Since the parliamentary elections held in spring 2015, Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen have visited private homes all around Finland to interview people about their personal relationships to topics that tend to spark an endless debate in the media. The 100 interviewees represent a statistical sample in terms of age, gender, region, level of income and education: 51 women, 49 men, one with a Ph.D., five registered immigrants, one resident from the Åland Islands – and so on.
The interview material is composed of views on 30 public debates ranging from immigration to privatisation, and from nuclear power to euthanasia – and not forgetting the health impacts of butter versus margarine. The reflections of the participants reach very personal levels as they link their experiences to their views.
The title piece, the interactive video installation 101 For All includes about 65 hours of video interviews. Visitors can pick – one at the time – their desired selection of answers from the available topics, and the interviewee that they want to hear speak. The 101th person, as referred to in the title, is the visitor, exposing the piece in his or her own way to other visitors.
The piece creates a unique opportunity for a listening comprehension exercise at a time where listening to others and getting to know their standpoints with an open mind seems to be the most radical of acts. An encounter with one hundred Finns, and a reflection on affecting others and being affected, is also the starting point for other works in the exhibition. Through a wider scope, the exhibition also looks into representation: can one individual or a small group of people ever represent “everyone”? What about the ones left in the margins?
Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen are a Finnish-German artist duo living in Finland. They have worked together since 2002 and exhibited their work around the world. They have received two major art awards in Finland: the AVEK media art award in 2012, and the Ars Fennica award in 2014.