I am so honoured and excited to be at TUO TUO from June 18th for a couple of weeks!
Many months ago, Kaitlyn Hamilton, one of the co-founders of TUO TUO, was going to join the Nonviolent Communication group Vishnu Vardhani and I ran as part of Pixelache Lab. For many reasons, concrete and mystical, that did not happen. As Kaitlyn, so sweetly proposed the other day, perhaps that mishap was just a catalyst for our meeting. NVC may have brought us together, but the rest is for us to figure out. I, too, am a believer of trusting the universe and this is what has fallen onto my path.
This was supposed to be the summer I was going to return to Taiwan to visit my family as I haven't seen them already in years. Corona came, which put all long distance travel plans on hold. I am so thankful for TUO TUO for hosting me and then I cannot wait to continue my trip to Kuopio and to Iisälmi to see Emma Fält and all of my dear friends there. Thankful for the people I have in my life and for living in such a beautiful country. After such a long dark winter, Finland finally graces us with a beautiful summer. Light for night and a thousand lakes that drift into the sea.
While at TUO TUO I will continue Free Translation Sessions, Solmu Sarja Knot Series, and continue the development of my hair project. You are most welcome to join any of these events or to have a some tea with me. Please click on the links to see how you can participate.
Finally, I will have time to delve into my own thoughts and experiment! My conversation with Des Pawson last month got my mind even more spinning on the raw complexity yet refined simplicity a knot carries. My daily conversations with my mom have been a huge source of inspiration and continue to comfort me in these strange times where uncertainty seems to blanket over everything. How any of this will manifest itself is yet to be seen.
I am there in this knot.
Mechanics of Conformity (MOC Collective)
Rosamaría Bolom, Edwina Goldstone, Sepideh Raha, Arlene Tucker
Video screening and discussion in and around the topic of hair
Hosted by Äkkigalleria, Väinönkatu 32, Jyväskylä
October 5, 2019 from 13:30-16:00
Welcome to participate in an intimate conversation with MOC, where we can listen, share and learn about each other’s experiences related to hair. Your thoughts contribute to a deeper understanding of our collective and individual histories. Only through dialogue can discoveries be made.
How do we look at ourselves?
How do they look at us?
How do others look at each other?
MOC investigates the excess, absence, cutting, covering, growing, coloring and grooming of hair as both the materialization of individuality and of conformity. As an artistic medium and mediator of meaning, hair can communicate a sense of self relating to the internal and the external others. From this perspective, it can either uphold or upset conventional distinctions between divisions of gender, race, region and religion. These issues around hair can epitomize a global yet subjective social and personal significance.
MOC Collective consists of Rosamaría Bolom, Edwina Goldstone, Sepideh Raha, and Arlene Tucker. We explore concepts of identity, relationships, perceptions, liberation and otherness through hair. Ask a person about their hair, and they just might tell you the story of their life. MOC has been working around the subject of hair since 2017.
This event is organised in collaboration with Anna Ruth and Äkkigalleria, also is supported by Taiteen Edistämiskeskus. The discussion and screening is open to everybody and to all ages. The main language of the event will be conducted in English. There is the possibility for Finnish translation and, of course, freedom to express oneself in Finnish is encouraged.
The Story of Hair Tree & Intertwined
By Arlene Tucker 2019
The Story of Hair Tree & Intertwined shows the process of how these two projects were developed and created. Intertwined looks at how family members relate to each other despite their shared DNA. Here, the concept of family also extends to individuals welcomed by choice. This piece is a continuation of Arlene Tucker’s Hair Tree (2017), which gathered family members scattered over four continents by collecting cuttings of their hair. Moving back in time, she attempts to comb through memories to understand where and how knots are formed. Tucker hopes this will further open dialogue about family and with family.
Watching Me, Watching You, Watching Me
By Edwina Goldstone 2018
Watching Me, Watching You, Watching Me, follows the metamorphosis of an image through many stages as it follows the twists and turns of the artist’s decision-making and memory process as she recalls and connects past & present conversations about ‘Hair’, with all the ambivalent, contradictory ideas and mixed feelings that are attached to it. Added together as an animated sequence the drawings form a peculiar imaginative narrative that never remains constant but grows and morphs with thought and time.
Me recuerdo a mi misma // I remember my self // Muistan itseni
By Rosamaría Bolom 2019
Year 2017, Mechanics of Conformity Collaboration lead me to a deeper reflection about how norms and values are introjected into our behavior since our childhood. A series of images came to me. I could remember three efficient rituals whose normative beliefs affect behavior. Me recuerdo a mi misma // I remember my self // Muistan itseni, is a “mask and a ritual for a society that judges us and teaches us how to behave ourselves from childhood to old age not to be punished, excluded accepted”.
Entangled – ME & HAIR
By Sepideh Rahaa 2018
Entangled – ME & HAIR is an ongoing project where I address my memories and experiences in relation to hair, where hair plays a meaningful role in my daily life interactions with people in society. It brings up questions such as how do we connect and disconnect from each other in relation to our looking, and how one can overcome the mechanism of conformity in everyday life. I used a series of life memories and experiences conveying the core concept through performing art, poetry and video.
When Vishnu Vardhani invited me to carry out the interviews for Pixelache's 2019 Breaking The Fifth Wall, I was very intrigued by what the concept of the 5th wall is and how we could challenge it through a flat screen. I wanted to try to get to know the participating artists through conversation. Letting thoughts flow and investigate what rises. These conversations lasted one to three months through open discourse on an open google document.
Read the interviews here:
When will patriarchy end? When will there be a day when we don’t need to use a passport to travel?
On smells and the senses
Sawing, dimensioning, shaping
Incomplete manual for our living
Circle in a park
Vishnu and I took some time to reflect on my process of conversing with the artists and through that, we learned a lot about each other and where we are in the moment. Below are snippets of our dialogue:
VV: Arlene, thank you for bringing alive the conversations with the artists. It was a pleasure to read the interviews. Talking about end, For me personally, end is when we take our final breath. Until then the great collective consciousness connects us in numerous ways… Like Knots. Knots :D Amazing.I love Knots myself. I feel so empowered since I started to tie. Breaking norms I have internalised. Having courage to express, and to formulate the boundaries, as well as asking for support and to attend to my needs. It was a huge preparation process.Now I discern conflict without losing my agency. The workings of rope metaphorically and factually, inspire me to work with what need to be changed or developed in order to accommodate norm criticism. You understand ?
AT: Yes! I completely understand. It’s also a way to hold on and have grounding, but at the same time let one arm go, let one arm free and let the head dangle.
Do you think it makes a huge difference whether you initially meet somebody online or face to face?
VV: Does it make a difference ? For me, YES. I have a tendency to walk straight into the narrative that is carefully spun. Some people have exceptional online personas. I still don’t have tools to decipher these personas. In person I remark If the two individuals have the capacity and orientation to hear and see each other. Stay open to understand one another.
I am split on the question of difference.
I am inspired by an artist, who does comic books and who does a lot of political work. I followed him for years on Instagram, he always responded to my messages on insta, when I met him in person, my fantasy burst, I wish I didn’t meet him. As his ‘art’ wasn’t reflecting his ‘art-work’. That said, I am working at this year’s festival with the millennials. I am impressed, with simple online interactions. Yesterday, this person, was looking for our office, when I proposed to go find him, he counter-proposed to ‘just the share location- easy for all’. As I had walked a few times to fetch people that morning, I took note of this person’s exceptional screen interaction. That exceptionality also reflected in the hands on tasks. Also I thank the world wide web to have caught me this incredible being ‘Alaa Satir’. I follow her ‘art-work’. Recently I had the opportunity to talk to Alaa on Skype. This was a turning point for me in my life.
I have taken a lot of space with this response. Do you still follow me ? I can elaborate on the talk with Alaa, before, I want to ask you a question. You mentioned earlier about ‘bubble’ , do you feel the bubble can exists across realms ? Mediums ? Do you think it’s possible to build communities where people meet maybe only annually ?
AT: In my mind, bubbles are boundaries and borders that we create as individuals and as a society. So, yes, they exist in any possible dimension, but it’s dependant on perspective and context. I look at borders also as comfort and uncomfortable zones. Getting to know ourselves and stretching that boundary or breaking it, or just knowing we really cannot cross it. Awareness of our relationship to it.
Us talking about boundary, life and death triggered writings from one of my most inspirational figures, the Estonian Russian leader of semiotics and literature studies, Juri Lotman (1922–1993). Wilma Clark, the translator of Lotman’s book Culture and Explosion comments on his chapter ‘The end! How sonorous is this word!‘ by saying, “the notion of the ‘end’ and the principles of continuity and discontinuity are reflected in the stark boundary between life and death. Death is marked out as both the beginning and the end. Lotman speaks of the ‘special semantic role of death in the life of man’. It is the boundary which frames all meaningful activity and which, simultaneously, marks the contradiction between life in the general sense and the ‘finite life of human existence’. And yet, what is finite, is continued in the memory of the ‘son’ so that even the boundary of ‘death’, as it were, is permeable and filtered” (Lotman 1992, xiv).
One thing I noticed when I was having these conversations with the artists and something I was trying to develop these past few months was feeling their borders, being sensitive to their boundaries and timing through the computer. With all of them except the conversations with Laura, Vidha, and Samir, I did exclusively online through a Google Doc, like the one we are having now. With some people it clicked immediately and we were off talking about very deep and personal topics whilst with others, I could sense that they needed more time understanding my proposed process of opening dialogue, the point of meandering, and the importance of setting a pace in which we can safely and naturally delve into different topics. I could not have done this without everybody’s full participation. Most of the conversations lasted a good two months. Sometimes it stretched longer than that from the first initial contact as “life happens”.
With every artist, we would write to each other every few days or with some every day. It largely depended on their personality and what was happening in their life at that moment, but I tried to be sensitive to their response and how they responded. I really got to know every artist in an intimate way, which was very unexpected. I could see which times of day they were most active and how the changing of the seasons had or didn’t have an affect on them. From this, I also got to get to know myself in a different way too. Very grateful for that!
The second graders at Ressu comprehensive school have been investigating How does food change? Where does our food come from? and What kind of communities and what kind of relationships are found within and between food? Every student chose a food to research these aspects. Along with traditional methods of researching, we also used art as a medium to explore our findings and fuel our curiosity. Naturally, one question led to another.
It was serendipity that one of the works on display at Kiasma, as part of the Coexistence exhibition, fit perfectly with our topic. Kalle Hamm & Dzamil Kamanger's Immigrant Garden / Emigranttitarha / Emigrantgården "consists of four parts: a collection of plant illustrations, a map, a book, and audio works. The watercolour studies portray various ornamental and edible plants that are commonly found in Finland, but which are all originally non-native" (Kiasma).
I was lucky enough to meet Kalle and Dzamil last spring so felt the comfort to reach out to them. Here, again, as lucky art goers, we bumped into each other at Kiasma the other day when we were taking a tour of the exhibition. Kalle and Dzamil agreed to make an interview with us as their artwork is so relevant to us, in every way possible. They said yes!
Arlene: I asked one of my students what part of the trip he liked and he said ”meeting Kalle”. : )
Kalle: :-D Say my greetings to him!
2B: Why did you start making this project?
K&D: Dzamil noticed that here in Finland grow the same plants than in his home country Iran, but they are smaller and grow in pots and greenhouses, not in wild nature like in Iran. We wondered how these plants had found their way to Finland, and this is how we started to track the travelling routes of the plants, and this was the beginning of making the whole piece.
2B: What made you choose the plants to research?
K&D: We chose that kind of plants, which should be known by most of the Finns, and had been cultivated here already hundreds of years (for example potato and onion), but none of them are originally from Finland, either Europe, but imported here form other continents.
2B: How did it feel when you were making the artwork?
K&D: When everything went well it felt hilarious and fun, but when we had obstacles it felt extremely stressful and we just wanted to start to do something else.
2B: How did you make this art?
K&D: We read lots of books to study how the plants travelled from their home area here. We bought lots of seeds and planted them and grew the plants by ourselves (not in Kiasma, but when we made the artwork first time). We practiced drawing flowers and made many plant drawings. We also recorded many plants and made sound pieces based on that material.
2B: How did you know how to draw plants? Was it fun drawing the plants?
K&D: I studied drawing in the art school, but you can also learn drawing plants without going to art school. You just have to see the plants very carefully and draw exactly what you see. Drawing plants is fun. They don't change their position, move or run away. They stay nicely still. But you have to water them or otherwise they will wilt.
2B: When did you start this project?
K&D: We started to make this art work 14 years ago and it took two years to make it ready.
2B: How long did it take for you to finish this project? Is it finished?
K&D: It is finished in such way, that we don’t add more new plants to the artwork, but every time when we install the whole artwork, we have to think about how everything should be set up: what kind of pots, what kind of chairs and etc...
2B: Which plant sound do you think is the most relaxing?
K&D: Of course potato!!!
2B: Out of all the plants you researched, which one is the oldest?
2B: What was your favourite plant?
K&D: Persian yellow rose
2B: What surprised you about that plant?
K&D: Plants sound totally different comparing to what they look like!
2B: Which one was the hardest to find information on?
K&D: Garden mignonette
2B: Which one was the weirdest?
K&D: Artichoke had the weirdest sound, even thou I love the taste and look of artichoke
2B: What was the first plant you researched?
K&D: Persian hogweed, but it is not part of this artwork :-(
2B: Did you first sketch your drawing or draw them straight away onto the paper?
Kalle: I first sketched them very lightly on very same paper I used for the final drawing. I made quite many mistakes, and I had to redraw atleast 5-6 drawings.
2B: How old are you now? When were you born? Where were you born?
Kalle: 50 years, born in Rauma (Finland) in 1969
Dzamil: 72 years, born in Mariwan (Iran) in 1948
2B: How old were you when you made your first piece of art? What was it?
Kalle: I think I was age of 16. I had then my first exhibition. It was a drawing a man holding a woman in a desert.
Dzamil said he cannot remember exactly, but he made his first embroideries in age of 30-32. It was a birthday present to his friend.
2B: Was your dream to become an artist? How did you get the idea of becoming an artist?
Kalle: Yes it was, but I didn’t know what kind of artists. I wrote poems, played flute and acted in children’s theatre group. And of course drew a lot.
2B: Where do you live?
Kalle: We both live in Oulunkylä, Helsinki.
2B: How many artworks have you made? What kind of art?
K&D: You can count them on our website www.beelsebub.org. and see what kind of artworks we have made.
2B: Do you have kids?
Kalle: I don’t have kids, but Dzamil has a son. He is living in Stockholm.
2B: Have you ever had a different profession, other than being an artist?
Kalle: Yes, I was working as a principle of the art school for children and young people. I was also working in Kiasma as an educational curator. Dzamil worked as a forester in Iran.
2B: Do you have a pet? If so, what is it?
Kalle: Not any more. Dzamil had a dog, but he passed away many years ago. Dzamil had also canary birds, and lots of them, about 70-80 all together. They had they own room. They sang very loudly.
2B: Do you like your art?
Kalle: Yes, we both like art!!! …and we hope you like art, too!
The list would go on, but here are some comments from the students about Kalle and Hamm's work:
"I think it's really good artwork"
"I love your art. It was interesting"
"I felt amazing when I saw your art"
"I liked the potato sound because it sounded like it was playing rock n roll"
"I felt excited about learning about the plants"
"I felt great!"
"The drawings were beautiful"
"The drawings look very real"
Thank you very much for taking the time to share with us!
XOXO Arlene & 2B
I am very happy to announce that Anastasia Artemeva and I have been awarded to be a part of Diversity Agent Course. We will be working with Vankila Museo (Prison Museum) in Hämeenlinna, Finland to help guide them on how to keep inclusivity and diversity in the forefront of their museum developments. From our experiences with building Prison Outside and Free Translation and being migrant artists, we hope to offer them a critical eye on how to raise discussions around social justice through participatory arts.
"In 2019, Culture for All Service, Globe Art Point and the Center for Cultural Policy Research Cupore organize a Diversity Agent Course for cultural workers and artists of non-Finnish origin or background. The course is part of the project Avaus and supported by the National Agency for Education.
The aim of the course is to offer tools for developing diversity in the arts and culture sector. The course introduces participants to topics related to diversity, familiarizes with the arts and culture sector and cultural policy in Finland and offers an opportunity to work concretely with diversity in an institutional context. Participants are asked to actively contribute their own expertise and offer sparring to each other."
To read more about the project, please click here. Training material can be downloaded here. You, too can promote diversity within the arts and cultural field.
Special thanks to Martina Marti for her constant support, guidance, and encouragement!
*Текст на русском языке ниже*
>English version below<
Tulkitaan vapaita käännöksiä
Tervetuloa meidän taiteen tekemisen sarja. Katsomme ja keskustelemme taiteellisista töistä, jotka ovat saapuneet eri puolilta maailmaa vastauksena vapaiden käännösten (Free Translation) avoimeen kutsuun. Teoksia ovat luoneet ihmiset, joihin on vaikuttanut vankeus, ja ne ovat olleet esillä MAA-tilassa marraskuussa 2018. Kaksituntisen tapaamisen aikana tutustumme teoksiin ja kuulemme tarinoita niitä luoneilta ihmisiltä, joista monet ovat tälläkin hetkellä vankilassa. Tämän jälkeen teemme käännöksiä, vastauksia taideteoksille, ja lataamme ne verkkonäyttelyyn, jossa myös taiteilijat ja suurempi yleisö voivat osallistua dialogiin.
Käännökset voivat olla visuaalisia, kirjallisia, kuunnelmia, valokuvia tai muita ilmaisumuotoja. Olet tervetullut tuomaan valitsemiasi materiaaleja – tai vain tuomaan itsesi.
Paikka: Bokvillan Kirjasto, Hämeentie 125, 00560, Helsinki
Milloin: 5. marraskuuta, 2. huhtikuuta, 7. toukokuuta
Aika: klo. 15.30-18.30
Kielet: Suomi, englanti, venäjä
Kenelle: kaikkien ikäisille
Lisätietoa tapahtumasta meihin voit ottaa yhteyttä Anastasia Artemeva ja Arlene Tucker sähköpostilla osoitteeseen info(at)prisonspace.org.
Interpreting Free Translations
Welcome to our art-making sessions. We will view and discuss artworks received from all over the world in response to the Free Translation open call. These artworks are created by people affected by incarceration, and exhibited in MAA-tila in November 2018. During the two hour session we will view the works and hear the stories of people who created them, many of whom are currently in prison. We will then create translations - responses to the artworks and upload them on the online exhibition, for the artists and for the general public to see and continue the dialogue.
The translations can be visual, written, audible, photographic, or in any other form. You are welcome to bring materials of your choice - or simply bring yourself.
Place: Bokvillan Library, Hämeentie 125, 00560, Helsinki
Date: March 5th, April 2nd, May 7th
Languages: English, Russian, Finnish
All ages are welcome
For more information please contact Anastasia Artemeva and Arlene Tucker at info(at)prisonspace.org
Интерепретируя Свободный перевод
Добро пожаловать на встречу по теме выставки Свободный перевод. Мы будем изучать произведения искусства, полученные из разных стран мира, и созданные людьми, на судьбу которых повлияло ограничение свободы. Эти работы были показаны на выставке в пространстве MAA-tila в Хельсинки в ноябре 2018 года.
В течение трехчасовой встречи мы рассмотрим рисунки, услышим стихи, и узнаем личные истории авторов работ, многие из которых в настоящее время находятся в тюрьме. Мы создадим свои собственные творческие работы, интерпретируя, “переводя” услышанное и увиденное, и загрузим из на сайт онлайн выставки, где их увидят авторы и публика.
Мы будем писать письма, рисовать, фотографировать, и использовать разные другие формы художественного самовыражения. Приносите любимые материалы, или просто приходите.
Место: Библиотека Kafilla Bokvillan, 00560, Hämeentie 125, Helsinki
Дата 7 мая 2019 года
К участию приглашаются взрослые и дети любого возраста.
Tervetuloa Vaihtamaan Muistoja Säästä, sunnuntaina 25 marraskuuta klo. 13.00-16.00 Bokvilanissa, Arabiassa! Tämän interaktiivinen non-stop taide ja tiede installaatio on avoin kaiken ikäisille.
Vaihdetaan Muistoja Säästä kutsuu sinut tutkimusmatkalle vaihtamaan henkilökohtaisia tarinoita säästä, näkemään kuinka maailma on muuttunut ajan myötä. Tapahtumassa reflektoimme ja avaamme dialogia omasta kokemuksestamme ympäristöstämme, muistoesineiden kautta. Pajassa on mahdollisuus kysyä aiheesta ilmastotutkijoilta, jotka kertovat tutkimustietoa ilmaston muuttumisesta 1880-luvulta aina vuoden 2050 ennusteisiin saakka. Tämä tapahtuma voi tarjota toisenlaisen lähtökohdan puhua ilmastomuutoksesta henkilökohtaisemmalla ja konkreettisemmalla tavalla.
Ensimmäinen Muistoja säästä -tapahtuma järjestettiin IHME Contemporary Art Festivaaleilla toukokuussa 2018. Nyt on mahdollista käydä läpi ja tehdä johtopäätöksiä ensimmäisessä tapahtumassa kerättyjen tarinoiden pohjalta, sekä vaihtaa muistoja herättäviä esineitä. Tällä kertaa tapahtumassa voi tarinoiden lisäksi vaihtaa muistoesineitä. Tuo mukanasi keskustelua herättävä esine. Jätä muisti ja vie paljon enemmän kotiin kanssasi.
Oman elämänkokemuksen jakaminen ja toisten kuunteleminen tarjoaa materiaalia, jonka avulla voi tarkkailla ympäristömme muutosta. Vaihdetaan Muistoja Säästä, on kansalaistiede/taide projekti ja työpaja joka tarjoaa meille mahdollisuuden tarkastella tarina-tietoa tehdäksemme omia johtopäätöksiä ympäristömme muutoksista.
Taiteilijat Arlene Tucker ja Andrew Steinmetz, ja Stephany Amazon, PhD ilmastonmuutos tutkija Helsinki Yliopistossa ovat paikalla Bokvillanissa tuomassa taidetta ja tiedettä yhteen.
Paikka: Bokvillan kirjasto
Osoite: Hämeentie 125, 00560
Aika: klo. 13.00-16.00
Lisätietoa: Arlene, firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to Story Data Exchange on Sunday, November 25th from 13:00-16:00 at Bokvilla in Arabia, Helsinki! This participatory art and science non-stop installation is open to all ages.
Story Data Exchange invites you to go on an investigative journey by using personal stories about the weather to see how the world has been changing through time. Let's reflect upon and open dialogue based on our past experiences in context to our environment through objects and memorabilia. During the event, you will have a chance to ask climate researchers questions about the topic, and they will tell you about the research data on climate change from the 1880s right up to forecasts for 2050. This can be an alternative approach to step towards the topic of climate change in a more personal and tangible space.
Following the first Story Data participatory installation held at IHME Contemporary Art Festival in May 2018, now there is the possibility to sift through the collected stories and draw your own conclusions, as well as, exchange objects that trigger memories. This afternoon of story exchange can also be extended to object exchange. Bring an item that could be a conversation starter. Leave a memory and take many more home with you.
Sharing our life stories and listening to others provide the material to make observations about how the environment is changing. Story Data is a citizen science-art project and workshop that allows us to examine story-data information in order to develop our own conclusions.
Artists Arlene Tucker and Andrew Steinmetz, and Stephany Mazon, PhD researcher in the field of climate and air quality at University of Helsinki will be at Bokvilla bringing Art & Science together.
Place: Library at Bokvilla
Address: Hämeentie 125, 00560
For more information: email@example.com
Prison Outside #2 is a cross-disciplinary discussion on artistic projects in and around prison. It takes place on November 21st-23rd in Helsinki and will present speakers from Finland, Russia, Ireland, Canada, USA, and Belgium. The program in PUBLICS and MAA-tila will include presentations, round table discussions, film screenings, and workshops. Free Translation, an exhibition of artistic and literary works on imprisonment will be launched during the conference. We will discuss artistic practices in prison, and their effect on rehabilitation, understanding the histories of incarceration, and encouraging communication between people of different walks of life.
Artists, researchers, teachers, students, ex-convicts are very welcome to join the discussion. This event will be held in English, Finnish and Russian languages. Full program coming soon!
MECHANICS OF CONFORMITY (MOC) Osa II
Catalysti-taiteilijoiden ja Objekti 2018 –festivaalin yhteisprojekti
Aika: 15.6. ja 17.8.2018 klo 17:30-20:30
Paikka: Trapesa, Kirkkojärventie 1, 02770 Espoo (Espoon juna-asemalla, Asemasilta, 2.krs)
Yhteisprojektissa tarkastelemme hiuksia – niiden runsautta, puuttumista, leikkaamista, peittämistä, kasvattamista, värjäämistä ja hoitamista – sekä yksilöllisyyden että yhdenmukaisuuden ilmentymänä. Taiteellisena välineenä ja merkitysten välittäjänä hiukset voivat viestiä sekä minuudesta että toiseudesta. Hiukset voivat siis joko ylläpitää tai horjuttaa perinteistä tapaa erotella ihmisiä sukupuolen, rodun, kansallisuuden tai uskonnon perusteella. Näin katsottuna hiuksiin kiteytyy globaaleja, ja myös hyvin subjektiivisia, sosiaalisia ja henkilökohtaisia merkityksiä.
Tässä yhteisprojektissa neljä naista tutkii identiteetin, sukulaisuuden, havaitsemisen, vapauttamisen ja toiseuden käsitteitä hiusten kautta. MOC-kollektiivin muodostaavat Catalysti-taiteilijat Rosamaria Bolom, Edwina Goldstone, Sepideh Rahaa ja Arlene Tucker. MOC-kolleektiivi on työskennellyt hius-teeman ympärillä vuoden 2017 alkupuolelta lähtien.
Jos kysyt naiselta hänen hiuksistaan, hän saattaa kertoa sinulle elämäntarinansa. Jos kysyt useammalta naiselta heidän hiuksistaan, saatat kuulla koko maailmanhistorian.
Miten he katsovat meitä?
Miten me katsomme itseämme?
Miten muut katsovat toisiaan?
Kuvaukset taiteilijoiden teoksista
Intertwined tarkastelee perheenjäsenten toisiaan kohtaan tuntemaa sukulaisuutta, joka ei riipu yhteisestä DNA:sta. Perheen käsite laajenee koskemaan henkilöitä, jotka muodostavat perheen omasta valinnastaan. Teos on jatkoa Arlene Tuckerin teokselle Hair Tree (2017), joka toi yhteen perheenjäseniä neljästä eri maanosasta hiusnäytteiden avulla. Nyt Tucker katsoo perheen sisään ja kampaa läpi muistoja tavoitteenaan ymmärtää, miten ja mihin solmukohdat muodostuvat. Tucker toivoo teoksen avaavan dialogia perheestä ja perheen kesken.
Watching Me, Watching You, Watching Me näyttää useista vaiheista koostuvan kuvan metamorfoosin, joka seuraa taiteilijan päätöksenteon ja muistiprosessin yllättäviä käänteitä. Taiteilija yhdistää toisiinsa menneitä ja nykyisiä keskusteluja aiheesta ’hiukset’, jolloin esiin nousevat aiheeseen liittyvät ambivalentit ja keskenään ristiriitaiset ajatukset sekä sekavat tunteet. Toisiinsa yhdistettyinä ja sarjaksi animoituina kuvat muodostavat kuvitteellisen narratiivin, joka kasvaa ja muuttuu ajan ja pohdinnan myötä.
Viime vuoden Mechanics of Conformity -yhteisprojektin jälkeen jäin pohtimaan syvemmin sitä, miten normeja ja arvoja ujutetaan käyttäytymiseemme lapsuudesta lähtien. Mieleeni nousi kuvasarja. Muistin kolme tehokasta rituaalia, joiden normatiiviset käsitykset vaikuttavat käyttäytymiseen. Me recuerdo a mi misma // I remember my self // Muistan itseni on rituaali yhteiskunnalle, joka läpi elämän tuomitsee meidät ja opettaa käyttäytymään tietyllä tavalla. Rangaistuksen tai syrjimisen pelon vuoksi käyttäytymismallit vakiintuvat ja muuttuvat normeiksi.
Entangled- ME & HAIR on jatkuva projekti, jossa Rahaa käsittelee omaa identiteettiään ja sen suhdetta hiuksiin. Taiteilijan omiin muistoihin ja kokemuksiin pohjautuvassa projektissa hän pohtii, millainen rooli hiuksilla on arkisessa vuorovaikutuksessa ja miten ulkomuoto voi määrittää tapaamme olla – tai olla olematta – yhteydessä toisiin ihmisiin. Rahaa käyttää projektissaan imaisukeinoina performanssia, runoutta ja videota.
MECHANICS OF CONFORMITY (MOC) Part II
A collaboration between Catalysti artists and Objekti festival 2018
As part of Objekti Festival, there will be an exhibition at Trapesa 14.6-2.9.2018. In addition, there will be two public events in the form of a conversational piece. The events are organized at Trapesa on Friday, the 15th of June and on Friday, the 17th of August from 17:30 to 20:30.
Our collective project investigates the excess, absence, cutting, covering, growing, coloring and grooming of hair as both the materialization of individuality and of conformity. As an artistic medium and mediator of meaning, hair can communicate a sense of self and otherness. In this sense, it can either uphold or upset conventional distinctions between divisions of gender, race, region and religion. From these issues, hair epitomizes a global yet subjective social and personal significance.
Within this collaboration, four women explore concepts of identity, relationships, perceptions, liberation and otherness through hair. Ask a woman about her hair, and she just might tell you the story of her life. Catalysti artists who have shaped MOC collective are Rosamaria Bolom, Edwina Goldstone, Sepideh Rahaa and Arlene Tucker. MOC collective has been created around the subject of hair and from early 2017.
Ask a woman about her hair, and she just might tell you the story of her life. Ask a whole bunch of women about their hair, and you could get a history of the world.
How do they look at us?
How do we look at ourselves?
How do the others look at each other?
Description of the works by each artist
Intertwined looks at how family members relate to each other despite their shared DNA. Here, the concept of family also extends to individuals welcomed by choice. This piece is a continuation of Arlene Tucker’s Hair Tree (2017), which gathered family members scattered over four continents by collecting cuttings of their hair. Moving inwards, she attempts to comb through memories to understand where and how knots are formed. Tucker hopes this will further open dialogue about family and with family.
Watching Me, Watching You, Watching Me, follows the metamorphosis of an image through many stages as it follows the twists and turns of the artist's decision-making and memory process as she recalls and connects past & present conversations about ‘Hair’, with all the ambivalent, contradictory ideas and mixed feelings that are attached to it. Added together as an animated sequence the drawings form a peculiar imaginative narrative that never remains constant but grows and morphs with thought and time.
Last year, Mechanics of Conformity Collaboration lead me to a deeper reflection about how norms and values are introjected into our behavior since our childhood. A series of images came to me. I could remember three efficient rituals whose normative beliefs affect behavior. Me recuerdo a mi misma // I remember my self // Muistan itseni, is a mask and a ritual for a society that judges us and teaches us how to behave ourselves from childhood to old age. Also, not to be punished or excluded that are established and normalized.
Entangled- ME & HAIR is an ongoing project where Rahaa is addressing her personal identity and its relation to hair, where hair plays a significant role in her daily life interacting with others in the society, how we connect and disconnect based on our appearance. Artist has used series of life memories and experiences conveying the core concept through performing art, poetry and video.
This project is supported by The Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike).
Aalto University wrote a snippet about OBJEKTI. I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to work with all of these amazing artists. Years ago when I was an exchange student at Aalto University, I took Andy Best's class “Media Intervention in the City”, which OBJEKTI was born from. I believe my class was the first class Andy had. That was in 2011!
Excerpt from the article:
The group exhibition OBJEKTI returns to Espoo centre this summer for its fourth edition with a diverse and exciting line up of artists and projects. This year there is a strong focus on ecological and social themes. The exhibition is open 14.6.-2.9.2018.
There are sixteen artists participating with a total of twelve projects. Many works have been especially created for OBJEKTI and are site-specific to their locations. The exhibition represents different forms of contemporary art – sculpture, installation, sound art, community and participatory projects.
Many of the artists work or study at Aalto University. The artists taking part are: Heini Aho, Art & Process (Ari Björn ja Heini Matveinen), Bartaku, Rosamaría Bolom, Edwina Goldstone, Ramina Habibollah, Parsa Kamehkhosh, Sanna Karlsson-Sutisna, Petri Kuljuntausta, Maria Mastola, Tuula Närhinen, Sepideh Rahaa, Tiina Raitanen, Satu-Minna Suorajärvi and Arlene Tucker.
I am extremely happy with the selection of artists and artworks for this year’s OBJEKTI” says curator and organiser of the exhibition Andy Best, who is the Head of General Studies and Sculpture lecturer at Aalto University. “It is always exciting to work with the artists and begin the installation process, as ideas turn into reality. This year’s show will be challenging, but hopefully fascinating for locals and visitors alike. Many of the works deal with critically important topics such as climate change, mass extinctions, and the migrant crisis, yet relate to them in poetic, creative ways. Other works ask us to question time, existence, and our place in the world.”
Read the full article here.
Arlene Tucker is an artist and educator currently based in Helsinki, Finland.