ERNO ENKENBERGWe Were Promised to be Taken Care Of
What would the world be like without adults?
Erno Enkenberg´s second exhibition at Galleria Heino features paintings and installations depicting an imaginary world from which all adults have disappeared.
In the series of works We Were Promised to be Taken Care Of, children have been left to their own devices, with no authorities or guidance. In the fantasy world of the paintings, children are cultivating a garden, learning about the bygone world in libraries and reading the constellations, trying to build a bridge between history and their present reality. Gone are the concepts created and maintained by adults, such as states, brands and money. These concepts, which are based on a social contract, have made it possible for humans to organise as large groups and operate in collaboration with strangers. The children in the paintings have to come up with new narratives and concepts to create conditions for their survival together.
Enkenberg´s paintings begin as paper models, which he arranges into something that looks like a miniature film set. When the miniature set is ready, Enkenberg´s studio turns into a photography studio. He photographs the model in different lighting and arranges the set with the final painting in mind. Once the model set is photographed, the photography studio becomes a painter´s atelier. The process has many stages and is time consuming. Painting is only one part of the process, foregrounded and served by the preceding stages.
In addition to paintings, the exhibition also features an installation where viewers can step inside the world of the children. In the installation, the children live in an imaginary art museum which they have appropriated and made their home. While the world of this exhibition has no adults or organised society, its theme is more about the joy of exploring and searching rather than a scary dystopia that offers no sense of security. Enkenberg uses his works to ask the question: What kind of world are we leaving for our children?
Visual artist Erno Enkenberg (b. 1975) gained MA from the Academy of Fine Arts in 2010. He has also studied in Wimbledon School of Art (1997-2001) and Free Art School (1997-1998). We Were Promised to be Taken Care Of is inspired by Yuval Noah Harari's books Sapiens and Homo Deus. Enkenberg´s previous solo exhibition, Kosmos (2014), discussed the history of astronomy and the impact that the development of the science has had on shaping the world view of humans. Since Kosmos, Enkenberg´s works have been seen in group exhibitions in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and the UK.
Thanks to: Arts Promotion Centre Finland.