Saturday, April 7, 2012


Vivi-Mari Carpelan: "Impairement by X", handmade collage, copyright 2012

Tadaa... this is my latest in the Project X series. It features text which is stream of consciousness and not edited at all. One is complaintive, the other attempts towards a more constructive attitude to life. They tell about some of my ordeals with insomnia in particular. I don't know whether I was influenced by Tracey Emin or whether I would made this choice anyway... I hope the rest is quite self-explanatory. The figures are old copy right free drawings of the nervous system, which is central to a lot of invisible illnesses, including my own.

I started to follow the showdown at Saatchi, in fact I submitted one of my abstract photographs for the competition for abstract art, however without the hopes I had when I submitted my collage late last year. I actually got to the second round of 300 participants out of 3333! 

Vivi-Mari Carpelan: "Nothing Was Quite the Way It Used to Be",
digital photograph copyright 2011
What strikes me is that the winning pieces are usually very simple. It seems to me that simple is still trendy, even though we've had a decade of that. Watching a show on Art Nouveau last night, I was thinking as I immersed in the beauty of the sensuous and life affirming yet stylized natural forms that that was the end of beauty. Don't get me wrong, I like simple too. But too much of it makes for too little. With Art Nouveau, you're constantly surprised, fascinated, excited, tantalized... it just doesn't get boring. Well, for the most part anyway, since too much of a good thing can be overwhelming too. 

I was flipping through The World of Interiors the other day and came across an article about Maria Joao Arnaud who went to India to learn traditional methods of printing fabric. So what did she create when she came home from the land of intricate designs and opulent colours? Squares, and a lot of them. To be fair there's other stuff as well but the designs are overall quite simple. Nothing particularly bad about it... just boring. When is this boredom going to end? I feel so deprived that I have to buy stuff that has a decorative formal language even when I can't really afford it - it is so rare these days though a growing number of people actually want it. Next time I will show an interesting chair I bought a while ago (it actually was a bargain).

As I was thinking of a new collage, a certain simplicity came to mind. I thought, why not, I can do that too. But I will never give up a desire for opulence and intriguing shapes. 

I have noticed, that people who get grants and other forms of support for their art are usually very articulate, i.e. they use their heads/minds very well. But what about their hearts? Check out the Julia Gomperts trust and the artists they have supported. It strikes me that most of them seem very young, articulate and conceptual. Their ideas are often complicated and deeply philosophical, but what about their art? I'm not sure all this headiness translates into art from the heart.

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