Assa Kauppi, “The Race is Over”

Umeå, 28.5–15.8  2011

The summer exhibition at Galleri Andersson/Sandström in Umeå shows work by Assa Kauppi, a recent graduate sculptor from Stockholm. She makes her first solo exhibition in Umeå with the sculpture series “The Race is Over”.

The exhibition’s main work “The Race is Over”, consists of a series of bronze sculptures in the form of a group of children, lined up before the start of a swim race. The kids stand ready, but some are far more prepared than others. The race can indeed be said to have begun long before this actual moment. Their various traits are reflected in the differences we can read through their body language and expression. Some of them convey energy and tenacity, others distracted playfulness. Some of them may have already given up the thought of winning? In “The Race is Over” Assa Kauppi translates how the human being is both freed and captured by her unique qualities. The competition is a metaphor for how we constantly need to relate to conditions we cannot control.

Assa Kauppi, born 1977, has, in the final stages of her master’s degree at the Royal Academy of Art in Stockholm, teamed up with Galleri Andersson/ Sandström. Kauppi is a multifaceted artist, mastering a variety of techniques, though always returning to sculpture – her main passion. Thematically, her work is mediating on the boundaries between our human personality traits and the shortcomings all of us bear. Her production comments on our deep desire to seek understanding belonging.

The Race is Over
The race begins long before the starting pistol fires.
It began generations ago.

The children are not aware of it.
In the physical, we can only imagine
that which is the most deeply rooted.
It is found in our speech, in our posture,
in our gaze, in our trust, our desire to participate,
our wish to be accepted.
The children must have hope.
They do not understand that in their very desire,
they have already lost.

‘The Race is Over’ reflects a world in which
we no longer attempt to eradicate inequalities,
but rather desperately try to survive,
even if we have to trample each other.

Assa Kauppi