A small boy jumps up and down, red hair fluttering across the air, eyes concentrated on something. He starts mimicking something what resembles a rock singer. One is not sure whether the boy sings or not, whether he dances or not, but what one sees, is him looking at himself. J-E Plays Hurriganes has been filmed through a one way mirror. What one sees in the video is the boy looking at his mirror image. The boy knows that he is being filmed but that can hardly be noticed. In the home of the boy there is a large mirror. Sometimes the boy stands in front of the mirror, looks at himself and mimics his favourite rock band Hurriganes. One of the favourite songs and the song seen on video is Get on. In an other video Liina has just finished her make up and is trying on some jewellery, combing her hair and checking the final results. The video has also been filmed through the same one way mirror. In Wilma, a young girl dressed in a ballet outfit dances in front of the mirror. At first her dancing is almost furious, then she stops for a while and starts her ballet.
Santeri Tuori has asked children and their parents what the children do in front of a mirror at home or elsewhere. He has then asked the children to come to his studio to perform the same in front of the one way mirror he has build in his studio. Many of Tuori´s former works have been closely connected to portraiture and how we understand it. “Through a Looking Glass” -series tries to turn the situation around and see how we view ourselves, what kind of wishes we have and what kind of roles we try.
The work is still in progress.
I have always been interested in and intrigued by portraits. The very notion of the portrait, be it a painting or a photograph, promises the viewer a glimpse to someone’s persona, maybe soul even. A succesful portrait is often considered to be able to compress something essential about it’s subject into a single image. It is not a surprise that photography has been believed to be able to steal the soul.
I suggest my recent work to be seen as contemporary portraits. The works question the representation of singular identity through a constructed image. The portraits are remarked by the near absence or gradual erasure of their subjects. Their stories unfold with a logic that bears little resemblance to that of conventional everday life. Their stories are read in their bodies, their gestures, in the textures, in the details.
As the subjects appear distant and eventually unapproachable, we are left with a virtually blank screen on which to project one’s own hopes, dreams, nightmares and fears.
At present, my artistic work is described by the terms play, experiment, improvisation and intuitiveness. I start without any definite goal, I make decisions intuitively, and I let the work take shape during the process. I try not to think of themes or content, because they will only impede my work and may turn into insurmountable obstacles. Kyllä hmm ei hmm (Yes hmm no hmm) was created precisely through such a process.
The primary purpose of my method is to liberate my own creativeness, not to reject certain themes or content. I rely on the fact that my works address ideas and themes that fascinate me, even though I do not consciously work with them. I am interested in opposites such as yes-no, internal-external, conscious-unconscious, the individual’s relationship with the group and the surrounding world, the everyday life of people and the meanings entailed in it.
My works are often both humorous and deadly serious at the same time. I do not explicitly make my works to be amusing, but humour just emerges in them on many occasions even when I tried to be serious.
The project was produced by Rom for kunst by, Kulturbyrået Mesén