Gun Holmström has received critical acclaim for her video portraits that examine 'the strange everyday world', that the artist sees around her. These works, shot in a style that sits somewhere between documentary film and the home video, introduce us to characters that may be considered as being outside the norm of society. In the past, these have included a woman who is carrying a child for gay friends, a blind girl and a sufferer of schizophrenia. Their different world views lead us to subtly question our own values and attitudes.
For The Showroom, Gun Holmström made two new works, Sermon and Sunday 1-3. Sermon is a DVD installation that presents a portrait of a vicar who ministers to a remote island community in southern Finland. Through the weaving together of real events with allegory, he reveals his own personal opinions and his attitude to his position within society. The ritual of the Lutheran church service that he performs often obscures these private and surprisingly mystical beliefs.
The second part of Holmström's project includes the monitor based Sunday 1-3 that shows kaleidoscopic, abstract footage of locations associated with the artist. These works create meditative images, referencing Buddhist mandalas that explore the complexity of individual uncertainty and spiritual quest. Each part of this triptych depicts a cross; the symbolic representation of faith to assist in the focusing on spiritual matters in Christianity. The Sunday 1-3 works loosely represent crucifixion, death and resurrection.
Sunday studies our need to believe 'in something' that will help us to understand the world around us. Holmström's videos demonstrate the changing role that the Christian religion now plays in our increasingly sophisticated society. Its once dominant position as ethical and spiritual arbiter is now being challenged by a bewildering range of 'isms', that we can choose between for guidance.
Project supported by the Embassy of Finland, the Finnish Institute in London and FRAME, Finnish Fund for Art Exchange.
Opening sponsored by Lapin Kulta.
Gun Holmström lives and works in Helsinki. Sunday is her first solo show in London.