• Arttu Merimaa, Minna Hujala
  • Minna Hujala, Illallinen
  • Minna Hujala, Illallinen
  • Minna Hujala, Illallinen
  • Arttu Merimaa
  • Arttu Merimaa
  • Arttu Merimaa



Viiskulma 1.10.-12.10.2008

In our joint exhibition, MOTION PICTURE EMOTION, we study cinematic manners of representation and the interaction of culture and the subject by means of moving picture
An excerpt from a conversation between Miina Hujala and Arttu Merimaa, dealing with the themes of the exhibition:

MH: What is reality in relation to our experiences? We interpret our emotions in interaction with models and moulds that are parts of a culture and can be found in movies, for instance. Additionally, movies and art create cultural models to which we compare our own experiences.

AM: In my opinion, everyday life can be found in our own experiences. There is a difference between what is learned and what is experienced. Nevertheless, the previously mentioned cultural models and “everyday life” are not in harmony with each other. We compare our emotional lives to the so-called cultural norms, and keep finding flaws. Our experiences and feelings seem to be constantly chasing something greater and more powerful – we want perfect moments and movie kisses.

MH: The quest for movie kisses is an example of the human being’s effort to analyze reality so that produced pictures are regarded as something perfect, some kind of an ideal. Human experience cannot be found in models, nor are the models enough. This disproportion creates motion between the individual and the culture. The individual aims at finding counterparts to his or her feelings and simultaneously communicates with the models, building a new code system and new patterns. However, these always differ from a genuine experience.

AM: The motion and construction of new models can be seen as positive dynamics. Considering the inner feelings of the subject, we should note that it is not always healthy to pursue something better, something fictional. In any case, movies, music, and literature – culture, that is – will challenge the experience of the subject. That is bittersweet in it’s own way.

MH: People are only doomed to be disappointed when they strive for so-called culturally produced experiences. They may be able to acknowledge the seeming necessity, as well as the absurdity, of comparing their own experiences to those. Surely, nobody needs to – or is able to – experience feelings larger than their own life. Art enables us to study the construction of cultural models, as well as our own ideas about reality.

AM: Art allows the viewer to identify with the artwork without the commercial projected emotions of Hollywood. Identifying in art is textual or semiotic; it is exchange of ideas based on various references, hints, and comparisons. How can these differences be seen in the working methods as video art increasingly uses cinematic means?

MH: Art aims at structuration in separating a feeling and its representations, simultaneously revealing the artificiality of the staging and expression. Impressions hidden behind emotions are unveiled by breaking up the illusory coherence of a film. On the other hand, art aims at appropriate exaggeration and underscoring emotions.

AM: Art deals with the concurrence of identification and alienation. On the other hand, there’s representation; on the other hand, parody. There is a chance that the viewer realizes what a previous experience was about, and questions that – this is when ideas of “genuine feelings”, reality, and fiction can be discussed. Perhaps the best that art can do, is to help us to question cultural norms and opinions of the constancy and genuineness of the subject.

Miina Hujala:

The themes of my artistic practice include a human being’s relationship with him- or herself, with other people, and with the surrounding culture and its customs. I focus on moving picture: The majority of my works is videos or photographs, and I have also combined the two techniques. I am especially interested in the ego and how it can be seen – what we refer to when we talk about ourselves, control the way we act, and interpret our feelings.

My work Illallinen, “Dinner”, deals with how reality can be interpreted. The social situation is culturally a rather charged one, as a man and a woman meet for dinner. I consider the position of the subject, how the situation and the essence of the woman are interpreted, and what kind of expectactions, hopes and fears are connected to them. The interaction between the man and the woman is extremely charged, and it includes several operations models as well as schemes of things. By means of emphasizing the arranged situation, I wish to study the attitudes, traditions, and emotions related to it.

Arttu Merimaa:

The themes I repeat in my works include love, violence, masculine identity, and faith. In my video installations, I deal with the themes by means of various conventions, genres, of visual storytelling. By bringing a certain convention on line, the artist makes the genre an essential part of the of the work. The sense opens up through what the viewer identifies with. My works are based on media culture and the leaking of skin deep reality into an individual’s sphere of experience. I’m interested in how the borders of the genuine and what has been produced within the culture have started to fade, as well as examining genuineness in itself. Authenticity is always based on the subject’s impressions of reality and self. Genuineness becomes a paradox without an example that could be accepted as a universal truth. An impressionable individual (that is to say, anyone of us) has to continuously struggle with emotions and their alleged genuineness.

I have compiled a miniature retrospective of my works from 2004 to 2008. I wanted to mix the sections of various video installations into one entity with a theme.