Kaarina Kaikkonen ‘Ups and Downs’

During Sculpture Quadrennial Riga 2016 the artist has built a large-scale spatial structure in her characteristic style in Old Riga using second-hand clothing. The urban environment has been marked by a monumental and yet fragile installation that reminds us of the impermanence of everything that exists.

Kaarina Kaikkonen (1952) is one of the most significant and internationally acclaimed Finnish artists, creating installations from recycled materials, for example packaging paper or second-hand clothes. The motifs of life and death are often present in her work, including a connection to her parents – embodied in clothes are memories of her mother and father. Kaikkonen’s large-scale installations bring together monumentalism, evoked in relation to architecture and urban objects, as well as a reminder about the fragility of life and the impermanence of everything that exists. The grandiose forms contain art that is retrospective, self-analytical and seeks to establish personal dimensions, while attempting to find connections between the past memories, their advancement towards an uncertain future, and locating one’s own place within the time-space. Kaikkonen’s works of art have marked streets and cities around the world, temporarily transforming the place they have been exhibited in and creating new urban landscapes. Kaikkonen created her first installation in Helsinki in 1988 and since then has participated in several group exhibitions and created urban projects worldwide, receiving numerous prestigious awards.