I ́ m a
Semi-Random Condensation (of)
Energy and Some Chemicals (and)
Sells in This Matrix
(with) Limitless Connections Between Limitless Subjects.
And All, All the Time Re-positioning
Altough it is quite clear that a work of art refuses to open up its full meaning when translated into words, in this text I am trying to trace some of the ideas behind the working process concerning this body of works. The text is not meant to read at the same time while watching the artworks, like it would offer some kind of required key for understanding. BUT; if some questions will occure, that will stay as disruptive mysteries, there is no use to lose sleep at night; instead check if some sense is to be found through my verbal reflection below.
DIVING FROM PICTURE PLANE INTO SPACE
Painting as a Holder for Important Things: a Measuring Tape, a Sneaker, a Fork, an Asthma Inhalator, a Coffee Mug and an Official A4 Paper is the first painting in this body of works. It appears as a kind of exploded structure image of the theme of the whole series. The working meta-title mentioned in the title of this text, I ́m a Semi-Random Condensation (of) ... may be the widest possible to imagine, so it needs to be concretized, and I will do it with the help of this first painting. The way how I see it, is that a painting surface or a picture plane, or even the concrete body of a painting object including the canvas and wedge trees, manifests as a metaphor, through which, one can explore selected things and phenomena in the world.As a starting point, I decided to focus on a simple topic. I chose a collection of different objects or tools, that I need on a daily basis to survive life.
The title of the work Painting as a Holder for Important Things: … names all the things described in it. However, those objects have been detached from the painting surface into three-dimensional objects, albeit in such way that their familiar shape has become distorted. They are appearing as almost unrecognizable abstract shapes to the viewer. The concrete of the transition is presented in the form of a sausage-like canvas tube connecting the three-dimensional objects and the painting surface. It mimics the painting surface with its own pattern. At the same time the canvas tube scatters the illusional wall between the picture plane and the physical space of the viewer.
The canvas tube has also another, more philosophical, function. As the meta-name for the work series suggests, I am interested in networks. More precisely, I get excited about the chaotic mess of random networks, in whose vortices human life is located. Still tough my knowledge of physics is almost non-existent, I have simplified the essential elements of my philosophy to the concepts of energy, chemicals and cells. The leading idea here is, that if one could freeze the movement of the reality, and present it as a diagram, it would resemble a view beyond the comprehension of the human mind. Its layers would continue, like the essence of space, into eternity. Nothing understandable would be noticeable, even if one would stare at the sneaker, for example. One would see “only” different energetic condensations (which the human eye would recognise as plastic or cotton or mudflats). Different colors would decompose into pigments, which each of them would contain its own history and characteristics. Countless other chemicals and sells would cross the diagram and mix and intertwine into a tangle of meanings and references.
Painting as a Holder for Important Things: … introduces a patterned theme, a patch pattern, that is to repeated almost in every painting. The patch pattern can be seen as a reference to the network. One exists in the environment, yes, but ones existence is somehow pumping all the time; sometimes one is inside, sometimes outside. Sometimes one appears on a display as a subject, while sometimes one is terrified, in which case existence becomes only a part of a larger environment or whole.
Although, during the whole working process, I have tried to be clear and faithful to the philosophical theme and material explorations, I have had to reflect my own authorship at the same time. Due to the nature of reality, as described at the beginning of this text, I started to wonder, that maybe I had painted the same painting over and over again; just like I would have been looking for that kind of “The Perfect Painting” that would sum up everything. But because, every day, every moment of the day, and me, as an author, are all different, transformed, in every moment of reflection, the evaluation of perfection gets a weird and changing role. What one day is “Worth All the Pursuit”, has moved to the side at the next day, and some other kind of authorship, element or process, has become more relevant than other factors in the painting. For this reason, in this body of works “The Perfect Painting” is presented in several different forms. I refer to this aspect by emphasizing the use of the word MINÄ. “Minä” is a word in Finnish meaning the same as “I” or “me” or “self” in English language. In this particular painting context, however, MINÄ is presented as an element, that does not directly refer to the self of the painter herself, to Henna Aho. It rather refers to the idea of ”the self” in relation to this chaos, which these paintings deal with their entirety. Who exactly is “I”? Or whether the series could be made together with several actors, several selves? Like the painting object itself that carries a certain art-historical role on its shoulders / the painter herself and her conception of art / all the different materials in the painting / the architecture of the atelier or the exhibition space / the lighting of the moment of viewing / the indoor air / the social media news feed / or the effect of a caffeine deficiency in the body of the viewer. The capitalized MINÄ can be seen as an emergency cry for the concept of the self, at the moment of drowning. At that moment when all selves disappear, and every author-factor transforms into a page artist in this curious play, that we are watching in the paintings.
As the last point I will highlight few remarks related the theme of painting and its materiality. As I have tried to outline earlier, my point of view is related to the world of different materialities (energies, chemicals and sells) and references, that emerge from their relations to each other.
First, I would like to open briefly the meaning of the acronym, MDF, which appears on the picture plane of one painting. MDF consists of the words “medium-density fibreboard”, and it is a fairly common painting base material. By the time I started working on this painting seriess, I was diagnosed with asthma and sensitization to most of the chemicals I had use to operate in my artistic work. One of the causes of the allergic reactions was traced to formaldehyde released from the MDF board. Sensitization put me in a situation where I had to consider the materiality of my living surroundings from a new perspective. The nature of the various materialities transformed from a “resource for human use” to the direction of “co-operation.” The properties of the materials became consciously essential issues influencing the process. Based on this observation, I selected the two main pigments for my co-operative fellows to work with; cadmium orange and cobalt blue, which both are harmful to human being. I wanted to set the attitude of respecting materiality to the extreme by working with substances, that are dangerous to myself.
As second theme, I highlight the idea of a painting as a “surface” for something. I refer to this, by using the word “holder” when naming the works. I ponder, how painting has been used over time, as a surface to represent or reflect something, to act as a messenger or tool for research, etc. The whole method of naming my works is based on this meta-idea; the title of all the works is basically the same, but the written form is presented visually in different ways.
The last point relates to the corporeality and exhibition practices related to the painting. The pictorial forms in different paintings vary between patches painted on the back of the fabric and three-dimensional casted concrete elements that are extending 50 centimeters from the actual painting surface. Sometimes the painting presented with wooden frames and hanging on the wall. Sometimes it is placed on top of a pedestal. Eventually the painting bends towards the corner of the exhibition space, moves out of its place. The mutual relations of the works are also significant part of the meaning included this body of works. The whole series has a kind of well-thought-out dramaturgy. The nature of a single painting changes as it is lifted up toward the ceiling boundary. The other painting no longer uses the wall as its main home, but flows along the wall, down onto the pedestal, as a lazy-to-hang in good posture on a pound.