realize that I have tended to privilege what I perceived as of the moment, experiential, even visceral, rather than work that is more reflective or conceptual.

From this point of view I have decided to award the Prize to Charles Sandison whose Language as a mirror of the world, a sinewy installation of multiply projected words and light, snakes around all the surfaces in the gallery where it is shown, reflected endlessly, removing any normal sense of space, of earth, of heaven or air. The breathless impression of potential vastness which this creates is little short of sublime as one’s body is overlaid and absorbed by the neo-baroque curlicues, constant movements and overlaid meanings of the texts.

Yet there is far more to this work than the frenetic activity of seemingly random groups of words with the illusion or promise of infinite space. Powered by a number of computers, which in another context could run the whole traffic system of Helsinki, the body of this work is taken from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Brittanica, an edition no longer in copyright which has served as a basis for many articles in the current Wikipedia. In Sandison’s hands this repository of “universal” knowledge becomes like a Book of Life to be edited, cut into, fractured, overlaid and endlessly repeated as a microcosm of creation itself. The computer programme the artist has created to do this involves the constant sorting of information in which a word, or group of words, are separated and then chase each other in an effort to regain coherence by becoming reunited with their points of origin.

It takes many months for this process to be completed. At this point the encyclopedia would be reconstituted in its original form, and after a brief moment of stasis the whole process would start again. So far, so existential…..But the reason why I have chosen this work goes far beyond this. For me, Sandison transcends the depressing Beckettian cycle of a dull, brutal life of endless repetition to suggest a rich, wondrous universe, crammed with infinite possibilities and combinations, which at its point of origin and end reverts to a single small breath.

David Elliott,
Shanghai, 9th November 2010