Jeanne Hoffman (b. 1974 ZA)
Vuojoki Mansion, Gallery Gylich, May 7th – May 31st 2008
The exhibition is a conclusion of a series of workshops on the relationship between people and uran spaces with Rauma Lyceum primary school 7B, 7C and high school students held in Autumn 2007 and Spring 2008. The workshop investigated this theme on a practical level by re-using discarded cultural residue (in this case old postcards of Rauma), and collage. During the workshop students made new images of Rauma suited to their image/experience/memory of their home town by re-assembling cut fragments of the old postcards.
The focus of the collaboration is the notion of Rauma as a shared landscape. The themes of collage and recycling were taken a step further during the Spring workshops: Each group made a sculptures by selecting parts of their postcard images and building them three-dimensionally out of discarded cardboard boxes and packaging tape. During this process familiar everyday objects were placed in new interconnectionted relationships. In this way the students had to practice social, practical and organisational skills by discussing and visualising (and finally making) an imagined landscape based on their initial postcard designs.
The exhibition at Galleria Gylich is an imaginative inquiry into the landscape/cityscape Rauma as "home" and "foreign place". It is set up as a visual conversation between Hoffman and the students; a conversation about the shared landscape of the Rauma area: Hoffman's experience as a foreigner and the students' as local inhabitants who grew up in the landscape.
Hoffman's visit to Rauma in fall 2007 had a strong influence on her work. Her March 2008 solo show in Cape Town, 'Strange Things Travel With You', was a response to the Rauma landscape - the forest, the paper industry and Rauma handicrafts. Hoffman's conritbution to the 'Collage City' exhibition is a part of the "landscape" from the Cape Town exhibition: coloured rain drops (shades of red, pink, brown and white) and clouds made from brown paper and wire that refer to the lace making tradition of Rauma.