Pearl Weaver @ Gallery Nykyaika, Tampere 1-25.10.2021

Visual Artist: Mari Hokkanen / Sound Design: Jaakko Autio / Music: Marouf Majidi & Jaakko Autio / Voice Actors: Marjo Ventola, Erja Manto, Arttu Kurttila / Video post-production: Babak Arzani / Poem translations: Prof. Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila / The exhibition has been supported by: Arts Promotion Centre, The Finnish Cultural Foundation, AVEK, Finnfoto and Svenska Kulturfonden.

I created the sound design and music with Marouf Majid for five short films and a surround soundscape for the gallery space in Nykyaika Gallery.

In addition to the images, the exhibition includes 5 videos. These short films feature symbolic gestures, themes, objects and elements referring to Persian poetry. Videos portray classical and modern Persian poetry in Fars and in Finnish. Two of the featured poems are translated to Finnish for the first time and will have their world premiere in Valokuvakeskus Nykyaika. At the exhibition, in a separate space, the audience will have a chance to learn about Persian poetry in English, Fars, and Finnish.
Poetic phrasing is often compared to a pearl in Islamic culture. A poem can be seen as a string of pearls. Pearl Weaver is a string of photographic poems and performances with symbolic references to the world of ancient Persian poetry.

The images are influenced by the oldest poetry known to humanity. However, they reflect the foundation which I stand on as a photographer. My first visit to Iran in 2016 was to visit the grave of the great 15th century poet Hafez. The following years I went back to Iran two times, working in residences, familiarizing myself with the culture and poetry and of course to take photographs.

– Mari Hokkanen

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