Markus Copper

Metallin maku | The Taste of Metal

240 x 280 mm, hardcover
148 pages
Editors: Leevi Haapala & Patrik Nyberg
Authors: Leevi Haapala, Saara Karhunen, Päivi Nikkilä, Carolina Söderholm
Layout: Ville Karppanen
Finnish, English
ISBN 978-952-7441-22-0
Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma
November 2022
42 €

Markus Copper – Metallin maku | The Taste of Metal provides fresh insights into the work of one the Nordic region’s preeminent sculptors, focusing on his output from the 1990s to the 2010s. Markus Copper (1968–2019) was a cult figure who fused sound and movement in sculptures commenting on traumatic historic events such as the sinking of the MS Estonia. He is best known for his monumental, spatially imposing works featuring sound, mechanical movement and light. Many of his pieces deliver a commentary on human behaviour, morality and the psyche.

In his essay, Leevi Haapala, PhD, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, examines the dynamic interplay of contrasts in Copper’s work, particularly in reference to the multi-layered meanings of Khyber Pass (2014). Copper worked as a performance artist in the early 1990s, and against this backdrop art historian Saara Karhunen analyses the performative side of Copper’s sculptures and the role played by the viewer. Copper worked in Sweden and Denmark for 15 years, and this period in his career and personal ideology is discussed by the Swedish art historian and critic Carolina Söderholm. Copper himself is given voice in a republished Berlin interview with Päivi Nikkilä dating from 2006.

The essays are accompanied by a rich compliment of images presenting Copper’s sculptures and intriguing drawings, including the extensive series that was to remain his last major work, Huviretki tienpientareelle (Roadside Picnic). The documentary material and accompanying images shed light on Copper’s creative process, his sculpting career and his achievements as a performance artist.