Kaisu Koivisto

Basic information

b. 1962, Seinäjoki
Visual Artist
Residence: Helsinki

Contact information

Phone number: 040 705 1908

Artist’s Statement

The relationship between natural phenomena and technologies is an ongoing subject of exploration for me. I investigate the intersections of nature and culture and the modes in which mankind harnesses and exploits - or attempts to control - natural phenomena. How do we look at animals and nature? What is nature? How is the impact of technologies visible in the environment?

My artistic practice traverses photography, drawing and video as well as sculptural elements. These diverse strands come together in the framework of installations. The topics and materials which I focus on are charged: materials such as recycled leather and fur, bones, horns and other organic matter bear traces of wear and tear, thus indicating the passage of time. The transience of materials is a connecting aspect of my sculptures and photographs. I am interested in an ambivalent aesthetic, the simultaneity of attractiveness and repulsiveness, the synthetic and the organic, stark geometry and the ornamental.

I am inspired by the rough wilderness of the North as well as by the signs of human activity in the environment. Thus, my work tell more about people than nature: about the commodification of nature, the production of raw materials and the symbolical and allegorical aspects of natural phenomena. The roots of my work are also in the realms of zoos, wunderkammers, science fiction and domesticated animals.

My interest in cultivated and restrained nature leads me to well-known metropolises as well as areas which no longer are in focus of international geopolitical attention. Places in a dreamy state of oblivion such as former Cold War nuclear missile bases in Eastern Europe represent in my works estranged landscapes of the subconscious. Left to the elements the massive structures of the abandoned military areas gradually erode and become engulfed by vegetation.
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Current information

-Topophilia. Yukon Arts Centre Art Gallery, Whitehorse, Canada March 7 - May 5 2019. http://yukonartscentre.com/gallery/

-Kasvu ja lähtö – hiukset auki. Oulu Art Museum, Oulu, Finland 11 May -15 September 2019 https://www.ouka.fi/oulu/luuppi/kasvu-ja-lahto-hiukset-auki

-Human Presence. North Atlantic Lighthouse in Hanstholm, Denmark. June 8th - August 7th 2019. Curator: Signe Højmark

-Location/Dislocation. Between remembering and forgetting. Mark Rothko Art Centre, Daugavpils, Latvia July 5th - September 8th 2019. Curator: Vineta Kaulača

-Afrikanda. Kunsthalle Turku, Turku, Finland 4–27 October 2019


In her works Kaisu Koivisto incorporates different media and materials such as salvaged leather as well as steel. Installations, photography, drawing and video are integral aspects of her artistic practice.

Koivisto's topics are often closely knitted with the materials she employs: waste materials produced by a society of excess. Regardless of the topic or medium of the work, an undercurrent of uncertainties tinges her works. Intriguing, beautiful materials and images have a seductive aesthetic. It attracts the spectator, who gradually perceives other meanings - the dark side of stories - than one can see at first glance.

Kaisu Koivisto´s work have been shown for instance in the following institutions: Museo Hendrik Christian Andersen, Rome; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid; PS 1, New York; Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum, Galleria Sculptor, Helsinki; Pori Art Museum, Pori.

Kaisu Koivisto (b.1962) has studied at the University of Art and Design Helsinki (MFA). She has also studied art history and aesthetics at the University of Helsinki. She lives in Helsinki, Finland.