Feed on Clouds

in collaboration with Dylan Colussi
MAA-tila, Helsinki, Finland
31.05 to 18.06.2023

“Feed on Clouds” is an exercise on exhibition-making. It unfolds through a dialogue which happened in the form of writing - notes, recollections and other exchanges, as well as the planning of the exhibition - on a shared Google document throughout February to May 2023.

What does it mean to make an exhibition nowadays, if it ought to exceed its definition as a mere event where art- objects are displayed? What space it creates, and inhabits, as a network or as medium per se? These were some of the initial questions that guided the conversation between Xiao Zhiyu and Dylan Colussi.

The pages on the wall, which constitute the main body of the exhibition, start from two unmatched descriptions of the project space’s floor tiles and delve into the plural pasts of the space itself. Fictionally revisiting the multitudes of material traces of MaaTila, like the outline of a fireplace or the mispositioned tiles, they reconnect the arcadia of knowledges that are interwoven in Pääskylänrinne 10: the history of the building and its architects, the flower shop and worker’s canteen it used to host, the manufacturer of its ceramics, the handwritten calculation of the building plan, an old photography from the city’s archive...

The objects featured in the exhibition are conceived as the documentation of this dialogue, illustrating the tools used or the material found during the research.Trying to foreground the different stories crossed by the space, the unfixed grid on which they are displayed parallel to the tiled floor, allows a constant rearrangement and the creation of new relations between them. Changing the past of the research according to the followed route, the exhibition attempts to transpose the space built in the text into the room of MaaTila, arguing, in the words ofYi-FuTuan, place not as fact to be explained in the broader frame of space, but it also as a reality to be clarified and understood from the perspectives of the people who have given it meaning.

Written conversation

Exhibition Plan

430g, 2023, oil on linen, cast-iron powder, 22 x 15 cm

391g, 2023, oil on linen, cast-iron powder, 21 x 13 cm

untitled, 2020, oil on cotton, 40 x 30 cm

untitled, 2020, oil on cotton, 40 x 30 cm

Wall paper & written conversation, February - May 2023, 21 pages

untitled, 2023, oil on cotton, 40 x 50 cm

untitled, 2023, oil on cotton, 40 x 30 cm

untitled, 2023, oil on cotton, 30 x 40 cm

524g, 2024, oil on linen, heavy pigments, 21 x 15 cm

untitled, 2023, oil on cotton, 40 x 30 cm

untitled, 2021, oil on cotton, 84 x 70 cm

The tile from MAA-tila, 2023, oil on linen, cast-iron powder, 18 x 18 cm

*Exhibition Photo: Yujie Zhou