Kristoffer Ala-Ketola anchors his practice in the dark milieu of uncertain forms of existence. Interest in the formation of identities melts into the genre of portraiture and gives way to a stew of new and unknown characters, and Ala-Ketola marks these personas with horror, the grotesque, camp, queerness, and absurdist humor to fixate on the edges between the mind and the experience of one’s surroundings.
Infantasy is an audiovisual meditation on the semiotic connections between rest, work, death, and liminal space. The work seeks to describe the loss of consciousness, exhaustion, inactivity, exertion, the artistic process, and the interstices of these concepts with a dreamlike logic. Pillows and blankets equate to snow and falling asleep seems like a break from reality. The structure of the work is based on a diagram made by the artist instead of a normal script, which shows contrasts and assimilations. The diagram is applied from Greimas’ semiotic square, which illustrates the basic structures of meanings.
The formula also used as a visual element in the work puts the concepts of being awake, sleeping, not being awake, and not sleeping into a formation that Ala-Ketola develops new subjects by
interpreting and combining the concepts;
When one is sleeping but not awake
– One is resting
When one is awake but not sleeping
– One is working
When one is not awake and not sleeping
– One is dead
And when one is both awake and asleep
– One is in a liminal space
Infantasy’s video work seeks meanings from the relationships of these concepts and reflects on them in meditative ways.
Kristoffer Ala-Ketola has recently moved back to Helsinki with a Master’s degree in fine arts. He graduated from the Sculpture Department at Yale School of Art in the spring of 2019, after which
he lived and worked in New York. He previously studied time and space arts at the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki. Ala-Ketola makes video and installation art, which combines multidisciplinary artworks produced with varying media.
Ala-Ketola’s art has been shown in numerous exhibitions in Finland and abroad, for example in a solo exhibition at the 4th Ward Project Space Gallery in Chicago, Youth Exhibition at Kunsthalle Helsinki, Love and Anarchy Film Festival and Shin Gallery in New York. The themes of Ala-Ketola’s works are based on theory and concepts related to human emotions and behavior. He is inspired by the movements, faltering, and changes of the human mind, and how much emotion regulates human psyche and behavior.