Hertta Kiiski

To learn parables, and blend them with bodily matters,
to learn secrets, and forget anew,
to lose knowledge
on the journey through time and layered chronicles,
obscure stone books and missing dynasties.

To become empty and renounce superstition, belief
that is wisdom, inherited from the animals
and tethered plants before they became animals.
To become empty and renounce –
how heavy wandering is with no burden,
solitude without the solidarity of animals,
difference, which the wolves flee and fear.

To arrive at last,
light, tired,
lacking words and a tent and the sympathy of animals
at the seashore, to see all this with one’s body:
The congealing light and the long stern waves,
the hard universe that turns, squeaks,
and the winds, slowly freezing,

to send out of habit
an empty boat, a cry to the wind
knowing that only fragments will get there,
or nothing.

(This Journey, 1956 by Eeva-Liisa Manner (1921-1995) – translation Emily Jeremiah)

NOON Projects is thrilled to present Plasticenta, a site-specific installation by Finnish artist Hertta Kiiski. Plasticenta is Kiiski’s American debut, with a new series of photographs, textile works, clay reliefs, and the first showing of Hydra, a new film made for the exhibition.

Plasticenta imagines an alternative future, in which all life forms on the planet mingle with each other in harmony, with dreams of new alliances between species, transforming existing hierarchies. The work depicts a new kinship between the human and the inhuman, the organic and the inorganic, the animate and inanimate.

The exhibition title is a reference to new research where microplastic particles have been found in the placentas of unborn babies. Kiiski has worked with her 2 daughters and niece for 10 years, creating work together collaboratively.

The site-sensitive installation features a series of photographs, textile works, and clay reliefs that establish a space for breathing and listening. By blurring the everyday with fiction, speculative futures, and aesthetics, Kiiski aims to heighten one's senses – creating a balm for the soul, in which to approach dark topics.

A series of 7 photo works in vermillion frames focus on the growth of plants, animals, humanimals, and the metamorphoses and symbiosis of bodies. Pictured are familiar yet altered  landscapes, plants with eyes, heads levitating in the forest, and eyes depicted on a red-tinted seafloor.

Hydra, a new film created for the exhibition explores the love and companionship between two girls and their relationship with an immortal polyp found on a remote island. The film features a score created by Lau Nau.


The practice of Finnish artist Hertta Kiiski moves seamlessly between photography, video, textiles, and installation. Known for her immersive and mixed-media installations – Kiiski’s work addresses complex relationships with the planet and ways to coexist with other species and with the environment. The works exist in a framework of love – the representation of interrelations between humans and other-than-humans. In addition to working with animals, she has also collaborated for over a decade with her daughters and niece. Kiiski creates spaces for seeing, breathing, and listening with all senses working through hospitality and sensitivity to space, even dramaturgically.

She has an MFA from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts and a BA in Photography from Turku Arts Academy. Kiiski´s work has been presented at numerous galleries, museums and photo festivals internationally. Recent exhibitions include a solo exhibition Primeval Soup at Turku Art Museum (Finland), Milky Way at PhotoIreland, Silent Spring at Hafnarborg Museum (Iceland), and a retrospective exhibition Violet Sea at the Finnish Museum of Photography. Her second book “I was an apple and I got peeled – but it was a good thing” was published in 2016 (Kehrer Verlag, Berlin). Her work is in the permanent collection of Kiasma in Helsinki.


June 10 – July 16, 2022

Opening Reception: June 10, 6 – 8 pm