Immortal awarded as meritorious art book

Artist Professor Maija Tammi and graphic artist Ville Tietäväinen's book, that deals with immortality through the pond polyp hydra, has received the 2020 Edvard Richter Prize.
Mies seisoo kädet taskuissa, naisella on kukkia kädessään, molemmat tummissa vaatteissa seisovat käytävällä.
Photo: Mikko Raskinen, Aalto University

The award is given to meritorious art books and is distributed by the Finnish Art Association. The prize is 10,000 euros. Immortal - Lost Memoirs of Cornelia Dulac Concerning the Freshwater Polyp Hydra (Aalto ARTS Books)
combines scientific research, art and storytelling. The book deals with immortality through the pond polyp Hydra and its researcher Cornelia Dulac.
‘The story that mixes fiction and fact is carried out via photographs and diaries of the mysteriously lost Dulac. The book expands Maija Tammi's artistic production and serves as a catalog for the exhibition by Tammi and composer Charles Quevillon in summer 2020 at Forum Box gallery. At the same time, however, it is entirely its own work of art, which skilfully combines different levels of experience, knowledge and expression’, states the award criteria.

‘This book combines science and art, which is the core of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. The award creates faith that publishing, that combines art and science, is significant, and publishing also low-circulation literature is important’, says publishing manager Annu Ahonen.
Art as We Don´t Know It, by Aalto ARTS Books, also received the Edvard Richter Recognition Award, which was awarded to a total of four works this year. Edited by Erich Berger, director of the Bioart Society, artist and researcher Kasperi Mäki-Reinikka, artist Kira O’Reilly and researcher Helena Sederholm, the book brings together peer-reviewed scientific articles and artists’ descriptions of bioart processes.

Opening new paths

Pystyssä auki olevan kirjan sivuilla näkyy kuva polyyppi hydrasta ja viereisellä sivulla tekstiä.

‘I see the award above all as a testament to the fact that our story, which combines different types of literature and textual and visual storytelling, works well. We have managed to convey a unique story in a unique way’, says Ville Tietäväinen. 
For Maija Tammi, the award is of significance, as well. 
‘Whenever one does something that does not belong to any single category, there is a small doubt left whether one failed in it or did one succeed in creating a new path between different areas and disciplines. It is relieving to see that we have succeeded’, says Tammi. 
For her, Immortal has been part of a larger set of works. ‘In my works, the themes of mortality and immortality seem to be repeated in an almost obsessive way. It doesn't look like I'm getting rid of these issues.’ 
Tietäväinen is currently finalizing a comic book Harvennus, which will be published next autumn, written by film screenwriter Iiro Küttner. It brings to light another truth about the flood, the oldest lie in history, and humanity’s inability to learn from its mistakes.

More information:

Artist / Doctor of Arts Maija Tammi, tel. +35840 542 4655, [email protected]

Graphic artist Ville Tietäväinen, [email protected]

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valokuvassa pitkulainen polyyppi hydra mustaa taustaa vasten

The mystery of the immortal

Artist professor Maija Tammi and graphic artist Ville Tietäväinen have created an art book that combines scientific research, art and storytelling.

cover for book immortal

At the cusp of immortality: field notes on hydra

Immortal, the artbook by Maija Tammi and Ville Tietäväinen combines scientific research, art and storytelling. Immortal pulls the readers into the world of forever-young hydra.

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