2017 JAN–JUN

Pekka & Teija Isorättyä

Pekka and Teija Isorättyä, Vintage Nanny, 2012. Electro-mechanical sculpture, stroller, spinning wheel, car electronics, hand drill, metal, 180 x 200 x 50 cm.

Pekka and Teija Isorättyä are FCINY’s and ISCP’s artists-in-residence in January–June 2017. The couple is known for their kinetic sculptures built of organic and discarded materials and set in motion by electrical engineering. Pekka and Teija Isorättyä are interested in exploring movement and possibilities of expression in sculpture. Inspired by the logics of surrealism and DIY spirit, the couple is fascinated by how the stories of found objects intertwine and create their own, unique meanings. 

Isorättyäs’ working processes are based on dialogue, reciprocity and coincidence. Their pace of working is strongly defined by the materials used. In their hands tree roots, pig skins, bones, infusion tubes, human hair and musical instruments turn into macabre, yet humane creatures such as Vintage Nanny. Many of their works reflect on the problematic relationship between human, machine and environment.

An essential feature defining Isorättyäs’ art is their nomadic lifestyle. In 2013 the couple embarked on a three-year journey spanning from the Bay of Bothnia to the Caribbean and Japan. During their travels Isörättyäs learned the skills of  modern explorers: sailing, swimming and diving. The outcome of that passage is a series of kinetic sculptures exploring the topical questions of production chains of energy and food. 

After focusing on figurative sculpting for years, Isorättyäs’ latest piece, electromechanical installation Lilyjellynight is a step towards more abstract direction. During their recidency the couple will be working on a new sculptural installation using local materials.

ISCP is a residency-based contemporary art institution in New York that aims to support international exchange between artists and curators. The ISCP residency is enabled by the collaboration between The Finnish Cultural Institute in New York and the Alfred Kordelin foundation.


Pekka and Teija Isorättyä, Lilyjellynight, 2016. Electro-mechanical installation, infusion tubes, tubes, water pump, iron, hydrostatic pressure, 400 x 500 x 500 cm. Image courtesy of Marko Marin.