I made my first two artist’s books in 2017. An artist’s book is a book made by an artist or a piece of art that the artist calls a book. It is a unique and fascinating form of art that was developed by surrealists and dadaists during the first half of the 20th century. It gives me the possibility to jump into something that totally differs from the rest of my production. It enables me to create something very personal, that looks like me just like a self-portrait.
The first piece is called “Playing Cards”. My starting point was a dream book that had explanations for dreams listed as words in alphabetic order. Every single playing card also had their meanings listed. I have experienced so called lucid dreams. In them, the dreamer realises that she is in a dream which enables her to do absolutely anything until the moment of waking up. I wanted to handle this phenomenon and go against the rigid explanations and against the limits that are ubiquitous in real life. The royal characters found in the playing cards became the heroes of the story. The work turned into a joyful rebellion, a carefree celebration of everything that a royal person should not do. It also tells about my own wild desires of behaving inappropriately. I am the model in most of the pictures which makes them more personal. I am not only crossing the limits set by society but also the limits set by myself and for myself. Therefore it became a very liberating self-portrait. The drawings are made with different kinds of pens directly to the printed stripes. The filmstripe is there for decoration and it also gives a frame to the pictures. Another side in this piece are the texts, in the form of poems in Finnish language. Most of the lines cannot be translated, because they play with a rare characteristic of a language: the total freedom of the word order. The word order of each sentence changes almost as many times as possible. Some examples of the sentences in English are: “The pineapple is the fibonacci king of fruits”, “I chew sharpened emeralds as a starter”, “Drunk in Wonderland, I talk big to the queen of hearts”, “I painted all the roses that I saw”, “The queen of diamonds is an allegory of the mother”. The meaning of a sentence changes slightly when the word order is changed. A way of emphasizing the meaning is changing the note and the stress in the sentence, so the reading of the poems is almost like singing.
My second work, named “Chapter Two: What Kind of Works Did I Do?” includes a peek at my recent production. It tells about the thoughts that I guess I could have in my mind right before my own death. Therefore it is a rather serious work that pictures what will be left after me instead of depicting me as a person. I took the same dream book that inspired my first artist’s book and I decided to use it as the base of the second work. Using glue and paint, I turned it into a sculpture-like object. Then I cut the pages into stripes and elongated them by adding more stripes. The pictures are details from my latest drawings and paintings. Part of them are printed details of photographs of my works and some are painted directly on the pages of the book. The filmstripes here are more than just a decoration. They symbolize a well-known experience that many people have had when they have been close to death: Life runs before them in their mind like a movie. To me it sounds like a very comforting phenomenon.