Six questions for
Karl Ketamo

Tique asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Karl Ketamo.

Artist Karl Ketamo
Lives in Helsinki

How do you describe your own art practice?

Usually to create a work or to begin working with a theme there is a hunch, feeling or a question. The questions that I am still, in a way researching, arose in around 2015 as a counter reaction towards the raising amount of nationalistic tendencies in Europe and worldwide. From there on my practice has been an on-going investigation into how images, objects and artefacts are used to represent ideologies, leaning towards the narration of nation and national ideology.
There is a particular distance to the subject matters I work with and my work could be described as a reflection of something actual, usually relating to current world affairs. That’s also why I would describe my works as having a sense of documentary value. My background is in photography and lots of my ideas expand from thinking photographically.
My late obsession includes postage stamps and old postcards. I’ve also been practicing with mold making. My resent experiments and works all seem to have something to do with circulation, (re)production and reusing images.

Which question or theme is central in your work?

My works consider the history of landscape as a subject in artistic practices in relation to critical theory and personal experience. My interest on this subject can be traced back to my study period in the Netherlands as well as experience of travel and living abroad.
Some other resent questions that have been leading my curiosities relate to art and production. Also, production of goods on a more global and industrial scale. Thoughts, questions and relations on global issues such as climate change in relation colonial histories are issues which inevitable come up. As an artist I hope that a personal point of view embeds itself into the work – I hope my works reach out and carry awareness of their complex position as new cultural artefacts.

What was your first experience with art?

My mother making arrangements with daily objects around my childhood home. There were some small sculptures and paintings at our home. Going to my father’s theater practice.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

My son, silence, sauna, strangers. Sitting at my work desk looking at images I’ve collected. Industrial sites, motorways, second hand stores, random sentences. Talking with people and sharing thoughts is always important and inspiring.

What do you need in order to create your work?

The mediums I work with vary and so do my needs. I always seek for feedback on what I am working on so sharing thought with others is essential. Most important is time and a space where to work from.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

The exhibition Manifest by Veli Grano at gallery Hippolyte in Helsinki.

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