Paola Guzmán Figueroa
b1992. Paola has a BA degree on Visual Arts that she completed in Bogota, Colombia. During this degree, she had the opportunity to do her exchange studies in the Film and Television Department of Aalto University, where she strengthened her knowledge and skills on filmmaking and scenography. Currently, she is involved in the Fine Arts program of The University of the Arts Helsinki (Kuvataideakatemia), where she is getting skills on moving image, photography and spatial arts. Paola has had a profound interest on exploring different ways of representing personal experiences and societal relationships through live installations, video and photography. Her BA thesis it is focused in her mental state of time traveling from her home country Colombia to Finland, elements like hair, water and herself are relevant in the installation. Her work has gotten a review in the Finnish newspaper HBL 28th September 2019 where it is explained that “Paola Guzmán Figueroa’s ambitious and psychoanalytically charged entirety “time travel” must be mentioned. The versatile installation consists of video, photography, light, shadow and an aquarium in which dark hair swims around. What may have been a chaotic cacophony is mature and cohesive, unpleasant but well restrained”. Paola has been a very active artist with a number of projects and exhibitions. For instance, in 2012 Paola exhibit her first short film called “From the inside” in Bogotá, Colombia at the “Equinoxio Film Festival” at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. This short narrated the story of a girl that was locked inside of a green apple screen. In this festival she was nominated as best short film in student category. Later in 2015 Paola and a group of students at Aalto University developed a concept and art piece for Prague Quadrennial regarding “barriers and boundaries” topic. The piece was called “The Other side” and it consisted in a very strong and flexible latex wall, which was stretched to five meters wide, effectively cutting the room in half, isolating people from those on the other side. By physically pushing the wall, people could interact with people in the other side, who could not be seen. For this piece Paola and the group got awarded as PQ gold medal for the best student exhibition. In 2016 Paola exhibited a video work in a metro station in Helsinki, Finland. The video is called “Minun Kieltä” which means “my language”. Paola is reading an article that is published in the national newspaper. She cannot understand almost anything, but some words. With those words she is trying to communicate from the newspaper with the audience. Moreover, Paola is the co-Founder of Kino Club, a collective and space that promotes film and video art among artists in Helsinki, Finland. Kino Club has had around 30 screenings in 2 years and a half and has participate in different audiovisual festivals in Helsinki. It has gathered a great number of performers, musicians and filmmakers, all talented artists who have highly appreciated the opportunity to present their work to a diverse audience and to get feedback. In addition, Paola has worked as a scenographer for various theater plays in Helsinki and some of them have toured around Sweden, one of them is “Paradisdoktrinen” The scenography is aesthetically clinical, the actors are building their own stage and furniture with white boxes and their one shadows are also creating the narrative of the play. Furthermore, Paola is working as a part time art producer of an organization called Interkult, this organization promotes intercultural activities regarding children and young audience in Finland. Paola has organized workshops related to plastic arts for children and also has been part of the planning of “nomads festival” a yearly festival that celebrates art diversity and culture in Helsinki.