Introduction

'In Jussi Heikkilä’s art thought manifests itself in material form, so that the materials used in his works, along with their titles and subjects, act together to take on the most diverse meanings. His works lure us both into using our senses and into thinking. In this respect, they both incite and invite. Heikkilä takes the viewer along with him into the formation of the meaning, as if inviting us to be part of the hermeneutic process. Faced with such openness viewers become interested in what it is that invites them to think along with Heikkilä. The artist has himself stressed that for him artistic activity is not just a visual matter, but also a tactile one. The total impression that returns to mind, like the feel of stones against the

soles of your feet in a memory of childhood on the path to the sauna, is combined with a visual memory of a starry sky.'

- Juha-Heikki Tihinen

 

'Jussi Heikkilä has been seen as working at the interface between science and art, and his art is frequently interpreted as continuing on from Romanticism. Ever since the 1980s, Heikkilä’s works have further been linked with ecological contemporary art that defends nature. These definitions are warranted and tell us something about the current relevance of Jussi Heikkilä’s career as an artist. He points the way to a number of phenomena that are currently to the fore in art and culture. The impact of Heikkilä’s art is founded on elements that are hard to reconcile with each other. His works operate simultaneously in both a conceptual-language and a material-knowledge register. Where the conceptual level opens up the meanings of the works in the direction of scientific knowledge, the works’ material combinations ground them in sensory information. In combining these two modes of cognition, Heikkilä gives rise to previously unknown viewpoints and areas of knowledge. He undermines the supremacy of scientific knowledge and proposes alongside it a sensitivity-based method that can bring the viewer closer to the non-human world.'

- Hanna Johannson