Salt exhibition
V1 Exhibition Space, Helsinki
Jaakko Heikinheimo, Myriam Gras, Niklas Sandström

Salt is the first exhibition that gathers around the collaborative practice of Salt Collective. The exhibition involves works that are part of a consistent search for the universal connection of two opposites, related to geographical, philosophical and infrastructural relationships. These opposites are represented in the matter explored, as salt simultaneously provides and destroys, grows and dissolves. These dualisms come together through showing its infinite movements and traditions. By doing so, the works exist within a transformative cycle and together show the many stories of origins, ongoing relationships and other entangled ways of being. The media used range from photography to installation, collectively questioning how transformation can be documented.
Release (I never tasted a sea so unsalted)
Myriam Gras
Sculpture, ongoing
Salt stone, cotton rope, steel nail

Release shows a salt stone replica of a metal dock cleat, used to tie vessels to the shore with a rope,
which can be seen as one of the last moments of physical connectivity with solidity and consistency.
Here, the object does not perform the role of securing, as the thin rope holds the brittle mass
Through a combination of powerful, industrial processes and slow and intensive sculptural
techniques, the sculpture depicts different modes of control. It implies a direct, uncompromising
equivalence, emphasising the interconnectivity of the physical world. All are affected by
encounters, and all matter can be seen as the manifestation of historical and emerging relationships.
Once placed at the Finnish shoreline, the sculpture will start to show a merging with time as the salt
is exposed to the rhythms of the brackish Baltic water. Together with the movement of the rope
against its surface, the sculpture will erode over time, causing the salt to flow into the saltless sea.
The work reflects on how our dynamics define the contours of time, space and matter, and how the
physical and cultural boundaries, in turn, must be constantly reconfigured, while decreasing the
fantasy of human exceptionalism.
Suopursu I. 2022. Part of The timelessness celebrations of the birth series. 2020-present.
Jaakko Heikinheimo
Flower: Rhododendron tomentosum (Fin: Suopursu ; Eng: Wild Rosemary), found from Nuuksio, Finland, sea salt (Denmark).
Plate: stainless sleel, molybdenum.
Tablecloth: cotton.
Table: wood (chipboard)
Table: 170x380x95mm
Platter: 145x35x15mm
Flower: 250x95x40mm

Timeless celebrations of the birth
Flowers have been an ubiquitous gift to celebrate an anniversary, a reminder of the subsequent loop
of the life circle and the ender of the previous one.
Sacrificing blooms of many sorts is a actively ancient tradition in many cultures and religions.
As the rite of detaching the plant from its roots and directing it to the celebrated person, the flowers
eventually start to approach the end of their own life circle by decaying, fading away and finally dying.
This controversial crossover of the death and life is a reminder that ageing is a omnipresent
phenomenon of our own mortality and one for nearly any living species.
In the series of “The timeless celebrations of the birth”, embracing the completion of the life
circle is being disregarded and eluded by an embalming.
After few weeks of regular watering, containing the highest possible percentage of salinity, the
plants start to go through a different kind of metamorphosis.
Eventually, the decaying of the plant is then intercepted by a new crystalised blossoming.
The Tide
The Tide
Niklas Sandström
Photograph. Ink on Japanese Washi
810 x 1100 mm

I had walked up and down the shoreline near my new home in the Highlands of Scotland every
day for over six months before it hit me recently: The tide may well be the answer. But I can’t
quite define the question yet.
The tide here can be quite extreme at times. Depending on all the factors (the position of the
Sun, the Moon and the rotation of Earth), some days the sea level can rise and fall over five
meters, and in certain places even more. Of course it doesn’t literally fall – it goes away, only to
come back. Or is it the other way – it appears, only to disappear again? I don’t know if anyone
knows. What I do know is that this is what the sea does, and has always done. I can see its marks
on the shore, the whole coast darkened as if painted with a ruler by the water perpetually doing
its thing.
I have always had a deep fascination with rocks. Something about the fact that they were here
before me and will be here when I’m gone seems so soothing. But rocks are like statues, not
really generating movement or change, but rather passively reacting to time moving on. The sea,
on the other hand, is the driving force of change. The sea literally shapes everything. It is in
constant motion, sometimes gentle, sometimes violent, and it doesn’t care about anything,
I’ve started documenting the tide as it does its cyclical thing, twice a day going in and out (or out
and in). I set my camera up for long exposures so that I can capture the movement of the water
in contrast to the static rock, wanting to highlight the relationship between elements and
minerals. It has become a kind of meditative practice for me – I walk down to the sea with my
camera, and while I wait for the exposures to complete I let the sound of the ocean empty my
mind as I taste the salt of its spray on my lips. The sea to me is like a magnet, forever pulling me
towards it, like the water itself being pulled away, and I keep getting closer but never quite
3,450 meters above sea level
I once was in Argentina and had the opportunity to visit the province of Jujuy in the north of the
country. One morning we set off driving before sunrise aiming to reach the Salinas Grandes, a vast
salt desert high up in the mountains. I was warned it would be cold and that the altitude may
cause a headache, but I didn’t really know what to expect. The road felt like it went on forever,
lingering on- and upwards between impressive colourful peaks – the rock in this area comes in
shades of red and purple and green – and the sun began illuminating it all from behind the
horizon as we ascended into the unknown. I noted that the waxing crescent of the moon seemed
to be upside down, a silly little a-ha moment for someone not used to crossing the equator.
It was mid-afternoon when we reached the top of the road, and it was a truly bizarre experience.
At 3,450 meters above sea level, suddenly everything is flat, and as far as you can see the land is
bright white as if covered by snow, only it is salt crystals that glimmer under the bright sun
instead of frozen flakes of water. A local guide tells me this used to be the seabed – that is where
the salt originates from. I walked around the seemingly never-ending desert with my tripod and
camera, trying to make sense of anything.
The year before I had sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, and I remembered constantly looking at
the charts and our position and finding it both fascinating and oddly frightening that beneath
our boat was between three and four kilometers of water. Now here I was standing “at the
bottom of the sea” so high up in the mountains that I began struggling to breathe as the air was
so thin.
The sun was beginning to set, and I stood there aiming my camera left and right, up and down,
not really knowing what it was I was attempting to capture. It felt like one of those scenarios
where no photograph could ever portray the true essence of the moment, a recurring issue in my
work; how to visualize an indescribable feeling? I thought about time (how long ago was this
place under the sea – millions or billions of years ago?), about scale (I am irrelevant in the grand
scheme of things) and about purpose (what am I for?). As the sun dropped down, its last rays hit
the irregular pattern of the surface of the desert, shining a bright yellow light on these ancient
crystals of salt, and in the bluest of all the blue hours the view reminded me of an ice-covered
sea in spring slowly cracking under the warming sun. I was as far away from home as I could be
and more confused than ever, yet I felt completely at peace.