|Visual artist, lives
and works in Helsinki, Finland
Works with video, photography and installations
in a conceptual way, mostly concentrating on ecological and environmental
issues, womens´studies and Orthodox Christian spirituality.
"For the last 10 years I have been working
with different visual artistic media, like drawing, sculpture, video,
objects and performance, film and space-related work - installations
and "environmental interventions". Now I live in Helsinki
and work in an atelier in a suburban area, in the middle of woods
though - this is possible in Finland!
Earlier, when I lived and studied in Paris,
surrounded by the French cultural heritage and strongly intellectual
atmosphere, I used to make more performances, videos and short films.
I still continue to think very much about the mind-body aspects
in art, relationships between human beings and humankind related
to the environment in many ways - but now perhaps more from my own
cultural, minority-conscious ethnic background and not so much referring
to "the latest hits" of the international art scene or
I feel concerned about the future of nature
and of people, especially women. I care about both: biodiversity
and linguistic, cultural pluralism, as well as the sacral basis
of life related to my Orthodox Christian faith. My path on earth
has been and seems to continue through different cultures, meeting
people - anywhere in the world - and working with them through discussions
and doing "video-diaries" or "photo-memory"-
pieces. I want to encourage my public in their own personal struggles
through my artist´s investigations and by showing equally
my life, in quite a documentary way.
Art can help in sharing life and caring about
others - participating with the human effort in this manner, among
other professional fields and life experiences."
The Art Gallery Valööri
6 - 24 May 1998
My grandmother was born at the same site as modern abstract art.
The early avant-gardist, Kasimir Malevitsh, used to work in Uusikirkko
and in Kanneljärvi in Carelia at the beginning of the century
- and performed his cubo- futurist theatre-piece"Pobeda nad
Solntsem" in Kanneljärvi - and later on he invented suprematism.
In 1922 my grandmother was born in a village called Hämeenkylä
in Kanneljärvi, later on named "Pobeda", according
to Soviet- regime...
She was evacuated from Carelia in 1939 with
some 400,000 other war refugees. After the Second World War my grandmother
settled down and lived with her family, husband and two children,
in a town called Lappeenranta, near the Finno-Soviet (Russian) border.
I was born there, too.
The exhibition and the book are based on her
narration and her text with some poems. The book also includes some
of my texts - referring to her life and my own experiences as a
third - generation -"immigrant" or foreigner, the "other"
of the dominant culture, also having lived in France and elsewhere,
having experienced linguistic and cultural differences
and understanding its difficulties and positive possibilities! I
went abroad voluntarily, my grandmother escaped from Vyborg amidst
Aren´t we all "others", according
to Julia Kristeva ?
In what ways ? This is not a dead-end but a basis of human condition
and can be seen as a mission towards the real exchange and understanding
of deep cultural phenomena. For me it also means a spiritual path,
our family being Lutheran Christians and myself being Orthodox!
I joined the Orthodox Church as an adult.
I used to think very much about the stories
of my Jewish and Roman- Catholic teachers in Paris and then decided
to accept my Christianity as an important part of my identity and
my artistic basis, and feel today that my spiritual vocation is
in the Orthodox Church. In Setomaa, Estonia, for example, I participated
in the Divine Liturgy with Orthodox Christians and took photos during
the service. I have been visiting Tartu since 1996 and have perceived
some parallels and similarities between the story of my grandmother
and the Estonian people having experienced totalitarian society.
My grandmother has seen the destruction of
her culture, she visited her village in 1991. After coming back
she said that it is all over, she has lived her life elsewhere!
The nature is still the same, lakes and forests - in her father´s
and mother´s landscape! I want to remember and carry on this
legacy of the Carelian culture and minority and the heritage of
Christian spirituality as an aspect of the European culture - to
generations to come.