J Pasila has exhibited widely in Europe and the United States. Venues in New York have included the Plane Space Gallery, Momenta, and the carriage trade gallery; in Europe she has shown at the Apollohuis in Eindhoven, the Waterfront Gallery in Ghent and in Siglufjordur, Iceland. Her work was selected by Robert Storr for the 44th National Chatauqua Exhibition of American Art.  She has participated in the "dust" photogram collective in Paris and in the 30 x 30 Collective Collection in Brussels. J has received grants and awards from the Elizabeth Foundation, the Association of Icelandic Visual Artists, and the Mustarinda Association in Finland and twice been a resident at the MacDowell Colony.

In 2014 J organized an exhibition inspired by the work of her mentor, video and performance art pioneer Nan Hoover, held at the PuntWG, Amsterdam with an accompanying program of video presentations, a sound performance, and discussions.  In 2016, she collaborated on an exhibition of work by Robert Marshall at Baxter Street NY.

A graduate of the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, J continued her studies in the departments of video and architecture at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf.  While a graduate student, she pursued research and development work with OMA, Christopher Alexander and CRATerre on the feature length creative documentary ‘a sense of place’.  She divides her time between Brooklyn, NY and Siglufjordur, Iceland.


On the Photography of J.Pasila

J Pasila’s photographs could resemble the documentation of a forgotten post-minimal figure with their meditative vacancies and interrogation of her work environment, as if searching for clues on how to proceed.

For Pasila, the camera is an organizing device that relocates peripheries to the center and elevates the surfaces of host materials, paper specifically, to the status of subject. The studio (soon to be condensed within any handheld device) often attracts the artist’s attention during the self-imposed periods of isolation necessary to the making of art. In a recent interview, the painting conceptualist Mel Bochner mentioned the desire to learn, or take away something from his daily studio regimen, even if the time invested produces nothing to show. Pasila’s images may illustrate this restless mental space.

The organizational chores that attend any career may replicate the administrative dimension of Fluxus or Conceptual art, as manual labor is necessary to the procedures of artists who navigate lead sheets against walls. Pasila’s physical inspections of marginalia in her own body of work results in a hall of mirrors type visual recycling of discrete events. Images of touch and insertion harbor a distinct erotic pull, choosing the pleasures of the disappearing stationery store (a museum of blankness) over the lurid Warholian newsstand. Pasila’s recent piece at the Tulca Festival (Galway, Ireland 2013) spectacularizes such a single interaction. As the print world accelerates toward the paper-free screen, could J Pasila’s art signal nostalgia for not only the cluttered bibliophilic archive but for the unrequited intimacy between us and all things stacked, leaning, or affixed?

Tim Maul
Image Editor, Division Review, Summer 2014