Anu Pennanen

Anu Pennanen, A Day in the Office, 2006

Anu Pennanen, A Day in the Office, 2006

Anu Pennanen’s (b.1975, Finland) practice as a film-maker grew from her desire to increase the affective quality of her still photography. Her filmic images retain the intensity characteristic of ‘composed’ images, but by adding the rhythmic sensuality of a soundtrack she arrived at a medium capable of carrying the affective charge that she had already experienced in her earliest artistic expression (multidisciplinary theatre).

She is drawn to the technical aspects, the craft, of film, the knowledge and obsessive care needed to produce a compelling visual and aural experience. Her preferred visual vocabulary is the urban landscape, viewed as an arena for events and a metaphor for the social forces that influence the ‘architecture’ of our lives. (The application of ‘archipuncture’ to the ‘body’ of the city in Manray Hsu’s conception for this exhibition is an allied approach.)

In Western cities, office buildings are the contemporary icons of economic prosperity and Liverpool is building fast to attract new business, increasingly affecting the daily working lives of the city's inhabitants.

In her piece for International 06 entitled A Day in the Office (2006), Pennanen looked at both the exterior and the interior of the developing city in a double perspective on its current expansion. Juxtaposing the decaying office buildings once at the centre of Liverpool trade and commerce with new blue-chip developments cropping up on once derelict streets, the work examines the changing visual and spatial language of Liverpool’s built environment.

What makes office buildings unique are the people who inhabit them, working long hours, bringing their physical presence to bear upon these spaces. Through collaborating with Liverpool office workers Pennanen steps behind the fagades of the city centre to show the individual relationships and personal narratives that exist within workers’ day-to-day experiences. A Day in the Office was a two-part work, presented within FACT's cinema spaces individuals’ journeys as they explore and uncover their daydreams, memories and daily rituals, alongside a richly filmic depiction of the city that frames these experiences, projected in the evenings onto the outside of the building above Fleet Street.

Anu Pennanen at Liverpool Biennial 2006

A Day In The Office, 2006

Commissioned by Liverpool Biennial 2006 and FACT
Exhibited at FACT

Supported by

Finnish Fund for Arts Exchange
Embassy of Finland, London