Espoo Museum of Modern Art

Pilvi Takala, Close Watch, 2022. Video still.

01.02.2023 - 07.05.2023

Pilvi Takala: Close Watch

Pilvi Takala’s Close Watch (2022) takes a critical look at how power is exercised in public spaces through the private security industry. The multi-channel video installation is based on the artist’s experiences during her six-month employment and research while working covertly for the security company Securitas as a fully qualified security guard in one of Finland’s largest shopping malls. Filmed at a three-day workshop organised by Takala, the videos document how she and her ex-colleagues address issues of racism, violence and toxic behaviour that she encountered at the workplace.

The site-specific installation divides the space into two interrelated presentations in which the watcher and the watched are immersed in an active field of relations. Close Watch opens up a space for reflection for the guards, and by extension ourselves, to consider one’s position and ethics, as well as alternative tactics, when exerting authority in their field and society at large.

Following its premiere at the 59th Venice Biennale at the Finnish Pavilion last spring, the installation now returns to the Finnish context where the work and its research originally began. With the mounting public concern for the prevalent excessive use of force within the industry, sparked by recent incidents that have surfaced, Close Watch examines the work culture that underpins acceptable practices in the field. The exhibition is accompanied by public programming devised by Takala to extend discussions the work has generated. By involving various stakeholders in dialogue, it unpacks the code of conduct as well as the responsibilities of security organisations and personnel who enforce control in the name of public good.

Close Watch is part of the InCollection series of collaborative exhibitions co-produced by EMMA and Saastamoinen Foundation. Takala is the fifth artist to be featured in this invitational series, in which a new piece is commissioned annually from a visionary contemporary artist. The work for the 2023 exhibition is commissioned by Frame Contemporary Art Finland and co-produced by Saastamoinen Foundation and Frame for the 59th Venice Biennale. The installation was on display at the Biennale from April to November 2022.

Curator: Christina Li
Project Management: Laura Eweis, Emma Lilja, Arja Miller
Exhibition Architecture: Studio L A
Graphic Design: Kuudes


InCollection is a series of annual commissions and exhibitions produced jointly by Saastamoinen Foundation and EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art.

Through InCollection, Saastamoinen Foundation develops its permanent collection by commissioning an artwork from a visionary artist. The artist creates the work site-specifically for the museum’s architecture and its surroundings.

A curated exhibition will be organized in conjunction with the commission to shed further light on the artist’s current practice.

Read more about InCollection:

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