On 27 February 2015, the day before Kalevala Day, the Kalevala Society granted the Akseli Gallen-Kallela award to artist Pilvi Takala.
In her works, Pilvi Takala (b. 1981) investigates social structures, cultural and behavioural codes and encounters between people and communities guided by norms, rules and prejudices. In her videos, Takala carries out seemingly harmless interventions, through which she manages to uncover social hierarchies, mechanisms of power, and the unwritten rules of various communities. Her videos have been edited into document-like narratives. These videos are able to elegantly show the arbitrariness of the world, as well as the comical and illogical elements in our behaviour.
Takala has answered the challenge levelled at contemporary art: to take part in social discourse with eccentric means that are at the same time critical and sympathetic. As Takala studies contemporary environments and the norms guiding our lives through her art, she ends up showing us the repetitive patterns of the human mind and cultural behaviour, as well as the chains holding us back, restricting our thinking and our actions. Another interesting feature of Takala’s works is the way that she examines simple, comprehensible and straightforward issues. In the minds of her observers, small chains of events lead to big questions and issues of causality, and to many surprising insights. Her works are also intellectually stimulating.
Pilvi Takala has pushed the boundaries of what kind of content artists can use, and has furthermore demonstrated how to make effective use of subtleties. Her works are about human beings on a universal level, making it easy for her to go international.