Jaakko Niemelä: Praakk

Praakk, meaning wreck, is an exhibition about loss, longing for seafaring and the memory of the artist’s sea captain father.

For Jaakko Niemelä (born 1959 in Rauma), the wreck is also a symbol of a life lived. It carries memories while simultaneously breaking down and fading away. Sea, ships and seafaring have been important to the artist since childhood. A deeper exploration of them began in 2012, when Niemelä started a research project named Nostalgia to get to know his late sea captain father better.

Jaakko Niemelä builds spatial installations that often resemble landscapes of light and shadow. His work moves between themes of loss and longing on an individual level and destruction and decay on a societal level. On one hand, Niemelä’s works frequently imagine and model structures that feel both utopian and dystopian, while on the other hand showing their collapse, destruction and disintegration.

The exhibition at the Oulu Art Museum is accessed via a lowered space. The large Gallery A houses a multimedia selection of works that continues thematically into Gallery C in the form of drawings and archive materials. Black Motor, a work created for the present exhibition focusing on the notion of evil, is built in the dimly lit Pocket exhibition space

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