Saturday, May 4, 2013


Vivi-Mari Carpelan: "Gentle Persusasion", 29x29 cm -
artist's photographs, digitally manipulated image,
velvet and gold ribbon, bead.
Copyright 2013
Some more new work has been finished so that I can feel that I'm also doing real things in the real work and not only digital work! It may not be immediately obvious but this one is meant to be part of the solutions when challenged with invisible illness - Project X is about the actual problem but I also meant to get on with finding a way of expressing some form of solutions. I wasn't planning on it this time, it just happened. I was attracted to the woman of the fin de siecle (c. 1900), gently gazing at a skull as was rather typical of the time of the Symbolist movement. Pondering mortality and all that... it's a bit ironic since it's actually an image that was meant to be erotic, on the other hand they were often seen as two sides of the same coin, the drive towards procreation versus the end of all earth bound drives.

I thought this one would be easy to scan but in fact it proved very hard to get the hue right, and the golden ribbon doesn't show up the way it does in reality. We're running out of laser ink cartridges and our artistic venture wowlookwhatigot didn't quite generate enough for a second hand ink jet printer as well as cartridges... we'll se how that goes (you can still support us if you like). It's a bother and a great shame but for the moment I just have to try and use what I have.

I would like for this image to be one that one can contemplate rather than analyse with the tools of a sharp intellect. There's pain, there's hardship, there's a kind of imprisonment... but there is also a kind of resignation that borders on acceptance. The velvet and the gold are meant to envelop the vulnerable character, and the very cheap "diamond" on the skull bears a gentle reference to Damien Hirst's famous work, "For the Love of God" in which real diamonds obtain questionable value... It also refers to the idea of the third eye, which signifies intuition and profound insight. There is a theatricality in this image which is not uncommon in my work. It points to the idea of "the world as a stage and the men and women as merely players". The photograph in the background is my own. There are large footsteps in the snow - I leave it to you to imagine what they could stand for. Life is hard but sometimes it's the most challenged people in this world who are "the golden people", and I like to believe it's all for a good reason. Controlling your life or fighting your destiny isn't what life is about. The toughest challenges can engender the most wisdom, but there is also a great deal of wisdom in the art of letting go of your own petty concerns at least intermittently, and to bear your destiny with dignity.

The theatre of life is the great play of Lila as suggested in non-dualist schools of Hinduism. Brahman is the Ultimate Creator. Freedom from necessity doesn't mean there is no "destiny", but this destiny is relative, while the play of lila is absolute.

"Brahman is full of all perfections. And to say that Brahman has some purpose in creating the world will mean that it wants to attain through the process of creation something which it has not. And that is impossible. Hence, there can be no purpose of Brahman in creating the world. The world is a mere spontaneous creation of Brahman. It is a Lila, or sport, of Brahman. It is created out of Bliss, by Bliss and for Bliss. Lila indicates a spontaneous sportive activity of Brahman as distinguished from a self-conscious volitional effort. The concept of Lila signifies freedom as distinguished from necessity."

—Ram Shanker Misra, The Integral Advaitism of Sri Aurobindo (from Wikipedia)