NEW BLOG INTERVIEW // Sirkku Ketola: The artistic process of performing Paula written by firstindigoandlifestyle. Link HERE.


NEXT PERFORMANCES in Helsinki in March 2018 in upcoming solo exhibition:  FABULA feat. A Body Called Paula.  Visual poems, circumstances & the 4th performance of A Body Called Paula. 10.3.-1.4.2018 in  Jätkä 2 // Galleria Huuto, Helsinki, Finland. The schedule will be updated soon.


Just passed IN BROOKLYN // check the schedule below

Nov 15-17 & 20-22.2017
NARS Foundation 
2nd Floor Gallery

Paula is a female name. In Finnish, the word means a ribbon, something to tie or to be enchanted. It is also a synonym for a trap. Globally it is known as a name, originally a Greek word ‘Paulus’, which means small.


The project is a performative installation that mixes screenprinting with performance. Part installation, part performance, A Body Called Paula is a piece that develops over the days of the installation through long-duration performance sessions. With the ethereal soundtrack the movements of the body become a sensual machine. The main themes addressed are time/ temporality, pleasure and the meditative process of working. The narrative story hunts beauty through light to passion, knowledge, reality, and depth to the final balance with darkness.


What is the measure of time? An ornament is a universal form of visual art in every culture. Every individual performance exhibition is part of the long-term project. During the next ten years, Sirkku Ketola will produce hand-printed ribbons around the world which will finally be presented as one massive installation. The photo-based patterns changes in every ornament with the motive that rises from the previous performance place. The New York-based pattern will be seen in Helsinki in March 2018. The project has been seen so far in Toronto and Turku and will be travel after New York back to several places in Europe.


Sirkku Ketola is the current Artist-in-Residence in Finnish Cultural Institute in New York. She works and lives in Finland with regular stints in Belgium. Her mind is fed by the paradoxical contrast of the silence in the north and the bustle in urban spaces. For Sirkku Ketola, handicraft is a method of slowing down the digital image stream surrounding us, as well as a tool for understanding the relationship between human and matter. Ketola’s work practice is slow and her projects often take years to finish. Her exhibitions have passed through international borders in a variety of galleries and museums. Renowned as a screenprinter, she is often solicited to teach and lecture in art academies. A self-described “civilized savage”, she speaks although the quiet allures her.



Performance schedule:

NOV 15 durational performance starts 2pm – LIGHT

NOV 16 durational performance starts 2pm – PASSION

NOV 17 durational performance starts 2pm – KNOWLEDGE

NOV 20 durational performance starts 2pm – REALITY

NOV 21 durational performance starts 6pm – DEPTH

NOV 22 durational performance starts 2pm – DARKNESS

Every durational performance takes about 2 hours



The NARS Foundation

2nd Floor gallery

201 46th Street

Brooklyn, NY 11220





AOmen, Paula vol. 2. solo exhibition was in september 2017 in Gallery Joella, Turku, Finland

Là-bas festival, A Body Called Paula - La Détermination text HERE

Visit also the Image Gallery.

The Essay 'Sirkku Ketola: A Body Called Paula' by Daryl Vocat is linked HERE.

The Exhibition info about the Open Studio, Toronto is HERE.

The Blog article about the Open Studio, Toronto is HERE.

Next time A Body Called Paula will be in March 2018 in Helsinki in Huuto gallery.

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CODE - Handling-ling

Thinking by hands, handling-ling.

The occupant of wisdom said: Make a square on the ground and wait, life will be visible. Succeed. The other noted: Shhh, you must always be, and go peacefully. That was more challenging, how to advance and pause simultaneously.

The code controls and escapes. Gusto Ardor and Harmony Accord twist. Order and stream alternates, the rhythm is determined by the two.

Sirkku Ketola’s solo exhibition displays some viewpoints of the stream, chosen croppings to parallel understanding and reality. They lift the veil of rationalism and unmask the structures. The photo material used is collected during past years as recorded compositions of beauty of the abrasions of time. The walls of Europe hold meanings. Paris, Brussels and Helsinki, what has happened? The matter recurs in the artworks, it dublicates and mirrors the past to the future. The image of a trance on the wooden wall repeats as a new imprint on wood. The strength of the hand has affected the outcome. The motion goes on through the material changes. The material sets the limits, the wood bends. One can find a code to the past behind the prints. Can you find them?

Sirkku Ketola: Feedback, 2016. Handprinted silkscreen on wood. 81 x 105 cm. Process picture.



SHhh..! Still hearing the whispers of the queen.

One must to be, and go on slowly. And if allowed to rest to regard, one may see. The growth through the stone is strong. I listen to the light without knowledge of its source. And I try to bow, waving in the silence.

Turku Art Museum was the venue of Sirkku Ketola’s first encounter with institutional art and it still holds a kind of sanctity for her. In this space, Ketola will now construct her own sacred story about humanity and her questioning of the code of life.

Mounted in the Studio space, Still hearing the whispers of the queen is an installation made of paper screen-printed manually by Ketola over several years. The material combines physical fragility with a heavy range of colour. The chapel-like structure spreads itself out in front of and around the viewer. The work is a scroll, opened up for reading, from the content of which the viewer selects, forms and interprets segments or details. Each path chosen from among the thousands of possible ones is unique. Instead of supplying answers, Ketola asks: What justifies us to conquer, define and control? The depth whispers in reply. Who has the knowledge?

Sirkku Ketola: Still hearing the whispers of the queen, 2015. Handprinted silkscreen installation on paper. In Turku Art Museum, Turku, Finland. Photo: Vesa Aaltonen

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Copywright © Sirkku Ketola 2017