Trekking in Time: Juha Pekka Matias Laakkonen

In Juha Pekka Matias Laakkonen’s art the process of creating the work is important, it is almost always time consuming, and readily includes daily, repetitive actions. Laakkonen sets out rules, like a ritual, which he then follows. His art is demanding, it includes performance elements taking place in an isolated environment carried out by him alone. The rules are full of symbolism originating from religion.

In Walking from Yaktusk to Helsinki in 5,3 Million steps from 2010, the artist walked around in the city of Yaktusk, Siberia, over a period of 176 days, a figure referring to the book of Genesis from the Bible. The distance covered would have taken him all the way to Helsinki. He carried out this performance wearing boots he made himself out of reindeer hide.

5,3 Million steps by Juha Pekka Matias Laakkonen

The following from 2016 is made up of small stones and three rosaries made of flower tori. During six days and nights, the artist walked around in circles with the three rosaries made of material from the site where the process took place. For each step he touched one torus in the rosary and counted. At the end of the sixth day, Laakkonen left the circle and headed in the direction he was facing, walking the same number of steps as he had taken in the circle. During the walk he collected those stones that found their way into his shoes.

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