Gallery Myllypuro Gallery Myllypuro Gallery Myllypuro Gallery Mylly
 
 

 

 

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 feminist theory.

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."

 

PRESS RELEASE
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 bombs!

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.

 

 

 

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Aquarium, detail, video installation 1992


The Face of Love
picture from videowork 1996