Maisa Majakka: Juggle
The exhibition’s title alludes not only to a classic circus trick but also metaphorically to the challenge of pulling off multiple feats simultaneously.
Majakka is inspired by archetypal circus characters. Their iconic costumes and props hint at what we can expect from the upcoming act. The marvelous feats performed by circus artists invoke a wide array of associations, ranging from death-defying bravery to trustfulness, beauty, playfulness, and power dynamics. When a sword-swallower passes a blade down their esophagus into the pit of their stomach, the audience holds its breath, but the performer is the only one who can feel their heart racing against the deadly blade. Ideally, a circus is a big, bohemian, inclusive family – the home of controlled chaos and unbridled exuberance. The riotous mood is nevertheless tempered by a melancholy aftertaste. A circus is also a place of cruelty, a place where people struggle to survive without a net, without society’s support. Life revolves around eating fire and being a clown.
Historically, the circus is an art form dependent on the good graces of the audience. The amusing tricks performed in the circus ring require a vast amount of training and preparation – something to which an artist can easily relate. Countless hours of solitary toiling and hardship culminate in a show that is over in the blink of an eye. The tent pegs are already being pulled out by the time the curtain comes down and the audience files out.
Majakka’s ceramic sculptures are essentially autofiction, based on personal experiences, things she has seen and done, human encounters. Her latest pieces abandon everyday realism and take a step closer to fantasy. The artist’s fondness for the ceramic medium stems from her respect for its time-honored traditions as well as her love of its immediacy, malleability, and wide aesthetic range.
Maisa Majakka (b. 1989) is a student at the Fine Arts Academy of Finland. She has previously held solo exhibitions at Helsinki’s ArTag Gallery and Copenhagen’s Ekely Gallery. Majakka has participated in many group exhibitions, including Vantaa Art Museum Artsi and MKC Gallery in Split. Her work is found in many private and public collections, including Vantaa Art Museum Artsi, the Päivi & Paavo Lipponen Foundation, and Helsinki Art Museum HAM. The artist is based in Helsinki.