Monday, 5 December 2011

Cat thinks people not living life to the full

Cat thinks people not living life to the full: but I think we still need each other.
Publication: C: International Contemporary Art
Publication Date: 22-JUN-08
Author: Wren, Jacob

COPYRIGHT 2008 C The Visual Arts Foundation

In the book Recording Conceptual Art (University of California Press, 2001), a series of interviews with key conceptual artists all conducted in 1961 but unpublished until 2001, Robert Barry speaks about his now well-known projects involving telepathy--works that attempted to bypass "any kind of material, even words or language," explaining that 

The best telepathic transmission sort of takes place
unconsciously, where you don't even know you're
doing it. So that the latest of the telepathic pieces,
we just assume that the ideas will be transmitted
telepathically, instead of consciously trying to
do it. [...] We just simply don't deal with that problem
of what it is that's being communicated. We just
say that something is communicated and that's all
there is to it. Now, I'm communicating it. Whether
anybody picks it up or not is something else. In
other words, I wouldn't say I'm communicating it;
I'd say I'm transmitting it. If someone picks it up,
then that's communication. Someone might pick it
up rive minutes before I've thought about it. You see,
because that sort of transcends time and space, and
these things sort of exist for all time, so to speak.

It's difficult to imagine anyone trying to pull off such an audaciously flaky idea today. The fact that the artist actually doesn't do anything, transmits something without making any effort, and yet the work of art in some sense still exists, seems to verge dangerously close to a style of charlatanism much too obvious for out post-ironic times. Nonetheless, the specific manner in which this historically important work lathers up my scepticism suggests that he may well have been on to something, that this might be a radical gesture with a bit of spark still left in it. If we allow ourselves to be open enough, might a genuine belief in the paranormal--so far away from social norms but believed in by so many--be a strategy for refreshing the often too predictable contemporary artistic context? 


In her video Tele-pets (2006), Gothenburg-based Finnish artist Nina Lassila takes a different approach to telepathy. The video begins with the artist speaking in voiceover: 

As other people, I also like to talk to animals.
Sometimes I feel that they are responding. I
wonder what they are thinking ... I have heard
that there are people who can communicate with
pets and other animals. Obviously many animals
have a lot to say. I want to find out what ...

The voiceover goes on to document a variety of instances, stories the artist has gathered, of people's telepathic experiences with their pets. Underneath the sporadic but steady narration run images of these pets. (They could just be images of random dogs, birds, cats, horses and goldfish; there is no way to know for sure.) It could almost be a late-night infomercial advertising the possibility of a true telepathic encounter with your pet. But it couldn't be an infomercial, the tone is all wrong: the imagery too fragile, too elegant, too poetic. 

But then, what is the tone exactly? It is tempting to suspect that irony is at work here, that we are meant to slyly laugh at these lonely people who have nothing better to do than recount what messages their parrot or dog sends through the air and into their thoughts. However, upon repeated viewing, I gradually came to the counterintuitive conclusion that there is in fact little irony to be round here, only a generous sense of humour flowing out from an even more genuine sense of curiosity. 

A woman is watching a picture of a purple car. A
moment later her parrot who is in another room
says: what a beautiful purple. The same parrot
wakes her up in the middle of the night, saying:
you gotta push the button! (The woman
was dreaming about editing.)

In its way, its very different way, Tele-pets is just as earnest and funny as Robert Barry's purely conceptual telepathy experiments from 1961. Because, just as Robert Barry's work encapsulated one extreme edge of a very dry first generation conceptualism, Nina Lassila's video equally pushes towards a similar edge, a similar breaking point, for the post-conceptualism of our time. This is an art that desires to stop talking about art, that doesn't take itself too seriously but nonetheless wants to let in a greater sense of the world, and scratch away at its strange, unexpected corners. I suspect it is also a type of art that would not be possible without the legacy of conceptualism. This makes for an unlikely mix: this work still possesses the distance associated with the conceptual legacy, while at the same rime it attempts to forge a much greater intimacy with its subjects, the people whose stories if recounts, and with the viewer. In a similar manner to that in which much first generation conceptual art asked, "what is art and how far can we go with it?" Tele-pets asks, "how can I use art to forge a greater sense of engagement with the world around me?" 

In the same 1961 interview, Robert Barry says that his work with telepathy "raises a lot of fundamental problems as far as the existence of a work of art is concerned: just how much is needed, and how much has to be known about a work of art, before it does exist. I think it questions the very being of any work of art" 

At first I was tempted to write that Tele-pets refuses to play such games and doesn't particularly care for fundamental problems of the "existence of a work of art." But upon further consideration, I think that it is only a matter of questioning art from another angle: not reducing art to its bare minimum and waiting to see what's left, but instead, with humour and a very light touch, placing art alongside these intimate, very human stories from daily life, and then taking art and life together and viewing them within the larger scale of the natural world. 

An animal therapist writes about Tuatara lizards.
The species is very old. The lizards feel very uncomfortable
around humans. We move too fast.
For them time goes much slower. From the same
source I hear about a cat who can explain the
phenomenon of time. Time exists in layers, like
the pages of a book. The cat also thinks people
are not living life to the full...

Of course, Nina Lassila isn't nearly as famous as Robert Barry and most likely never will be. (She is still young, so anything is possible, but times have definitely changed.) This is another aspect of the kind of work I am writing about here, of which I believe Tele-pets is only one example. Radical artistic gestures feel played out; they will no longer make or break careers and maybe art careers themselves no longer feel so important, some flashes in the pan simply last longer than others. Robert Barry was interested in telepathy as a radical gesture in and of itself; Nina Lassila is interested in telepathy as a way to hear what the animals have to say. It may or may not be a generational divide, but these are clearly very different impulses. To discover something meaningful within the artistic context I wonder if it is now necessary to turn away from purely artistic questions, to look elsewhere, out into the greater world. 

Tele-pets ends with a final thought from the artist: 

Our culture is based on the superiority of human
beings. The need to control is too big ... but I think
we still need each other.

As the video makes clear, it is people and animals that still need other. I suppose it is a sentimental thought, maybe pithy, possibly naive, but one certainly doesn't have to be receiving telepathic messages from the animal kingdom in order to sense its inherent truth. 

* Jacob Wren is a writer and maker of eccentric performances. His recent books include Unrehearsed Beauty (Coach House Books), Families Are Formed Through Copulation (Pedlar Press), Le genie des autres (Le Quartanier) and the upcoming novel Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

more greek memoires

"Virginity, virginity, where have you gone, leaving me abandoned?
No longer I will come to you, no longer will I come"


being here now all by myself the 4th day i realize I do not want to go and see or meet people.
I do not wish to speak about money.
I read the news every morning. I read about Greece and its debts.
I read about the protests. In Athens, on Wall street.
I know I should do something. Take action. At least react.
But now I rather see the ants getting drunk from spilt Ouzo on the terrace floor.
I rather spend time with the cats than think of money.
A sleeping cat in a country of economic crisis. Life has to go on...
The old bent down ladies in black going on with their daily routine.

I watch a leave fall.
Smell the fresh laundry.

I was never rich.
I never had a pool.
I never knew anyone with a pool.
I never wished to have one.

Being rich, that is what I am now.
Sitting here writing in the greek mountains.
Watching a cat sleep.
Smoking and drinking Ouzo before lunch.

Is it a privilege?

a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.

Well, tomorrow I will wear a bikini and make a nasty piece about a woman who does not care about banks, national debts, BNP and the IMF.
who loves the female artist?
another female artist.
sometimes a male artist who just loves this female artist (as a person and/or as an artist)

but look at the rest of the system.

the art bitches, sorry, the art women who work within arts, curators, gallerists, museumpeople ..they like male artists, gay male artists and hetero male artists because they love them back.

the female artist can be tricky. difficult. make difficult statements. be uncomfortable somehow. talk about periods or about annoying feminism.

the male curator etc then…they favor male artists because they are buddies. and often they are gay so they favor other gay artists…

so what is left for the female artists?


memoires from a greek residency

yes, imagine how people lived without electricity.
they did not stay up in the late hours. they went to sleep when it got dark.

Im sitting here in candlelight. Alone. In the greek mountains. There is thunderstorm.
I can not see the mountains - they are covered in mist.

But I have my MacBook Pro - thanks Steve Jobs.

It's giving me a little light. I just hope the 77% of battery will last for a while.

I hope my 6 candles will last.

I hope the dear electricity comes back soon.

What if I need to have a shit?

I can't find the toilet in the dark.

I will poo in a pot.

what is this whole glamour stuff? I mean in the art scene?
are artists glamourous or are the hang arounds the glam ones?

I mean…artists who often deal with tough issues, concern their work about serious things, reveal themselves almost to the bone etc - how could they in the end be glamorous?

I mean yes, in one sense probably, in their leisure time…

or perhaps there are the different ones…the glam artists and the serious ones.
And what about shyness? I always find artists to be quite shy. If they are not drunk or on drugs. Quite introverted actually. Not wanting to be the center of attention…

I am 36. an artist. currently sitting alone in a house in the mountains of Lefkada, Greece. I am working. This is not glamorous.

"Το αύριο, θα είναι καλύτερο."

Tomorrow will be better.

Friday, 7 October 2011

being here now all by myself the 4th day i realize I do not want to go and see or meet people.
I do not wish to speak about money.
I read the news every morning. I read about Greece and its debts.
I read about the protests. In Athens, on Wall street.
I know I should do something. Take action. At least react.
But now I rather see the ants getting drunk from spilt Ouzo on the terrace floor.
I rather spend time with the cats than think of money.
A sleeping cat in a country of economic crisis. Life has to go on...
The old bent down ladies in black going on with their daily routine.

I watch a leave fall.
Smell the fresh laundry.

I was never rich.
I never had a pool.
I never knew anyone with a pool.
I never wished to have one.

Being rich, that is what I am now.
Sitting here writing in the greek mountains.
Watching a cat sleep.
Smoking and drinking Ouzo before lunch.

Is it a privilege?

a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.

Well, tomorrow I will wear a bikini and make a nasty piece about a woman who does not care about banks, national debts, BNP and the IMF.
"Virginity, virginity, where have you gone, leaving me abandoned?
No longer I will come to you, no longer will I come"


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

starting the writing...

images of Chernobyl, Fukushima, Nuke bombs

I will never forget April 26th 1986.
I am 11
We have just moved here.

for several years we are not allowed to pick mushrooms.
there were rabbits born with 5 legs and 3 ears.

the winds were northwestern.

but it's all going to get worse. much worse.

26 years later it's still hovering over the town.
It is still a major threat all over the world.

It is a ticking bomb. It will never go away.

I still fear it.

Lets go back to 1764..?
the town is a stopover for the king & his entourage. They would stop here and dine.
The restaurant is still there. The ceilings are very low. The king was a short man.
In 1786 ??? the town gets a new name, a name of a Queen.

It becomes a famous spa & health resort for wealthy people.
the town boasts with casinos, hotels, tennis courts & cultural events.

The health well also referred to as the radium (180Bq/l) well is said to bring health to everyone who drinks from it. It was somewhere close to my school.

there were enemies and wars fought. fortresses built.

What happened to the radium well?

For a long while the town is unimportant. Nothing happens here. A seaside town proud over the fact that the famous composer spent some summers there.

then in the 1970ies it is decided. It will be built here, outside the town by the seaside. The big plant.

I move here after a divorce. I'm quite a happy child.
Until I learn to read and think for myself. Until I find out about the plant.

My life is changed. For good.

The plant is still here. Now owned by another big company who have nice informative PDFs for downloading on their webpage. They clearly state that they measure the level of radiation in the local community. Everybody is healthy,safe and happy.

the locals are radiant.

we used to joke about that.

the name of the company that owns the plant is visible all over. It supports the local sports teams. kids work there during summer holidays. people have bags and clothes with the company name on it. Everybody's parents work there. Nobody is afraid of it.
My mothers boyfriend is a fireman. He works there. We argue a lot. I never like him.

On the schools field day we cycle to the plant. We are given buns & lemonade outside the gates.

We learn to recognize the alarm. We learn to not think about it.

We learn how to move quickly and safely to buses in case of emergency.

I learn that no pets are allowed to company in case of an evacuation.
I try to figure out what to do with my dog Brutus if ever the horror happens.

In the basements there are concrete bomb shelters with heavy armed doors.

Its always cold there. My grandmother keeps potatoes in the basement.
My brothers heavy-metal band practices in the bunkers.

(this town could be anywhere, I could be anyone. This could be a manuscript for a TV drama. But this is all true and nobody seems to care about the dangers).

Go Back to all the places. the familiar and the unfamiliar. Re-enact childhood.
Find a 12year old. a 14year old. a 16 your old. a 19 year old.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Joan, another Karen...

always liked to like something well said.
i should have written this story in another way. I should have made a story. I should have used names. made up names.

It could have been brilliant.

well, from one thing to another - like in weird dreams…today I started reading that book by Joan Didion that I bought in a bookshop on Bergmanstr yesterday. it was a tuesday. I had had lunch with Guergana.

i found these books by Didion. I should have bought them all. I suddenly remembered this interview with her - how much I felt with her. She talked about writing about the loss of her husband - or was it her son...anyway, I had never heard of her before. well I bought 1 book. and after reading 10 sentences I knew I liked her. a lot. after 1 page I knew we were related. and wow, wasn't that a great feeling?

(like when I got the strong urge to go and see Karen Blixens grave in Denmark. She was buried next to her beloved dog. what a woman she must have been. She always wondered if it was raining over Ngono...)

to know somehow that you did find home?

it's all there. the language, the references…amazing. i love that I found her.
I feel so lonely sometimes.

wishing for that grasping feeling of a story that you want to hear but that is not being told as you wish to. and because the storyteller knows better than you what you need and want….but who writes it? who is the storyteller? how do we read a story?

i want to create that story. or a story.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

nyskapande kanske lite kul

men varför då? vad då?

vad vill man? hur ska man komma över den där överväldigande känslan att man inget kan göra?
man skriver lite på någon debattsida. man sprider information o bilder mm via diverse kanaler såsom Facebook. Man läser artiklar. man ser web tv. man ser videoklipp från olika tv stationer, nyhetsbyråer - oberoende och statliga.

man talar med nära över en bordsskiva.

men mer då? och hur ska man orka då dumheten och själviskheten känns så fet och tryckande runtom en.

man går in i sig själv. går ut o handlar bara det man behöver. gläds inte över att shoppa onödiga trendiga t-shirts. Inser att man klarar sig fint med dom 2 koftorna man har hemma. Vad ska man se cool ut för i en sketen värld?

Hjälper det dom som har det ruttet? hjälper det dom som torteras? hjälper det djur som dör ut? hjälper det grisarna som lever för att dö?

Och senn då, ska man sitta hemma med sitt vinglas och skriva lite i textredigeraren?

hjälper det?

kan man kanske översätta texten man tangerat till engelska med hjälp av google translate och överföra den till en video som man försöker få in i ett konstgalleri eller en festival i ev kategorin experimentell dokumentär? för det finns ingen kategori för panikartad världsförbättring?

ska man kanske orka ordna en utställning som heter "a better world" eller "give us a chanse to be nice" eller nått annat supersliskigt alltså avsiktligt sliskigt, nästan på gränsen till sarkastiskt.
Bjuda in konstnärer som helt ärligt är inne på att se på världen o dess problem istället för att fiffla med ett material o göra snärtiga prylar som är helt onödiga men kanske småkul. Inte heller bjuda in konstnärer som jobbar med sina trauman eller målar tavlor som är kulörta ytor i olika former.

kanske det. det skulle vara ett kombinerat ställningstagande. kombinerat för att man mått illa över att man gett upp all sin ork för ett aktivt ställningstagande och för att man inte gått in i sin konstvärld o sagt till att det här saknar jag för fucks sakes.

nu blev dethär ju riktigt bra. bra skrivet och sakligt. nyskapande kanske lite kul.

Monday, 11 July 2011

4 new folders.

well. ok 1 is sort of old. already in process. but it's now nicely wrapped inside a blank A4 with the HEADLINE: Lovisa project 2011.

but then 3 new folders. great. feeling releaved. there it is again. creativity. the ideas. the unconscious words appearing on white paper from somewhere far inside the mind. or brain if u prefer. naah. dont think so. not the brain. well.

one folder is called "Panther & Freud". A possible script. and what is all that post colonial stuff anyway.

another folder: 1 week diary. July 10-18th 2011. Script material.

last folder:
Another possible script:
ready mades

PROMISE: tomorrow I might take my camera out and film something. or buy the panther.

last week I ate a grape fruit laying down on the floor on that plastic table cloth. It was very messy and I made ugly noises. It was not pretty. And yes I did film it. But I do not know what for. But I am sure it was for some higher purpose. As always.

As I am the priestess of remote viewing.


vad är svenskhet?

Jasenko Selimovic (FP): Vi behöver en diskussion om svensk identitet. Vad är det som förenar oss, vilket är samhällskittet? Sverigedemokraterna och andra nationalister har lagt sitt bud: det som håller ihop oss är de tjocka banden av etnicitet och kultur. Om vi andra vill bemöta nationalister måste vi formulera vårt svar. Genom att diskutera vad ett svenskt medborgarskap ska vara, genom att prata om vilka värderingar som bör utgöra grunden för ett samhälle kan vi definiera svenskheten på ett mer inkluderande sätt. Så att invandrare och människor med andra kulturer och religioner också ryms i den. Hellre preciserade krav på medborgarskapet än otydliga och livslånga krav på kärlek till sill och potatis, skriver Jasenko Selimovic.

jag kan också på samma gång fundera på frågan vad är finländskt?

ja, eftersom jag är född i Finland, har bott i Sverige i nästan 10 år och nu bor i Tyskland och snart kanske i Belgien. Länder där vi har liknande problem i olika proportioner.

Plötsligt känns det ändå dumt - vad finländskt, svenskhet, tyskhet…jag är ju en människa. Vad är mänsklighet då?

Det är väl det vi bör svara på för att kunna leva ihop. Eller?

Men då för att återgå till frågan svenskhet. mmm…hur skall det fungera? Gör inte det till en grad redan? Nu kan jag bara återgå till egna erfarenheter och minnen. Ja, vänner och bekantas.
Har aldrig bott i Hammarkullen. Och jag är ju finsk har jag förstått. Jag blev nog mer finsk i Sverige. Hemma i Finland upplevde jag det inte så mycket - detta kanske är svaret - de hemmavarande, "hemma stannarna" vet inte vem dom är.
Och då man rör på sig o bosätter sig någon annanstans med "andra" blir man allt oftare påmind om sin olikhet. Trots att den kanske inte ens är särskilt märkbar. Det kan man inte ändra på. Och det kanske inte är något fel i det egentligen, så länge det inte är diskriminerande. Eller sårar. Det gör det ofta tyvärr. Man kan bli trött på att känna sig tvungen att "stå upp" för ens rötter - det vore ju lätt att säga, ja, fan, Finland är ett djävligt skitland. Men det är det inte. Det finns en massa gott och fint där. Samma i Sverige.

Vad ska vi då definiera som svenskhet…sill och potatis är gott. Men kanske det borde främst handla om demokratiska frågor som; yttrande frihet, jämställdhet, miljö frågor.
Säg tex att man ger ett paket åt folk som kommer; detta paket kan innehålla en kurs om dessa frågor. En svenska kurs som folk kan få göra i egen takt. Och se till att det finns ordentligt med svenskar på plats för att skapa kontakter med ny anlända.

Hm, jag behöver ju kanske inte detta…jag är rätt lik. Och jag behöver inte ändra min svenska.
Men varför upplevde jag mig fortfarande diskriminerad i Sverige? Kanske för att jag inte var en "head hunted" super power for the Swedish office…utan bara en liten finne som studerat i Sverige och flera gånger lovat att lämna landet efter avslutad examen. Nu gjorde jag ju inte det, utan blev kvar och lyckades sist och slutligen få ett jobb och bostad, tack vare mina finska kunskaper. Så i slutänden lyckades jag haffa åt mig det som alla i Sverige vill ha - men enbart pga kontakter med andra finsk talande eller just pga det. Luktar skit.

Jag blev liksom inte riktigt integrerad någonsin. Kände mig aldrig riktigt välkommen. Det var lättare att gå hos tandläkaren i Helsingfors. Men nu tillbaks till mej idag. Nu bor jag i Tyskland och nu saknar jag Sverige. hahaha. Nu ser jag vad svenskhet är.

det är hjälpsamhet. godhet. bra seder. hederlighet. kanske blåögdhet - men det hör inte hit.

I Sverige kan man ha det djävligt bra och tryggt. Kanske inte så värst spännande men det är ett bra land att känna sig trygg i. Visserligen klagar många på att svenskar är trista, inte ler eller ser andra i ögonen. Jag vet inte om jag kan stämma in där - undrar varför - nu står jag här på Sonnenallé och försvara Sverige….kanske jag integrerades trots allt? Kanske jag blev svensk?

Utan att jag märkte det? Kanske var jag tvungen att lämna även Sverige för att förstå vad det är att vara del av svenskhet?

Måste ändå påpeka att det är spännena att bo i Neukölln Berlin - vi är en rejäl soppa av folk från jordens alla hörn - och fan i helvete - det fungerar rätt bra. Hur gick det så? Varför är det så svårt "up there in the North" eller "In der Nord" som numera är mitt ursprung….

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

memories of her.

typing on the typewriter. all these A4s. Font: courier. funny paper smell.

blue berry muffins.



plants: Red geraniums and st. paulias.

apple juice

beautiful coffee cups

never really tea

flowery dress. was it violet, sort of blue? a white hat. the golden neckless. that i now have. with the little watch in it. I never wear it. afraid of losing it.

old paper scissors.

always lost reading glasses.

red medicine boxes.

a radio always on.

I never saw her use the vinyl player. perhaps the tape rack. was there ever tapes?

later on Vikingarna in the car with her second husband.

earlier on live accordion and a dog called Sami.

that fool dress, with the funny little hard green hat. tiny black shoes. a very old looking brooch holding the scarf together.

never make up. not even lip stick.

tiger balm in the bedside table drawer.

colored felt pens in a jug on the bedside table.

cross word puzzles. always.

books. magazines.

white lace table cloth on the dining room table. a big was on top.
simple table cloth on the kitchen table. thats where we eat.

white plates with painted flowers on them. in a nuance of fragrant light violett.

home made carpets on all floors. except in the living room, was there an oriental carpet? and plastic ones in the bathroom? or?

the evil looking blond russian dolls in their silky dresses.

the white dog with a red collar, Emil. He is in Sweden now, in my cellar.

a little was with a picture of a 1700 century couple on it. the man is playing an instrument perhaps?

an orange telephone. on the telephone table. the old huge black heavy telephone.

plastic bags filled with sea shells, boxes with pearls. Fruitdrops candy cans with treasures in them.

Van Houten cocoa powder, never o'boy.

to be continued….

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

the fox

what makes us happy?
what is happiness?
how do we pursue it?

is it that moment feeling wonderful after a nice dinner with friends?
is it a good feeling going to a well deserved holiday?

It is definitely there when feeling loved by someone. In those moments when you lie beside someone and feel love strongly. Or feeling it through a distance.

But is that enough?

We say happiness exists in small things. In simple slow moments. Like looking out on a field. Or on a lake. Or at the horizon.
Watching butterflies, birds, animals…children.

But this makes me sad. Because I feel we do not appreciate these things enough and to be honest this is all is something we are destroying. We are destructive in our nature. It's like we do not really care because we are to selfish.

Did I feel happiness when I saw that fox lurking on the dark street last night?
What was the fox thinking?

I realized he was becoming more like us, streetwise. He decided based on previous experience that I was cool. At some point he stopped his running to sit down and scratch himself for a while. a couple of minutes and he saw that I was watching. But what was he thinking?
I do not know.

I can only make assumptions. Assumptions based on my education, experience, background and personal thoughts.

And I am afraid that nobody is interested in my personal thoughts about the fox. Or about anything else.

Isn't it sad that I think this way?

And why did I even start thinking about happiness in the first place?

It's an existential "thinkdoodle" of course. I was thinking about leaving a trace behind me. Something about myself so that I would be remembered when I'm gone. And why again am I wasting my time on thoughts like that? Wy is it important to me, to us, to leave something behind us?

We know that most things will be destroyed. I know that I am a nobody really.
To be big crowd at least.

I wont be remembered. And to be honest that does not really bother me at all.

It's this art thing. That I am creating things…for what? for whom?

Am I doing this to entertain someone? I am obviously not doing things that people want to have close to them in their homes, things that would help them go on every day - because all my works are still here at home, nobody asked for them. Nobody bought them anyway. Would that make me happy, to have some well deserved stash in my, it would not, just for a short moment. Is happiness only there for short moments, or is it so that we can't really recognize happiness and that is why we seek it and see only short glimpses of it, sometimes false things?

And I wonder how well do we really know ourselves? How honest are we really with ourselves? And do we even care?

Will we just be gone not knowing who we really were deep down inside?

So what makes us happy, to get back to the first question. Knowing ourselves? appreciating ourselves? Or knowing the other, the unknown, like the fox I met?

it is the same thing - a meeting with a stranger. The stranger being myself or the fox.

perhaps something happens in between that meeting.

Or is it that simple that happiness comes from making someone else happy? By i.e creating an art work that makes somebody else happy, closer to himself/herself? Or even baking a simple cake.

Is that possible? ( cakes are easy, perhaps I am wishing to make the whole fucking mankind happy...then I guess I should show them my tits or what?)

I know I talk to much. I know I ask to much. But in this moment writing this made me feel happier. I felt a honest real moment with the real Nina. I got again a bit closer to her. Hi there…nice to get know you. Happy it was not just another small talk to kill time.

And after this I can walk down to the post office with the other me. And mail another video to another video festival where another possible audience will become happy after seeing my piece.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

a cow called Nina

...suddenly remembering those days back in 1995 when I was cleaning hotelrooms in Hotel Arkipelag in Mariehamn.I still know the tricks...
That summer I was 20 and met a white cow called Nina. what a summer.

Now I am 36. And not so much has changed.

I might even meet another cow called Nina. WHo knows.

I might even get myself my own cow. Cow's are very much like people. They follow leaders quite blindly. Some of them get of the path and roam wildly for a while. I remember Nina did that. That's how we met. We were on a mission to check out that the cows were ok on the meadow. There was a little forrest with dangerous ditches so we needed to see that nobody had fallen in there. So there we were walking with big sticks in our hands to protect us from wild cows when there's a loud sound of twigs breaking in the forrest.
And out comes a white cow running madly straight at us. That was Nina...

Am I like her?

Am I roaming madly in life? I don't seem to want to stay with the herd...even if I like the herd. Perhaps I don't know who is the leader of the pack? Or do I want to be the leader and start a new pack?

If I can recall correctly Nina had a buddy with her. So she was not alone.

I'm not alone either. I know loads of cows...

Bonne weekend!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

in the arse of a dog - i hundreven

yeah, now its Venice. Its Basel. Its Based in Berlin.. .all sorts arts cat christening events...

No, I'm not jealous or bitter beacuse I'm not there with the jetset. This all just makes me sad. And to be honest this whole market & wanna be so fucking something else constantly (than a creative artist) has been pissing me of for years.

There is constant proof of how artist are being used, dumped, pissed on and to be frank objectifyed. And this all just keeps going on because we, artists, just want to make a buck and show our stuff. We HAVE to play the ugly game - otherwise we'll play it in a barn somewhere in Utsijoki* and nobody will care.

So what to do.

I dont even know where to start.

I read a very good text on a blog last night. It managed to capture the same things I have been annoyed of in just a few words. I will copy it here, it's so brilliant.

the artist's statement:"An Artist’s Statement is a batch of required thinking which purports to be about the inspired doing of something, but which replaces it. The art-schooled art world is mad for intellectual hooks. These leapfrog from an idea, sail clear over the sweat and bother of actual creation, and land in forensic analysis, which some dismal pictures or objects have been devised to illustrate. A hook may get you into the art game. It will also digest you. You will then be excreted out, at best as fertilizer for next year’s crop of Artists’ Statements. More likely, you will have been just another silly fart, dispersed on the breeze."

the clichés in art criticism today:" It’s a reflex to characterize, and even to congratulate, new art in terms of what it is ‘responding to’, ‘being interested in themes of’, ‘reflecting on’, ‘being concerned with’ – and I would add, ‘interrogating’, ‘challenging’, ‘subverting’ and so on: mental monkey tricks. "

artists and their practice:"Then there’s that horrible word – I wince every time I read it, and I read it a lot lately – ‘practice’. Artists don’t make works any longer. They maintain practices. Like dentists, only less honourably. Or like musicians trying to get to Carnegie Hall. When do you stop practicing something and do it?"

A reprinted lecture he delivered at SVA, the article also includes a full version of the great "modernist warhorse of a poem" Wallace Steven's "The Idea of Order at Key West."

yes, I will try to go on writing about these things that piss me of, but first I have to fix my web page so that I will be elected for residencies, festivals, exhibitions etc. Ironic isn't it....But I must go on...What else can I do? Then hopefully I can fight this bullshit from the inside. Crush the fancy fucking specs of the people who dont care about art and important values but are in it just because of the fancy champagne & money & probably something they call cultural richness = elitist snobism to me...

I want to end this blabbering with some nice optimistic words but feel drained.

what about a good old classic: FIGHT THE POWER!!!!!!!

*my grand mother would call these remote places being "behind the back of God, Jumalan selän takana", or in "the arse of a dog, i hundreven" .

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Slippery Terrain at the Nordic House Reykjavik

May 7th - May 29th 2011

Nina Lassila
Diana Storåsen
Johanna Willenfelt
Thora Gunnarsdottir
Elín Anna Þórisdóttir
Juliana España Keller

Nature and natural vision tends to be dreamlike and romanticized in art. The interplay of light and color that ignites impressions within the viewer. The personification of nature as the nurturing woman who tends to her creations and is therefore dubbed "the mother". But is there romance in Mother Nature? In Iceland her face is more often that of an angry woman, thundering on with noise and destruction in her wake, a woman which should not be angered or defied in any way. There is nothing romantic about natural catastrophes and their influence on our surroundings. Destruction and death. Nor has mankind shown much romance or kindness in it's dealings with Nature. Mankind wants to tame the land, cultivate and use it and cares little or nothing about how it affects the Earth, let alone it's other inhabitants, the animals.

This is exactly what has been done to the wetland reserve in Vatnsmýri. It has been encroached upon from every direction and has now reached a critical state. The contract between The Nordic House, City of Reykjavík and The University of Iceland entails a plan which will improve the condition of the area and make life a bit easier for it's inhabitants. When the contract was signed, Reykjavík's mayor, Jón Gnarr, called it a small step for mankind but a huge step for the ducks.

Nature and our surroundings is the root of our image and through it we sense ourselves. Our attitude towards it is based on our background, upbringing and the habits we have learned from our ancestors. The Reykjavík pond area is impregnated with the cultural image of the citizens. We see it more as a place for the family to feed the ducks and a postcard image of the past than a wild area. The pond as a cultural thing and the pond as a natural habitat have different needs. The latter is in a crisis and the contract is meant to meet it's needs while the first, in it's present state, preserves the cultural heritage in our minds. But those needs do not cancel out one another.

The role of the artist is to explore, research, experience and ask about the significant issue. He should capture the influence of his surroundings and then impose in his art, thereby giving the viewer a change to see the subject from as many perspectives as possible and at the same time broadening his own. A modern artist's vision of nature has changed from being solely romantic to including the problems of man cohabiting with Nature as well.

It is from this context the Slippery Terrain artists tackle the task of observing the wetland reserve in Vatnsmýri, the Reykjavík Pond and in general, peoples attitude towards nature, animal life and the never ending search for Mother Nature.

The show opens on the day of Vatnsmýri, May 7th, 2011

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Shitting out new stuff like cannonballs...

ask somebody to write about your art...aaaah. WANT IT!!! DO IT!!!

my artist practice evolve a lot around my own persona, current events and things I discover and learn about. I tend to connect things together in a poetic, funny and in my belief a smart way.

It's all a reflection - a personal reflection of our times.

I create actions. I write. I combine. And I mostly see connections. It's not difficult. I believe that my artist practice/work is an ever growing organism - I've seen red threads, I have seen different parts grow into each other…and I have no idea at the moment what the future will bring- but I'm exited. I know my abilities are limitless…

I try to break my own boundaries. I try to find new ways of expression and perceiving things.

Constantly. Continuously.

But I guess I should pause and breathe for a while. Give things a thought or blast away like a bulldozer?
Shitting out new stuff like cannonballs...

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

french love the finns

in this messy aftermath of the finnish elections one sits here and wonders what will happen.

discovered that the Pepinieres pour les jeunes artistes have published my work "the great lake" on the ARTE CREATIVE website.
Wonderful! Makes me happy that they like it.
The french seem to like the strangeness in finns. Or something. Dont know.

I hope they will like us still even if 18% of the population are now officially idiots. Well well.

And then the Truefinns idiotic hatred of contemporary art, oh, no they use the word postmodern art. Postmodern fake art. I guess all I do belongs to that category. or who knows perhaps they'd love me ? I made a piece about a great lake in the north of finland.
I'm dressed as a proper little finn, in an old sport jacket and I'm drunk as a normal Finn mostly is. What a pity I wasn't eating sausage. Or killing a bear. hm...

well well, here is my video




E x p o s i t i o n d u 2 8 A v r i l a u 4 J u i n 2 0 1 1

V E R N I S S A G E L E 2 8 A V R I L 2 0 1 0 à p a r t i r d e 1 8 h

«Ent re t i en ave c Ul r i ke Ot t ing e r» r é a l i s é pa r Ma r gue r i t e Vappe re au e t Paul ine Curni e r- J a rdin 2011
Le film sera présenté par Ma r gue r i t e Vappe re au e t Paul ine Curni e r- J a rdin
«Dé d é d ’Ar c » d e Paul ine Curni e r- J a rdin 2008
« S i r i n a t u » d e S e u l g i L e e 2003
«S .C.U.M Mani fe s to» de Ca rol e Rous sopoulos e t De lphine S ey r i g 1976
19 Mai 2011 Project ion à 19.30 / réservat ion indispensable 01 42 78 49 16
Galerie Christophe Gaillard
12 rue de Thorigny 75003 Paris
01 42 78 49 16

Friday, 15 April 2011

Peter Land och Palle Nielsen; ifrågasätter samhället och den individuella existensen i en meningslös värld…

Såg en utställning en gång som hette ”what is important” och det kändes verkligen som en enormt STOR titel. Ibland känns mycket inom konst meningslöst, speciellt om man tycker att den är innehållslös , tråkig, ytlig eller enbart estetisk.

Man funderar på hur man skall kunna göra någon skillnad och kanske påverka någon eller några med det man gör. Det talas om att verket skall kommunicera, ha något att komma med. Det är viktigt. På alla plan, i alla verk.

Därför tänkte jag undersöka och diskutera två konstnärers skapande ur detta perspektiv. Jag har valt dessa två, Palle Nielsen och Peter Land, för att jag tycker att de lyckas med sina verk skapa en kommunikation och diskussion.
Konstnärerna har olika inriktningar men någonstans finns samma frågeställning om vad som är viktigt” för individen och hela samhället, hela vår existens.

Palle Nielsen är i grunden grafiker och verkar ha en rätt stor produktion bakom sig. Jag känner tyvärr rätt dåligt till hela hans produktion. Projektet jag främst fokuserat på nämns inte i hans biografier och det skapar en del förvirrning. Är det verkligen samma person? Eller kan det finnas två Palle Nielsen? En förklaring till att några av hans i mitt tycke intressantaste projekt inte nämns i biografierna kan vara att de inte har setts som konst eller konstutställningar som de skulle ses idag.
Jag kom i kontakt med Palle Nielsen genom av att se en dokumentär på tv om ett arbete han utförde på Moderna Museet 1968. Det kändes otroligt fräscht och inspirerande! Verket, eller projektet, hette ”a model for a qualitative society”. I folkmun kallades den oftast bara ”modellen”. Det var en stor arbetsgrupp, av vilka en stor del var Vietnam aktivister, som låg bakom verket. Palle Nielsen gjorde en liknande aktion (utan tillstånd) i ett s a s sämre bostadsområde, Nörrebro, i Köpenhamn, på våren 1968 innan ”modellen” på moderna museet i Stockholm.
Modellen i Stockholm utgår ifrån barnens behov och som jag ser det handlar det till en stor del om hur en kommande generation vuxna uppfostras för att sedan med sin bakgrund skapa ett bra samhälle där kommunikation och allt det vi ofta saknar existerar och är möjligt. Modellen diskuterar också konstens och institutionens roll. Det var speciellt viktigt att modellen visades just på en stor konst institution som Moderna Museet, för att påpeka att sk elitistisk konst inte är det viktigaste.
I förordet säger man:
Leken är utställningen.
Utställningen är barnens eget verk.
Det finns ingen utställning.
Det är bara en utställning för att barnen leker på ett konstmuseum.
Det är bara en utställning för dom som inte leker.

Och det är därför gruppen kallar utställningen för en modell, en modell av ett samhälle skapat av oförstörda människor, barn. Och utställning kan man kalla det för att projektet utförs i en konstinstitution. Och kanske är det just därför modellen har utelämnats i Nielsens biografi.

I praktiken gick modellen ut på att moderna museet förvandlades till en enorm kreativ lekplats för barn. Man hade fått ”leksaker” som allehanda verktyg, byggmaterial, teaterkostymer, vinylskivor, mål färger mm. I lokalens alla hörn fanns högtalare som plockade upp stojet av de skapande barnen. I restaurangen fanns tv monitorer i vilka föräldrar och andra vuxna kunde följa med barnens lek. Inträdet kostade 5 kronor för vuxna och var givetvis helt gratis för barnen, som på sätt och vis VAR själva utställningen.
Ur Palle Nielsens förord i katalogen för modellen; ofta står vi och ser på barn som leker. Och vi intresserar oss mycket för deras lek. Samtidigt har vi en förnimmelse av att de ser på oss – på vår lek. Vi märker att de försöker leka sådant de lärt från oss. När vi ser dem leka är det som om vi känner igen något av oss själva. Det är som om vi såg hur de genom sin lek försöker att förstå den värld som omger dem. De leker också våra handlingar, för vi har gett dem en bild av den värld som omger dem. Och det skrämmer oss, för vi ville gärna att de kunde förstå den värld som omger dem. Men det kräver att vi själva förstår dem.
Vi blir skrämda eftersom vi själva uppfattar samhället som någonting som står ovanför oss, utanför oss.

Palle Nielsens projekt är på sätt och vis ett utopistiskt verk. Det kvalitativa samhället är ett alternativ till det auktoritära samhället. Det är en dröm (önskan?) om ett bättre samhälle där man verkligen lever kollektivt och sköter saker gemensamt. Ett samhälle där man kommunicerar med varandra, har tid med varandra och allra viktigast ett samhälle skapat av dem som skall och vill leva i det. Vackert.
”Modellen” är mer lik en politisk aktion men i och med att projektet genomfördes på Moderna Museet blev det legitimt, synliggjort och accepterat. Ja, och så blev det ju konst också…i varje fall ser vi det så idag.
Premisserna för den vita kuben kan ibland ha sina fördelar om den utnyttjas på ett lämpligt sätt.

På 60 och 70talet var det kollektiva och opponeringen mot samhälleliga institutioner vanligt överlag, och detta syntes även i konsten. Enligt tidens anda och ideologier skulle varje människa vara fri och ha rätt att uttrycka sina tankar, sin kreativitet mm. Man var en del av en stor rörelse. B l a ställde en grupp fram grafiska tryckpressar på Kongens Nytorv i Köpenhamn för allmänhetens förfogande – detta som en möjlighet för att uttrycka alienerad kreativitet. (”questioning the social” Lars Bang Larsen)

Detta var mycket lyckat och sett ur dagens perspektiv tycker jag att Palle Nielsens verk var före sin tid. Med sin ”modell” utnyttjade och ifrågasatte han institutionens möjligheter och det sociala rummet. Att samtidigt ”ge” något, ifrågasätta och skapa diskussion är inte den lättaste uppgiften och speciellt inte på en ”institution” där konst mest ses som objekt med värde som skall beundras, köpas och säljas. Nielsen visade dem (oss) ett alternativ, kanske bara en utopi men hans tro om möjligheterna för framtiden var ändå inte helt pessimistisk (han utförde ju verket!). Som helhet känns modellen som en tagg i min vuxna hjärna – som att allting är förbi och försent, för hur ska barn bli vettiga stora människor om de enda modeller som finns är stressade idioter?

Modelllen och Nielsen andra aktioner kan jämföras med nutida sociala projekt, t ex med den danska gruppen N55 som arbetar mycket med att ”ge oss” alternativa modeller av välkända och bekanta social fenomen och produkter. Tex ställde de ut N55 spaceframe i hamnen i Köpenhamn under sommaren 1999 för allmänhetens förfogande. N55 Spaceframe är en konstruktion lämpad för boende. Konstruktionen på ”huset” är mycket lätt och designen som består främst av moduler av stålrör gjordes i samarbete med en arkitekt. Mer om själva konstruktionen nedan. Konstruktionen är inte en skulptur (enbart) utan kan verkligen användas. Har för mig att den t om hade kök och andra mer eller mindre nödvändiga faciliteter. Konstnärer, författare, musiker, arkitekter och curatorer har med sina projekt inom Spaceframe visat verkets olika sociala möjligheter.

Om N55 spaceframe:

The N55 SPACEFRAME is a low-cost, movable lightweight construction that can easily be transformed. It is dimensioned as a living unit for 3-4 persons and demands practically no maintenance. The construction can be erected by anybody in a short time.
The N55 SPACEFRAME is configured as a truncated tetrahedron with an indoor ground floor of approx. 20 m˜. According to needs and economy, the size and configuration may be changed, and extra floors and rooms may be included: it is easy to add to the construction in stages.
The entire unit is constructed from small lightweight components which all can be handled without the use of cranes or other heavy machinery. All components are materially minimised, have a low degree of manufacturing and are produced by a few simple machines, which anybody can operate. When stacked, the components take up very little space. The construction is assembled by hand. It can be erected directly onto the ground, since a cast foundation is not necessary. The structure can be dismantled and rebuilt many times over without damaging any of the components. The construction can be moved either fully assembled, or partly dismantled.

Mer information på

Den andra konstnären jag tar upp är Peter Land, några generationer yngre än Palle Nielsen, dansk och mycket intressant men på ett annat sätt. Peter Lands verk är ofta videobaserade och inspirerade av slapstick komedi (Buster Keaton, Laurel & Hardy, Chaplin) och det absurda (the theatre of absurd, Samuel Beckett). Han utsätter sig själv i olika iscensatta roller & situationer, ofta misslyckade, groteska, och tragikomiska karikatyrer. Med hjälp av dessa situationer undersöker han vad som finns kvar då allt det inlärda och förväntade tas bort. Vem är man egentligen? Vad är meningen med ens existens? Vad finns kvar då det man själv trott på inte stämmer? Kan man genom att exponera det meningslösa ge mening åt det meningslösa? Generellt kan man säga att hans flesta verk rör sig kring det individuella och behandlar tematiken jag nämnt ovan.
Att Land tidigare blivit avrådd från att behandla existentiella frågor bekymrar honom inte. Vad som är viktigt för individen måste också vara viktigt för konstnären är Peter Lands enkla konklusion. (Anders Olofsson ” möte med Lars bang Larsen och Peter Land”)

”what is left when all culturally and socially learned values has been exposed, invalidated and dispensed with?” (Peter Land)

Denna frågeställning är speciellt framkommande I videoverket Peter Land 5 May 1994. Innan detta verk gjorde han sin första video Peter Land 6 february 1994, där han kontaktar några strippor för att medverka i en video. I videon strippar tjejerna och Land går ibland förbi kameran (fullt påklädd) för att ”bevisa” sin närvaro. Det här arbetet säger han själv var en slags utväg ur en kreativ och även existentiell kris. Han hade precis kommit fram till att video kanske var hans media istället för måleri men visste inte exakt vad han skulle filma. Så det fick bli någonting som skulle sätta hans moraliska värderingar på prov.

Peter Land 5 may 1994 är ett liknande arbete men kom delvis till p g a dåligt samvete. Land säger i sina kommentarer i boken Peter Land att han ville ta upp en personlig känsla han hade under den perioden, en känsla om att konsten ofta kändes ytlig och ”cool” istället för att genuint försöka säga något ärligt. Konst skall kommunicera och utåt och inte bara spegla en yta. Han kände också att medians bild av kroppen och dess skönhet var värt att kommentera med hjälpa av sin långt ifrån perfekta kropp. I videon dansar och strippar Land till sin favoritmusik Och det känns verkligen utelämnade och naket. Men visst, även komiskt, en lönnfet medelålders kille som strippar är komisk – undrar om en kvinna är lika komisk i samma situation?

Han hade trott att det skulle vara lätt att filma videon men märkte efter att ha sett igenom den första tagningen att han var alldeles för medveten om sig själv och sin kropp. Han kände att något måste göras åt hans blyghet. Så följande gång besökte han kvarterskrogen och hällde i sig ett par drinkar innan han började sin ”strip dance”. Det hjälpte inte heller men efter 7 dagars hårt supande blev han äntligen klar
och nöjd trots att han inte kunde minnas själva tagningen…(Peter Land)

I sina kommentarer säger Land också att konst är en ”vulnerable business”, en sårbar sysselsättning och den som inte klarar av det medförda ”priset som bör betalas” inte borde ge sig in i konst överlag. Och det ligger ju en gnutta sanning i vad han säger trots att all konst inte är lika extremt utlämnade som Lands men det mesta inom konst utförs av levande personer med känslor och skiftande personligheter så, jovars…

”Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fall again. Fail better” (Samuel Beckett)

Det upprepade och repeterade är viktiga element i Peter Lands arbeten, det skapar det tragiska i situationen; ser man en man få en tårta kastad i ansiktet en gång är det roligt men händer det om och om igen blir det mer sorgligt. Faller en man av en stege en gång är det kanske ett misstag men sker det konstant är det något fel på antingen mannen eller stegen.

Om ”joie de vivre” (1998) säger Peter Land att det är det mest öppna verk han har gjort. Öppet i det avseendet att åskådaren själv kan dra sina egna slutsatser om vad som pågår i verket.
Videon är en dubbelprojektion där man ser två huvuden (bägge Peter Lands) som skrattar konstant utan avbrott. Ingen tydlig källa för skrattet anges. Skrattet förblir ett mysterium. Vad skrattar personen åt? Eller är han kanske galen?

I arbetet ”The Lake” från 1999 bearbetar Peter Land åter igen (sin vana trogen) förhållandet och relationen mellan den enskilda individen och resten av världen. Men fokus läggs också på den svåra tanken & fantasin om att världen fortgår och lever lyckligt vidare trots att man själv är borta.
”the idea that the world will continue also after I’m dead: A thought that alwasy scared me, but which I guess I should find reassuring” (Peter Land i boken Peter Land)

I videon konfronteras åskådaren av en jägare med geväret slängt över axeln. Jägaren (Peter Land) går med bestämda steg genom skogen mot en liten sjö där han hoppar i en liten roddbåt och ror ut till mittpunkten av sjön. I bakgrunden hörs Beethovens 6 symfoni, även känd som ”pastoralen”.
Ute på sjön förtöjer jägaren båten i en påle. Han stiger upp och ”löser haken” (?) på geväret, som om han hade avsikten att skjuta en stackars and eller annan fågel. Istället riktar han geväret mot bottnen av båten och skjuter ett hål. Musiken tystnar och det enda som hörs är fågelkvitter. Jägaren sitter ned i den sjunkande båten och så småningom ser man bara hatten som flyter på vattenytan ackompanjerad av fågelkvittret. Skogen lever vidare utan människans närvaro.
Land gjorde även ett billboard projekt av ”the Lake” till Wiener Secession år 2000. Ett antal internationella konstnärer inbjöds till att kommentera den politiska situationen i Österrike. Den politiska händelsen man fokuserade på var den rätt så nya formationen av koalitions regeringen bestående av det högerextrema Frihetspartiet och det konservativa partiet. Sjunkande skepp…

Jag tror att det som är viktigt i konst är att på ett sätt eller annat ge sig i kast med att lösa ett problem. Hur man löser det kan variera stort – och det är just där det blir intressant. Problemet kan i princip vara vad som helst och själva lösandet kan vara undersökande, berättande eller genom att ge eller påvisa ett alternativ mm.
Peter Land undersöker sin egen plats, mening och existens genom sina verk. Han bryter ner det inlärda vuxenbeteendet och de moraliska och konventionella normer som vi väntas leva efter. Han visar sig själv och sin publik en karikatyr som man kan skratta åt och kanske tycker är en aning äcklig men ändå känner man igen något. Det tycker jag är oerhört intressant. Att man grips av den där känslan av total nakenhet och uppgivenhet. Jag kan nästan känna mig litet avundsjuk på hur totalt han lämnar ut sig…det kanske låter oförståeligt men så känns det. Kommunikationen fungerar! Han vågar SERIÖST klä sig i en patetisk roll som de flesta bara leker med i smyg.
Det seriösa, ärliga och s a s ”sjuka” rollspelet känns ofantligt friskt. Det är bättre än någon form av terapi och friskvård. ”make a fool out of yourself and get well”…

Palle Nielsen har igen valt ett annat sätt att lösa problemet med ”mänskligheten”. Genom modellen för det kvalitativa samhället ger han ett alternativ till ett kapitalistisk och individ centrerat samhälle. Han visar ett alternativ av hur det kan bli, kanske kan man kalla det utopistiskt men det beror ju fullständigt på vilken hållning och tro man har beträffande människan. Nielsens alternativ är sofistikerat och psykologiskt. Man kan gott dra paralleller till Steinerskolan och dess ideologi men själv föredrar jag att se modellen som en tankeställare om mänskligheten i sin helhet. Att ge utlopp för sin energi och kreativitet och att i det längsta vara öppen och uppriktig och FRI är framtiden!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

just bla bla bla

its raining. still at the studio. did some editing for the new piece. feels scary to look at. its a mess. Perhaps I'm a messy artist always trying to look for order and control and all those things? and asking myself why? why not just let go and be messy...but still needs a framing. now its just a collage of words / concepts & video. And I know I want to get somewhere with it and I almost know what Im searching for but its not really there yet. huh...
must just force myself to go on and on with it.that's the only way.

wow. I really wish sometimes that I could build something. A smart beautiful structure - instead of making things complicated. Perhaps our artwork portray our personas? or perhaps, no shit Sherlock! of course they do...


so then I'm a wacko who tries to be smart & beautiful.

a life struggle.

but as I have always said - as long as it is fun & meaningful - just go on. dont quit. And life is not supposed to be easy. Otherwise there would be no creation. If it was easy it was just IKEA. uf, I'm bad. I always refer to Ikea.

They might sue me some day.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

1 step ahead

April 12 th

dreamt about water falls. lots of water coming in from different sides. lots of water.
I said: "it looks like a woman"

I realize my work is getting into my dreams.

Perhaps its good.

Yesterday I was thinking of buying carrots. As I want to reduce my smoking. But as I am a horribly oral person I seem to have the need to chew, eat, inhale or whatever - constantly. It's sad. Well, back to the carrots.
I also thought that eating carrots this time of year would be good for the skin. And a possible tan. Even if a tan on me mostly looks ridiculous. You know, very red.

In todays news there is an article about an American study claiming that eating in particular carrots (also other yellow & green vegetables) seems to prolong our life expectancy.

Great. Always 1 step ahead. What's next?

I already predicted Knuts death. Well, not really - but I dreamt about him 1 week before he passed away. And I dont think its correct to stuff him up. He was not a teddy bear. He was a real bear. A fucking real Bear.

Would you take your mother to a Taxidermist?

No way Pumpkin.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

gone to the Marsh…
video, 6.12min 2011

A voice over is describing the work of an artist while she is trying to create a topic specific artwork for an exhibition. The topic is endangered wetlands, human versus Nature.

During the process the artist is feeling both artistic and sexual frustration and has difficulties in channeling her work in a satisfying direction.

She keeps referring to Nature and sex. Back and forth. She finds connections that at first glance seem far fetched - natural wetlands, marshlands and female genitalia. Somewhere the myth of the water spirit sneaks in. Topped with Japanese cars and famous paintings.

In the end she finds a closure, where the circle closes and everything seems connected.

In my work I often combine different works, I make connections and use parts of texts that I write on daily basis. I often ponder with the question "what is important" - and this pondering mostly leads to a immense feeling of frustration. And the only way of getting rid of this feeling is allowing myself to act out the feeling. These moments often result in performances and texts.

For the exhibition Slippery Terrain in the Nordic House I have created 2 new pieces, 1 photograph and 1 video.
Both works are connected to each other. Both of them incapsulate a perhaps subtle wish of a better world. As the artist in the video, who does not like giving orders nor finger pointing, I also don't like making conclusions about a place or a topic I do not now well enough.
As an artist I try to figure out what to do or say to reformulate concepts, ideas and beliefs and to become conscious of things.

I do wish that we would all pull ourselves together…

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

"when artist meet they talk about money. When bankers meet they talk about art"

springer hit. springer dit. gör det ena och det andra och så mycket som möjligt på en och samma gång. plus kaffe o cigg.

bör tilläggas att jag arbetar med en serie events som alltid börjar med RELAX.

haha. det är så kul. knäppt.

Arbetar i en stor ateljé för tillfället. Önskar att det alltid var så här. Dethär är bara lyx för tillfället. Ett residens stipendium jag har fått av Västra Götalands kulturnämnd. Ett stort tack till dom. Får vara här i 3 månader. Breda ut mig. kladda, måla, rita, spela musik skithögt, spela in video, audio, dansa, vila, laga mat, kissa, supa, name it. Och det bästa: jag behöver inte städa upp efter mig varje dag. Det är lyx, mina vänner.

Ingen vardagsmat för en fattig konstnär. Fattig men privilegierad, känner jag allt som oftast. Tja, man jobbar ju hårt för nothing egentligen. Men fet lön och ett fett bank konto är inte det som räknas, inte för mig. Det är underbart att visa sitt arbete och få kommentarer, komma in i diskussioner, kanske få någon att tänka om, på nytt, vända på steken. Senn tja, visst skulle det vara angenämt om inte rent sagt satans häftigt om någon skulle köpa ett verk. Låt oss säga ett museum eller en samlare. I bästa fall kunde det innebära att någon någonstans skulle faktiskt tro att den Nina Lassila, henne kommer man att snacka om i framtiden. Följ upp dendär Lassila, hennes verk kommer att bli värdefulla någon dag. Hennes namn kommer att stå i konstböcker för all framtid.



Men honestly. hade jag velat tjäna storkovan i livet hade jag studerat ekonomi och startat ett företag och säkert fixat det galant. men nu har jag valt en annan valuta...

"when artist meet they talk about money. When bankers meet they talk about art"

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

the rose of the water spirit...

working on this site specific thing about wetlands, marshlands what ever it's called. Swamps?

It's quite familiar to me - since my childhood. The paths down to the lake were surrounded by this wet muschy dark green swampy terrain. The path was long and sometimes muddy and slippery. So I should feel comfortable with the exhibition title Slippery Terrain?

I do recall all the plants that were growing there. This troll like small pine tree looking plants, the straws with a cotton little soft white hairy ball on the top (my favourite) and the lower down to the lake as you'd get you'd find the yellow Näckrosor - Waterlilys in english. Interesting name that in swedish. Näck, from Näcken - an ancient spirit of waters - quite an evil one and male, sometimes seen naked playing the violin in a creek or some sort of water - tempting people to come closer and then drown them or something else. In Finland he is believed to live in a castle under the water and he gets to his castle by diving into the bottomless lakes of Finland. Sometimes in the dusk he is seen on dry land...

so the rose of the water spirit...

yes, I'm getting somewhere. That's it - I'm going to find Näcken/Näkki, buy him an icelandic violin or instrument and take him to the Nordic House and play for the people. Good one?

Or perhaps the icelanders have their own water spirit?

see, this is how art is made. By strange connections, google & Wikipedia.

Näck, Nøkk
The Scandinavian näck, näkki, nøkk, nøkken, strömkarl,[5] Grim or Fosse-Grim were male water spirits who played enchanted songs on the violin, luring women and children to drown in lakes or streams. However, not all of these spirits were necessarily malevolent; in fact, many stories exist that indicate at the very least that Fossegrim were entirely harmless to their audience and attracted not only women and children, but men as well with their sweet songs. Stories also exist wherein the Fossegrim agreed to live with a human who had fallen in love with him, but many of these stories ended with the Fossegrim returning to his home, usually a nearby waterfall or brook. Fossegrim are said to grow despondent if they do not have free, regular contact with a water source.
If properly approached, he will teach a musician to play so adeptly "that the trees dance and waterfalls stop at his music."[6]
It is difficult to describe the actual appearance of the nix, as one of his central attributes was thought to be shapeshifting. Perhaps he did not have any true shape. He could show himself as a man playing the violin in brooks and waterfalls (though often imagined as fair and naked today, in actual folklore he was more frequently wearing more or less elegant clothing) but also could appear to be treasure or various floating objects or as an animal—most commonly in the form of a "brook horse" (see below). The modern Scandinavian names are derived from an Old Norse nykr, meaning "river horse." Thus, likely the brook horse preceded the personification of the nix as the "man in the rapids". Fossegrim and derivatives were almost always portrayed as especially beautiful young men, whose clothing (or lack thereof) varied widely from story to story.
The enthralling music of the nix was most dangerous to women and children, especially pregnant women and unbaptised children. He was thought to be most active during Midsummer's Night, on Christmas Eve and on Thursdays. However, these superstitions do not necessarily relate to all the versions listed here, and many if not all of them were developed after the Christianizing of the Northern countries, as were similar stories of faeries and other entities in other areas.
When malicious nix attempted to carry off people, they could be defeated by calling their name; this, in fact, would be the death of them.[7]
If you brought the nix a treat of three drops of blood, a black animal, some brännvin (Scandinavian vodka) or snus (wet snuff) dropped into the water, he would teach you his enchanting form of music.
The nix was also an omen for drowning accidents. He would scream at a particular spot in a lake or river, in a way reminiscent of the loon, and on that spot a fatality would later take place.
In the later Romantic folklore and folklore-inspired stories of the 19th century, the nix sings about his loneliness and his longing for salvation, which he purportedly never shall receive, as he is not "a child of God." In a poem by Swedish poet E. J. Stagnelius, a little boy pities the fate of the nix, and so saves his own life. In the poem, arguably Stagnelius' most famous, the boy says that the Näck will never be a "child of God" which brings "tears to his face" as he "never plays again in the silvery brook."
In Scandinavia, water lilies are called "nix roses" (näckrosor/nøkkeroser). A tale from the forest of Tiveden relates of how the forest had its unique red water lilies through the intervention of the nix:
At the lake of Fagertärn, there was once a poor fisherman who had a beautiful daughter. The small lake gave little fish and the fisherman had difficulties providing for his little family. One day, as the fisherman was fishing in his little dugout of oak, he met the Nix, who offered him great catches of fish on the condition that the fisherman gave him his beautiful daughter the day she was eighteen years old. The desperate fisherman agreed and promised the Nix his daughter. The day the girl was eighteen she went down to the shore to meet the Nix. The Nix gladly asked her to walk down to his watery abode, but the girl took forth a knife and said that he would never have her alive, then stuck the knife into her heart and fell down into the lake, dead. Then, her blood coloured the water lilies red, and from that day the water lilies of some of the lake's forests are red (Karlsson 1970:86).

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


soft kitty
warm kitty
little ball of fur

happy kitty
sleepy kitty
purr purr purr

"Pull yourselves together"

How did I find her...? by random somehow. Hm. Well woke up last night from a weird dream (was eating pizza with my family after a long drive in a restaurant which was packed with embarrassing finnish people, seemed to own lots of strange masks and was proud of them, saw Knut the Berlin polar bear swimming in a pool - he looked a bit like a huge bat - then he came up from the pool and came towards us like a big dog. His fur was very wet, he walked with me holding his head next to my waist. He was really nice. At some point I loudly insisted to be referred to as Frau Lassila.) . So yeah, I was awake for about 3 hours after that, reading about women's lives in different parts of the world in the Guardian, which I must say is an exceptionally good newspaper - the website also. Compared to the Guardian most of the nordic newspapers suck big time. Well, then I found Bobby Baker, ah, perhaps because I saw this title : "Pull yourselves together", and felt immediately that THIS IS MY TITLE...can I use it anyway, perhaps change it a bit?
Furthermore "Bobby" is a funny co-incidence - as I have a photograph of myself making a funny face to Bobby the Gorilla at the Museum of Natural History in Berlin.


Bobby Baker is a woman and an artist. She lives in London, England. In her career of over 35 years she has, among other things, danced with meringue ladies, made a life-size edible and tasty cake version of her family to be eaten by visitors, opened her kitchen to the public and subsequently many kitchens around the world, driven around the streets of London strapped to the back of a truck screaming at passers-by through a megaphone to “pull yourselves together” and cured thousands of her pea patients with their many ‘unreasonable’ psychological and behavioural problems with her Therapy Empire in How to Live. 

Bobby Baker’s company, Daily Life Ltd, is a charity, regularly funded by Arts Council England, which aims to produce artworks that explore the value in this world of ambiguity, altruism, awareness, arithmetic, agony, accessibility, attention to detail, arduous application…oh and, of course, art – in a (dis)arming, amusing and occasionally alliterative way.

Exceptionally funny, Bobby Baker is a performance artist of rare quality and distinction. 
Daily Telegraph
looks like we butchered a pig and no-one wanted bacon.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

all yesterday I was reading about small tits (yes I have small tits) and other relating topics ("if women would know what men are like they would not need implants or have to worry" I learnt).
Today it continued - all I could see while going shopping was perfect waists and luscious tits.
I felt stupid. I'm ashamed of myself.

Today thoughts have been passing like tornados, coming and going faster than the speed of light.
2 min ago my bum was sort of ok. 3 min ago life was like Tetris, with a new text idea included.

7min ago I was into filming a dirty clown taking a shower. 12min ago I was reading about female hysteria. Before that it was melancholia. It all got started with me typing in optimism in Google search.
Don't ask me where that came from.


oh, somewhere there between 2 and 3 min, I was coming to the conclusion that 2 yoghurts, a bit of salad and a plate of pasta was perfectly enough of food for a woman my size.

life is truly an adventure.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

an effort to see what's bugging me around the issue of the nude

I have always found "the nude" problematic, in my personal work but quite often also in other work that I have seen. I have some how found it to be an easy method, an easy way to gain attraction. Well, at least when the issue has not been about been about gender, sexuality, erotic issues or so on.

Especially early photography and performance has been the IKEA of the nude…

There are lots of good great exceptions of course.

This essay is about my difficulties and my need to create something around the nude.

Yes, perhaps it's not such a biggie after all.

But there is something naive and disturbing in the use of a nude - in the same way as I can see what I was doing in my very early photographic work. I made beautiful but quite grotesque portraits with food all around them. And in hindsight it is easy to say why I did it: I was obsessed with food and my self image. I had a severe eating disorder for years. And my self image sucked big time. So no, wonder I did those images. It was pure therapy - even if I did not recognize my problem in what I was creating. I thought I was making cool images. Well, they were cool - but nevertheless they were the images made by a sick girl.

So making a nude would have been out of the question for me. A nude perfect body would have driven me to suicide probably…

But now - now I'm a healthy super woman - so why is it still an issue?

So, to provoke myself I throw myself in the saddle of Panasonic 567 and get undressed…in front of my video camera. I decide first to shoot beautiful classy nude stills. But with the quirky idea of using the in between posing material. Tom ake it all a bit funny.

After shooting I look at the footage. I scrutinize myself - as I knew I would do. I do have very small tits, and my belly is bulging in a quite ugly way. My face is only nice in profile shots (knowing this I have tried to avoid looking into the camera). Legs, back & hair is nice, sometimes even fabulous.

Conclusion: I'm a fucking pussy!

I need to go on with this. Perhaps not for arts sake, but for my own sake. As a hobby. As a final procedure. Perhaps I will find out what is bothering me around the nude issue. Perhaps I will find the right words and this all might hopefully even be of some significance to a greater audience. Perhaps it will be even somewhat important. Or what. Is it a gender issue again?

then it follows the red thread of my work.


Monday, 28 February 2011

ambivalence & Ennio Morricone

I find myself in this extremely ambivalent situation - where Im working on a topic, something I really enjoy and then day by day find myself criticizing it all.

Example: I do LOVE dogs, I really like them. But I see a problem with having pets. I do not accept objectification of any species. So therefor having a dog is now not an option anymore. And now I feel I need to use my standpoint somehow in my art.

But what about all those nice pets, all those puppies born out there?
And not to mention of all cats, hamster, guinea pigs, parrots etc?

Well, I do not even want to go into the topic of pigs and cows.

Slaughterhouses. I do not eat meat. I must probably soon stop eating dairy products to.

Another issue is the supernatural. I have done artworks about telepathy for some years now. Today I read something interesting about this.
And I found it disturbing somehow for my work. But I realize I need to somehow process this.
Question: Why are especially women so highly involved and fascinated by i.e horoscopes ? The text I read claimed it is because of historical reasons - women in general did not have the right to rule over their own lives so they wanted to believe in destiny -that what ever happened it was meant not be like that. So they were powerless. And this is not the ace anymore, at least not for me and my fellow sisters in general (of course there are exceptions…)

My work I believe is more about the option this all could give us…perhaps also an idea about a larger mind - I do somehow believe there are large parts of our minds that are not used. There is so much that goes on and happens - that we say is unexplainable.


btw, this music by Ennio Morricone - jesus it's beautiful. I think I'm fainting.

Friday, 25 February 2011

the tradition of the nude

Usually she'd never do nude things.
But that friday she decided to give the nude a chance.

All her life she'd been surrounded by a tremendous tradition of the nude...

A classic nude pose would surely be seen as something quite valuable.

It would not be funny.

And the clock was ticking.

It was the right time.

As in now or never.

As in live or let go.

No, that was not correct.

Never mind.

Posing nude all over a white space might be just what she had been searching for.
The right touch.
Even classy.

Well, she would call it an experiment.
Or untitled nude 1-3

And of course secretly admire her still kind of smooth skin.

the urge to be a real artist

yes, C. was right.

Why would we force our selves to become real artists when we were given the chance to work in a large white empty space.

Suddenly we'd feel obliged to use colors (well at least black acrylic) and create paintings and drawings.

Even build things, like sculpting.

Why could we not just accept that writing, research and making story boards at a clean table was arty enough (not to forget video editing, shooting video, making photographs)?

Perhaps it was the space, the tradition of the artists studio? The bohemian...

That it had to be packed with stuff. Overloaded by things that proved work was taking place here.

All the things we saved on our hard drives were obviously not visible enough.

Quite so.

And me to, spreading papers all over. Feeling the need to stick things on to the wall so that it would at least look a bit more arty. I also bought a clue gun just in case.

Wondering now wether I will use it…

yes, fucking hell, I will glue something. I will even use a saw. Nail stuff all over. Spray paint it all and then yes, glue some more.

(coming up: some sort of piece of destruction. Promise you. And it will be video.)

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

personal bubble

The universe, she said, is such a strange place. So difficult to be in sometimes.
And all those things that are difficult to understand.

Like all these conspiracy things. things hidden.undercover stuff. ugly things.
And space. With the string theory and all. Did they even go to space at all?
Nothing could be trusted.
They were secretly poisoning us. Planting viruses in our bodies - making us feel it was our fault.

She sighed and had another cup of coffee and a Pall Mall. Cause what the hell - she'd eventually die so what was there to worry about.

She thought about that secret place - which if it was in an american bestseller would have been a fancy mansion with a pool, bunny girls and cocktails - but as it was hers, it did not have this resemblance at all.
Anyway her secret place, her bubble - was a place she'd go to every now and then.

Not on normal days when she'd be doing normal stuff - laundry, poo, pee, eat, drink, sleep, work and if lucky kissing.

Every now and then drifting of…Closing her eyes. Stroking her arm. Holding her arm. Leaving on a jetplane.

One might ask why? and reply simply, Why not.
Why not have your own secret place, your own personal bubble.

Surviving was hard as it was in that place of brutality, string theories and dark forecasts.

Dear Nina,

Again something inspiring and entertaining coming in the mail, except from the fun Viagra & loose weight while you sleep mails in the junkmail. Yes, I read these occasionally. I sort of feel sorry for them, nobody else reads them. They dont even bother me anymore in the normal mail as they end up straight in the junk. Poor mails...

Yes, tell me about it. I'm so out of my element. But it's ok.

Oh my God, what am I do doing, killing time like this, with this crap? What's wrong with me?

Yes, I just wanna vanish, somewhere calm and nice. Where there is no scheisse around... or do I ?

Isn't it quite calm and nice now. Perhaps it's to calm and nice?

Ok, I've had it. I'm going to the park and run with my imaginary dog.

wau wau (german dogs say wau...)

Dear Nina,

If it's felt the last few weeks as if there's been an argument brewing - or perhaps you've already even dealt with some full-fledged fights - it's time to breathe a sigh of relief: Mars is moving out of Aquarius and into Pisces on February 23, a transit that will usher in a sense of calm!

You'd think Mars and Pisces would oppose each other, given how polar their forces are from one another. After all, Mars is fiery and aggressive, while Pisces is watery and non-confrontational. Yet, these two are able to work quite well together. Pisces acts to mellow Mars' combative influence, while Mars simply prompts Pisces to act.

Your duty now is to recognize that your tactics for success will have to change. Rather than charging in like a bull before cowering away at the first sign of conflict, try a subtler, more roundabout approach. Talk - and listen - to people. The more you can help and work with others, the easier it will be for you to convince people to see things from your perspective as well.

You may notice old, forgotten memories coming back to haunt you when they should remain buried; you'd do well to put these into perspective and let them go. Don't burden others with your troubles, and try to keep your friends from weighing you down too heavily with their own issues. Instead, focus on the artistic energies bubbling up inside you. Pursue creative activities: a dance class, ice skating or even just moving to the rhythms of your favorite songs in the privacy of your own home. Anything that inspires you and gets you moving will be a great outlet right now!

As Mars and all the other planets travel across the sky, they impact us not only as a whole, but also individually. Will Mars in Pisces rock your world? Or will it cause only the tiniest flutter?

Thursday, 10 February 2011

winter. tired. colds. people sick.

hanging on with a smile in the new hippie residency.

life is good whatever.

and to have a worried mum is worth more gold and diamonds that exist in the world.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

at Atelierhof Kreuzberg, opening Friday January 28th 2011 at 18:00
exhibition runs till February 6th 2011

Agathe Fleury
Nina Lassila
Robert Quint
Sara Bomans

Schleiermacherstr. 31-37, Berlin, Germany 10961

In many of my previous short sketch like video works I have found myself portraying different efforts of doing something well followed by a frustration that comes with this effort of reaching perfection. Perhaps also a frustration of not being able to express so called negative feelings. This I believe is quite common for women if I allow my self to generalize…
Even if these works are short and quite simple - they contain quite much; notion about the female as evil, monstrous, the comparison girl-woman, naturally all sorts of feminist issues but also more of a queer ideology - the idea of the body being defined by its gender.
What am I then aiming at? Is it just plain portraying? Could I say that I'm coming in with a perspective - not perhaps the most fresh one, but don't we need to be reminded over and over again about the importance of seeing each other as humans, persons in the first place - let each of us then define how we want to live our lives, look like and act as, without being categorized, at least not to early.

I have my own personal memories where I derive my ideas from. I believe they are not so important in this context but I bet they are not uncommon - and that is why I keep doing these things. To remind us.