Kalle Lampela: Utopia of a Beautiful Life

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"There was an optimistic belief in purpose – or pretense of it – in the expressions of the people I drew. Their gazes were directed towards horizon, where something that was possibly becoming true was waiting."

“Nikita Hrustsev, the leader of Soviet Union said in the paper of the same name as the nation in 1962: Our battles and all our actions are dictated by only one purpose – to building, creating, working for people to be able to always live better and more beautifully. Erich Honecker, the one with the most powerful position in DDR, said fifteen years later: Our German Democratic Republic will form more beautiful and socially secure.

The rhetoric was beautiful, but the final results had a different echo. In spite of this I wanted to reach by drawing the utopia of a beautiful and happy life that was produced during the cold war in real socialistic publications (DDR-Revue, Soviet Union-magazine and Soviet Union today-magazine). The work I did using the magazines became an artistic research process during which I analyzed real socialistic imaginary mainly by drawing.

There was an optimistic belief in purpose – or pretense of it – in the expressions of the people I drew. Their gazes were directed towards horizon, where something that was possibly becoming true was waiting. They are looking towards the highest political ideal: the nation of freedom as politically highest good and the power of transition. We cannot know what kind of nation that is, and my drawings do not tell about it directly either. My drawings refer to a utopian, abstract, but from time to time tangible movement and political pressure, the power of hopes and dreams.”

Kalle Lampela draws portraits using mainly colored pencils.

Photo: Kalle Lampela: Galina Spoludennaja

6/9/2018 11:00 AM–9/9/2018 6:00 PM