photo: Ildiko Grant


In her works Kaisu Koivisto incorporates installations, photography, sculptures and video. The thematic focus of her artistic practice is rooted in the notions of place, history and landscape, and in the different ways in which environments are represented, commodified, and stereotyped.

Koivisto’s interests are deeply rooted in the North, its landscapes and political dimensions. Her interest in history has led her to explore abandoned Cold War era military areas in Eastern Europe.

Kaisu Koivisto is based in Helsinki, Finland. She has an MFA from the University of Art and Design Helsinki. 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;  Mark Rothko Art Centre, Daugavpils, Latvia; Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum, Galleria Sculptor, Helsinki; Pori Art Museum, Pori.

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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 of my photographs and installations have a connecting aspect: the transience of materials. I photograph in places which are either in a process of destruction or, on the other hand, being constructed. The materials of my installations are mostly salvaged and bear traces of wear and tear, thus indicating the passage of time. 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  landscapes 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.

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 traces of history, but also estranged landscapes of the subconscious. Left to the elements the massive structures of the abandoned military areas gradually erode and become engulfed by vegetation.

My latest projectNew Nuuk focuses on the urbanization of Nuuk, the capital of Greenland. The city is changing rapidly, with new suburbs being built amid the barren and majestic landscape.

Kaisu Koivisto