• Marja Mikkonen
  • Marja Mikkonen

Marja Mikkonen


Viiskulma 16.8.-27.8.2006

“I stuck my hand in the soil. It was cool and immediately dug into the skin under the nails. The petals of the flowers fell onto my palms, I drank water from the well, the grass was newly cut and felt like velvet in the soles. I ran to the peer and pushed the boy down, I don’t remember his name. No, it was another time. I wandered in the wasteland, I imagined a campfire. I had heard about it. I played with my imaginative friend, my lookalike. She was just like me. We never spoke, we didn’t need to. I hit my head with a rock, I wanted to know how much I dare. I lifted the stone high above my head and let go. […] Then later, I was empty.”

-a sample from “Letter to my father”

The solo exhibition “Päivän Hulluus” (=madness of the day) is a part of my graduation work for the Master of Arts degree in the Fine Art Academy of Helsinki. The exhibition consists of photographs, videos and a text entitled “Letter to my father”. The works are loosely connected to each other by the theme of absence: human figures have been cut away from the photographs, the face of my mother have disappeared, the twins never meet, father is dead.

“Päivän Hulluus” (original “La folie du jour”) is also the name of a book by Maurice Blanchot. My exhibition is not an illustration of his text and does not refer to it directly. Blanchot’s book is a report of illness, in which the vision of character is wounded. The story is broken and scattered. However, in the midst of the chaos the subject of the story also notices sudden joy and happiness.

Even though the name of Blanchot’s book ended up being the title of my exhibition half by accident, some similarities and links can be found. My story does not offer a whole, logically developing report to fill the holes of the images. It is rather a frame or a way to read, by whose aid the works can be looked at. In addition, my own attitude towards “madness”, be it the mundane usage of the word or a reference to a mental disorder, is not about an admiration towards a romantic idea of the creative craziness. Madness is not only nocturnal, mysterious and desirable. It is irritating, maniac, slackening and obstructing. Actually, the works in the exhibition do not deal with madness, but rather a condition after crisis, the impossibility of remembering, and the emptiness which is filled with imagination and dreams.