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Our Coming Community

Valentina Karga is a Greece-born artist and architect based in Berlin. Her work encourages engagement and participation, facilitates practices of commoning and is concerned with sustainability. In her collaborative projects, she often imagines and prototypes alternative social, economic and pedagogic structures.

In Our Coming Community, Valentina Karga addresses the future shape and shared values of a local community by creating a collective totem consisting of a ceramic sculpture and a video.
The project is a response to the current situation of global crises and financialized abstraction, where the lack of concrete values, of a tangible commons seems to crumble the foundations of modern western culture. The totem symbolises the community’s shared values, giving them a material form. It is a conceptual pillar that will break through the fear of change, and support ‘our coming community’.

The totem was created at the ceramics workshop of Saunabaari community centre, where the participants met to sculpt and glaze their own totem modules, and to share their values in video speeches. Also recorded on the video is the community centre’s sing-along group, performing the quintessential Finnish tango ‘The Fabled Land’ whose lyrics long for a better world beyond the sea.

The totem was assembled for the first time in a preview event at the end of the residency, and the premiere of the installation is scheduled for the opening event of the new Maunula house in 2017.
Special thanks to Heli Mattila (ceramics expert), Kalle Kuisma (videography) and Juuso Salmela (photogrammetry).


COMMUNITY_ Local residents, aged 6 to 60 years

ART FORM_ Conceptual art, media art

CONTEXT_ Collaborative Media Art Residencies Helsinki

Gallery -

Finland 29 Aug - 23 Oct 2016


ARTIST_ Valentina Karga, GR/DE