Elemental Transmissions is a site-specific response to the Laterna Magica gallery
space, playing with ideas of physical change and perception in both an abstract and
direct sense. The stone floor of the gallery was shaped by the sea, thousands of years
ago. Now dissipated, its absence remains – a sensual trace of the liquid is suggested in
outline against the hard rock. Water sculpts stone slowly over time, its rhythmic
movements changing subtly each night according to the moon. On the other hand, fire
can destroy so quickly, a forest, a life, a home. Its energy is seemingly erratic in
As we leave 2020 behind there is a longing for the future, and a hope for a positive
transformation. Still we are justified to fear, as we are told history may repeat, or rhyme.
The concept of transmission, once a positive notion associated with the spread of new
ideas, or the electricity generated to start an engine, has taken on new meaning in an
era of global pandemic.
There is a relationship between human conceptualizations of our world and the
alchemical transformation of elements in nature. To breathe, we rely on air, the element
of wind. While invisible, air may be the most powerful element, with the capacity to
transmit (sound, ideas, and disease) and to control both water and fire. Meanwhile light,
or its absence, can determine what is visible, and what is hidden.
Alex Markwith (b. 1988, Kingston, PA) is a visual artist based in Helsinki, Finland, where
he moved in September 2020 after living and working for nine years in New York City.
His works are included in numerous private collections, as well as the Museum of Fine
Arts, Houston (TX).
Elemental Transmissions is the artist's sixth solo exhibition, and his first in Finland.