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Facing unpleasant truths



Few of us want to face gross insects or death any more than we want to face our own prejudices. Artistic research can lead us to difficult but important encounters.

- Fourth piece published in a series of articles during RP#3 Research pavilion in Venice 2019 - 

One day, on the island of Harakka off the coast of Helsinki, frogs began to die. They were lying motionless on the cliffs with their bones sticking out and skin dried black.
 
The summer had been so cold and rainy that there were even fewer insects than usual. Visual artist Tuula Närhinen works on the island of Harakka. She thinks the frogs died of starvation.
 
The frogs got Närhinen interested in disappearing insects as well. She began collecting dead insects and setting them on display like jewellery in jewellery boxes and eyeglass cases. She killed flies in her studio between the pages of her sketchbooks and called them the diaries of a serial killer.
 
In the summer, these diaries will be on display in a project called Entomological Encounters, inspired by insect research, as part of Uniarts Helsinki’s Research Pavilion in Venice. [...]