The House of Mind and Memories 2004
The work is based on pictorial fragments from a house in the Finnish countryside that belongs to my fathers family, and to me it was my childhood summer villa and also my home for a couple of years in my youth. My memories of the summers that I spent there are easy and bright and turn towards a feeling of melancholy when coming closer to my youth, a time of loosing the innocence of a child and my brother in a car accident.
Today the house is close to falling down and has an atmosphere of surrealism since the main kitchen hall is lacking the floor; a big hollow of ground and dust is straight in front when entering through the main door. Still there are many remains of former life, such as objects of decoration on the walls, towels hanging were they used to hang and other house wear goods and furniture around.
Some of the objects were brought to Finland from America by my ancestors that emigrated in the end of the 19.th century. Other derive from more modern times, such as the school- and other drawings made by myself or by my brother. The objects that connect to America are very romantic and represent to me the dream of the promised land and a better life compared to the poor circumstances that my Finnish ancestors escaped from a long time ago.
These remains and the certain absurdness of the building itself have inspired me to process this installation and the work process was done 2002-4. Copying these pictures was a slow process of trying to understand my mind, dreams and feelings and the naïve pictures represent a different life compared to the life of today.
This house is running down because nobody has the money or the interest to take care of it. Still I find a big value in it because it is carrying so much information, so many memories and stories. It is like a picture of my own body and mind with unknown and unsolved layers, bit by bit getting older, becoming dust and yet revealing small secrets as I find the courage to look it straight in the eyes.
The installation consists of paintings, drawings, photography and embroideries made on male cotton handkerchiefs, photos and a video.
The choice of ground material is connected to my father since he used similar handkerchiefs in his youth and also to my feeling of uncontrolled when making this work; almost like I had been blowing my nose and not knowing what comes out of it.