Hélène Baril was born in the French Alps, but grew up by the sea, the same part of Brittany frequented by the great filmmaker/biologist Jean Painlevé, who among other things, practiced filming under the sea. After getting an MA in literature, Hélène quit her job teaching French to study art. Moving to Finland, she began a career painting houses, purposely confusing the work of fine arts and decoration. Recently, she’s been developing a “tale” involving racecars. In 2011, she created Orlandus Gallery, inspired by a fictional Finnish painter and racing car driver from the early 1800s. The artist also served as inspiration for SBK, an experimental collaborative Hélène founded in 2012, which uses a car for meetings, projects, and as a working tool. Constructing its name and logo after Shell Oil, SBK is “an allegorical and poetic initiative,” whose sphere of operation touches literature, geography, economy, environmentalism, and popular psychology. In 2013 she started a collaboration with anthropologist Michael Taussig in what they call their Sea Theater. Hélène’s work is a fairy tale aimed at confusing real and fictional worlds, or simply encountering the one into the other.

www.sbkland.com (racing car tale)


ALL OK, Thank you Äkkigalleria

Äkkigalleria 20 –  SBK My Racing Car is a Shell
August 1st - 4th, 2013 
Väinönkatu 36, Jyväskylä

Äkkigalleria’s twentieth exhibition presents SBK, a group exhibition including work by six international artists. 
SBK is an experimental, roaming, artistic platform developed by artist Hélène Baril during an artist residency at the Arteles Creative Centre, Finland, in 2011. Since then SBK has driven through a dozen different countries, achieved numerous feats and collaborated with local artists in several main arts centres around Europe. Having made a full circle, SBK is back in Finland for the final sprint. 
SBK is a car, a person and a world where poetry and common sayings come to life mixing with fantasy and adventure. It confuses fiction with reality, rally-cars with art and brings unlikely pairs together. Hélène Baril draws from a diverse array of artistic practices and forms of expression to embody the SBK entity. In this last sprint of 2013 at Äkkigalleria 20, SKB includes the work by 6 artists collected during an intense 6-month tour around Europe. The artists presented in this show are Hélène Baril, Laura Donkers, Alberto Martinez Centerera, Robert Prior Pitt, Matthew Scott Gualco and Lore Smolders 
This exhibition is organized in parallel to the infamous Neste Oil Rally Finland which occurs each year in the city of Jyväskylä. This car rally is one of the most prestigious car races of the world carrying with it thousands of rally fans who change the pace and atmosphere of this small city. The coincidence of SKB and the rally happening simultaneously in Jyväskylä brings two separate, isolated worlds so close they might touch. What will happen if they collide? Can two radically separate cultural events coexist in the same space? 
Äkkigalleria invites you to discover SBK at the opening of Äkkigalleria 20, at Väinönkatu 36 on July 31st from 4-6pm. The event is free of charge, everyone is welcome.

Anna Ruth, Äkkigalleria