(Finland) *1952 in Iisalmi
As one of the best-known contemporary artists in Finland, Kaarina Kaikkonen’s work has been exhibited around the world. For her location-specific installations, she works exclusively with used textiles, which she combines into ever new constellations according to their colours, forms and materials. Working from personal experience, she plays with the specific properties of items of clothing, which take on, and – even in their absence – preserve something of the wearer’s identity. Some pieces are deliberately kept for the memories they hold: in their smell, in the marks betraying their use, and in their creases, lie the tangible traces of a person. On the other hand, second-hand clothing is cleaned in order to erase these repositories of memory. “There Must Be a Way Out of Here” plays with this reference to bodies that are absent: the 200 jackets that span the length of the Brunnenallee in the Bad Homburg Kurpark have volume and are yet empty. Their number and the repetition of their posture make these items of clothing disappear into anonymity, as if their personal fates were subsumed in the social fabric; at the same time, the positioning of the sleeves resting on the shoulders of the “man in front” suggests community and solidarity.