MADE BY is the Institute’s series of interviews that allows artists, designers, thinkers and doers to unfold their creative process in their own words.
Salla Tykkä (born in 1973) is a visual artist who works with film and video. Tykkä’s Palace-trilogy is now presented at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. The work consists of three films: Victoria (2008), Airs Above the Ground (2010) and Giant (2013). Tykkä reveiced the Tiger Award for Short Film at Rotterdam Film Festival 2014 for Giant. She is the first Finnish director to receive this acknowledgment.
The working process of the Palace trilogy started as early as in 2008. For me it has been very challenging to work slowly. I deliberately chose a direction that differed formally in many ways from my previous work. I didn’t realise how much this change would affect not only the working process but me as well. One can see evolution throughout the works, especially in the structure of the films.
The unifying factor in all three films is my memory. In my youth, I considered these topics beautiful and perfect in some ways. In the films I approach the topics as images, part of a collective memory, and try to show how much our aesthetics determine our ethics and worldview.
Almost anything can inspire me to work. There are no rules, and I think that creating a new work is a very internal process that can’t be directed much. My works are usually short and single channel, but this is not true in every case. I think that in general it is not very useful to describe art – you should see and experience it instead.
The most important achievement in my career must be the fact that I have the possibility to work as an artist. It is important to see other people’s work and talk about it. I was working 1,5 years in a teaching job and that time was very special to me. Working with young artists forced me to see how much the art scene has changed in 10 years time, since I left the Academy of Fine Arts.
Video artists have special needs when it comes to financing the productions, but still the major challenge is to make a good piece of art. I don’t have any vision where I could be from 10 years now. I could be anywhere and doing anything.