”En garde” is a fencing term meaning “On Guard”. In a fencing match, the referee says “en garde” as the opponents adopt the fencing stance and prepare for the bout. The fencer who scores a hit, “touché”, wins.

Reija Meriläinen’s exhibition creates a reactive state filled with tension between the viewer and the work. The anticipation and the attack become manifest in an installation, in which the touch of a blade can change the state of matter. Just as in a fencing match, preparing for what’s to come and anticipating the fight and the touch are as important as what eventually ensues. Time begins to distort and stand still, crawling on and under your skin.

Try to survive. Be on your guard.

The exhibition is supported by the Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki.