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BEFORE AND AFTER THIS.

11 Sep - 4 Oct 2020

Radical Angels

Radical Angels

Radical Angels

an exhibition by Jaakko Pallasvuo Viktor Timofeev Miša Skalskis Rachel McIntosh Stephen Webb
1646 is excited to kick off with Jaakko Pallasvuo after the summer break! 
Jaakko Pallasvuo takes on the historical lineage of hierarchies, originally meaning “sacred power”, in his collaborative project _Radical …

1646 is excited to kick off with Jaakko Pallasvuo after the summer break!


Jaakko Pallasvuo takes on the historical lineage of hierarchies, originally meaning “sacred power”, in his collaborative project Radical Angels. Namely, he explores angels and divine ministries as the blueprint for contemporary hierarchy, bureaucracy and administration. In a time when the balance between authority and expertise is proven to be increasingly unreliable, Pallasvuo invites us to question who has the mandate, and who even gave to them in the first place. How can the mystic authority of angelic ministries inform us on the diffuse nature of government sovereignty?

Radical Angels departs from the work of Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, who suggests God’s angels to be the first bureaucrats. Both Agamben and Pallasvuo liken ecclesiastical imagery and language of heavenly hierarchy to the way political organization and the nationstate are designed in our world. The ‘sacred’ in hierarchy doesn’t only mean holy, it means ‘separate’: to wield power by rule of law, while at the same time being outside of the law, separated from those you govern. By choosing the angel as a vessel, Pallasvuo poses engaging questions about power to find out where institutions fail the people they are meant to protect.

Radical Angels also considers the angel to be a pontificator, a speaker of dogma’s; as a messenger; as a singer. Along lines of justice and knowledge, authority and control, the project creates an open space in which you may wonder as to where this dogma or message comes from, or how a non-hierarchical angel could take shape.

This cross-disciplinary project is centered around several collaborations; with composers, a game developer and a classically trained singer. In collaboration with Viktor Timofeev, Pallasvuo creates a 3D-environment that integrates the living world with Land Art manifestations of different angels. Pallasvuo has written a libretto for a monologue opera based on a human and a synthetic voice (composed by Stephen Webb and Miša Skalskis, sang by Rachel MacIntosh), which is rendered to be the interpretation of an angelic voice. 

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Jaakko Pallasvuo has a diverse approach to his practice, spanning across painting, video and writing. Next to solo projects, he often collaborates with other artists, performers and musicians.

Part of his works have narrative and critical disposition, including essay videos, texts, and his online comics ( https://www.instagram.com/avocado_ibuprofen/ ). In them, Pallasvuo tends to focus on the impact of living in historically trying times overrun by tech-capitalism and with a scarce outlook of a tenable future.

Another strain in his body of work includes installations, paintings and textile objects, that place emphasis on visual pleasure, beauty, and the capacities of art as something that cannot be reduced to language or message.

What animates Pallasvuo’s practice is an oscillation between these two tendencies, on the one hand the effort to analyze the world, to name it, edit it, to give it form by turning it into objects of art. On the other hand the desire to let things be such-as-they-are, to give into formlessness, and to let the works of art be valid in their silence and singularity. A balance of co-existence that could be seen as a more apt representation of the mind and of the world.

See artist’s website here