1 Nov 2014

The Big Feast

The Big Feast I, 2014

The Big Feast II, 2014

The model is my painter friend Luke Francis Haseler.

A final sketch I showed my model Luke (I call him Lucifer) before we shot The Big Feast II.

Things never go exactly as planned, but occasionally it's close and I am incredibly surprised by that. Making an inner vision a tangible reality is difficult.

Whilst I was taking this picture, I was breathing into the lens to create a painting-like, low contrast, hoarfrost effect. That technique creates auras around the lightest areas in pictures, like around the flame in this one.

26 Aug 2014

Nicole, 2014

g r e e t i n g s

It's incredibly difficult to write if you're happy beyond reasonable limits.

- For a while I felt like I was in the folds of a book, about to jump to the next page. Now I feel like I am on that page.

- I feel a luxurious affection towards a magical human with whom I feel safe, endlessly inspired, thrilled for all the dimensions he shows me. I would describe him as outrageously perfect. Every moment with him is a sacred ceremony, an honor to be kissed by this human diamond, to measure his body with my mouth, to share the treasure chests in our heads, to learn even from just following how he does ordinary things, it makes so much sense to me. Yet I still keep on pinching his skin, asking him if he is real. I am so happy I guess I must be hallucinating, and it is my enormous joy to feel this dazed out of how lucky I am.

- Soon I am starting my studies at Central Saint Martins. I have extreme catapult motivation to go far, to work hard, to go further and deeper than I could even imagine going.

- Once again I feel like the ideas that gush out of the meat slack that is my brain are valuable and worthy of making tangible.

- I have moved to a warehouse community full of creative people. It is like living in a beautiful hanging garden.

- I have met new people that inspire me to be unapologetic, to be radically feminist, radically expressive and above everything embrace and celebrate what makes me and everyone else human. One of them is Rubyyy Jones and all the people she has collected around her. Another extraordinary person, whom I've known for over a year now, is my dearest friend Nicole Eymard.

22 May 2014

Untitled, 2014.
I found something I wrote in October, but never published.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

No... but still some people have an unexplainable magnetism about them, you only notice that when you look at them properly, and you realize it's the first time really, you've always known they hang out with some friends you know or they work in a certain place, or that they've been to the same party for hours already and you didn't say hi, but when you look at them for the first time, you might wonder how you never looked at them before. We glance at each other, but we don't dare to take time to examine who else shares the room we're in.
I think about people I've liked and how it happened. One person, oh well, I knew he hung out somewhere in the small Helsinki-circle of people, but I had never been introduced to him, I knew his full name, I knew he never wore socks even in the winter because I bumped into him and his then-girlfriend a year before and he never had socks on, first time I really looked at him was when we we're laying on pillows at a dying party and I asked him why he never wore socks. He answered that he just didn't like to wear them, that's all. In my other hand I had my phone, my then-boyfriend was bombing me with messages because he couldn't stand not knowing where I was or when I would go home and if he could stay at mine, I remember my hands got sweaty. I felt like a criminal just for having sweaty hands from looking at a boy. And after we met again, I remembered my hands and that was a clear tipping point for me, when I first really looked at him. Nothing happened for months, I was stuck in a horrible relationship and forgot everything about socks and and naked ankles and hands that ache to hold new hands, just for a second, that was all I had wished for.
Then another tipping point was when I got a food-poisoning from old milk and had to go home from a bar in December, and felt so so sorry for not talking to the boy with amusing dance moves and a hat that flew around the dancefloor and was on everybody's head and a part of the dance, he took it off and brought it up from under his foot and so on. I walked all the way home that day and my stomach got better after every block and the clock got closer to the end of the party and I wished I had turned back earlier, and I never did. But it wasn't clear why I wanted to be there, I just wanted to.
Then came New Year. Me and Vesta did a party tour to three or four or five parties, and the last place we went to was the crazy outfits and improvised movement rather than dance and popping bottles that we had hoped for. Before arriving we went to a nearby porn store for fun and I got myself a cat mask that was on my head for the rest of the night until it made kissing hard. Me and Vesta had planned to kiss at midnight, but when the time came I was barely holding her hand when a new boy found her lips and they matched, it all happened in seconds. I called my friend Kalle and we sang Soulja Boy to each other and promised to get married if we're still alone when we're 40 and he said he'll stay alone on purpose until then. That boy was supposed to go to another place to see the fireworks but instead he was on the street in front of the house, just a few meters away from the door watching them when we got back. No socks. Weirdly I thought I wouldn't see him again that night, that maybe he went to another party. We danced and flirted dramatically, I thought it was a joke because he did the same with Vesta, though they knew each other from before and she said it was a joke. Until he kissed me later. We leaned on a painting and were about to drop it in the heat, when the person whose painting it was got extremely annoyed and we got a feeling that people didn't like what they saw because maybe it was a surprise to them, or maybe someone else wanted to kiss him too, who knows, or because his ex was there somewhere, or maybe because we almost fucking dropped that painting. We spent the first day of the year sleeping late in his bed, just drinking coffee, just talking, just walking outside to find that no stores were open and we didn't have food.
I don't know why I wrote so far. 
I don't know how to close the story appropriately.  
I tried to explain this magnetism that some people have. Now that I think about when I didn't even know him but had seen him once on the street and got to know his name from a facebook photo or something, even then I knew it would be interesting to know him. Sometimes you just know that something is a bit unexplainable, especially when you look back.
Now, thinking about all the people, after everything that happened I see clearly, even in the middle of another city, far from most of these people, it's easy to see. There are people in my stories that I may not meet again and then we die. I can tell which ones ended up being more important than others, and who still are, and I can tell there was something in common in the way I looked at them for the first time.
My first boyfriend and I remembered every time we had seen each other in a store or on the street, he just knew me as the red haired girl who possibly lives quite close. He had dreamt about walking behind me someday, then suddenly stepping in front of me and just giving me a kiss. It's been years now, but I still remember when I first looked at him, he was coming to my birthday party and I came to open the door and I knew something I couldn't explain, later I learned we both knew. But what? I guess it goes like that sometimes. 
I wouldn't call it love at first sight. I mean, who the hell knows what love is. Who knows why we like certain people? Why are we instantly attracted to someone? If we knew, where would all the fun go? I'm happy there's still a possibility to look at someone for the first time. That's why I've been looking at everyone, trying to get comfort from strangers, 
afraid I'll miss the ones I should find - but that doesn't work. 
You can't just stare through someone's soul and think you find a human diamond in them. 
Unfortunately it works by intuition, so learn to trust your gut.
I guess none of it matters. 
Life has a funny way to bring good people together.

21 May 2014

To some of the commenters in the last post;

I am an individual human being and I make my own choices.
I might choose to express myself in a way you wouldn't -
I might have negative feelings about things you love.
I am not standing in the way of your love, and my opinion is not here to de-value your love.
I am only expressing myself, from behind a table in a cafe in Finland, and damn I was anxious to be there!

If that reeks of self-importance to you, then what about telling me to let go of 'the extras' in my personality, to 'be an ordinary Meri'? You are witnessing the ordinary me. I am not too much. I am not too loud, too sensitive, too much of me. Because I never went out of my way to hurt you. I told you what I thought, and if you can't handle another point of view, then that's kinda sad. I am me. And if the volume offends you and annoys you, you can choose to not have it in your life. You are most welcome to spend your time the way you please. Constructive criticism is welcome, but telling me that I "probably never worked a real job" as an offence that belittles my work or that I should change myself, is not.

I mean, really? You can't tell a stranger to change themselves. You can discuss things with them, but you can't ask them to change their personality.

Isn't it more selfish to try and tell me that my personal feelings and opinions offend you and I should not have these, than me just being me, you just being you? We can have a conversation about these topics, but once you take my personal features into your argument, it doesn't really make sense anymore.

It's mind over matter - I don't mind and your insults don't matter. Now get back to the topic.

Wanna defend Finland as a country? Do that. Just that. Tell me stories. Don't compare yourself to me, or anybody else.

 Sloth skeletons are creepy.

2 Apr 2014

There's no home for you here girl, go away



I'm sitting is some completely unrecognisable office cafeteria, in the table next to me someone is pronouncing the names of European cities in a disgustingly Finnish way, the kitchen reminds me of an old school cafeteria. 

Finland and the spirit of it is Nokia proudness, bad postures, lifeless lights, juice concentrate, goatees, grey discreet metal eyeglasses, grated carrots, leafless trees in the ruthless and ugly spring light, gravel everywhere, foldaway furniture. A bold risk-taker might wear a yellow blazer to the office, but won't let out a loud laughter. The complete opposite of all this is what the word 'bohemian' describes. The blue-purple non-color of the collared shirts narrates an aesthetic and a lifestyle of simplicity, hygiene, undressed from ornaments. The ghost-like grumpy faces I see this morning are either too reticent to take a stand, or complete killjoys. Rye bread crumbs on the table tell about some 

kind of cohesion.

This morning someone on the radio said that Finnish people are one of the most satisfied populations, and frankly, I think that's propaganda bullshit. Is all that a lie, so the sensitive and cagey wouldn't get too upset? First of all, Finland holds a statistic of most murders in western Europe. Most suicides in northern Europe. Rape statistics are high as well. Most guns after USA and Yemen, Yemen is in a war state. Alcohol is the main reason for deaths among men. So either you kill yourself, alcohol kills you, or someone else kills you. Finland falls silent about mental health issues, the news always tell a new story about a jealous partner choosing murder over dealing with it, feelings aren't a subject one is allowed to talk about. Nobody ever fucking dares to do anything. BOHEMIAN is the opposite of ALL THIS. The definition of 'artist's life' is seen in the beer romanticising skateboarding rats, whose good heart should not be blamed. The 'artist's life' is McDonalds after a long night, cheap beer.

All the evil that grows in the bottom of the stomach of this country could in no possible way raise the living standards to anything moderately satisfied.

27 Mar 2014

Androcentric language

The problem with using masculine language such as 'Hey guys' 'mankind' 'man' or 'dude' to refer to both men and women is that men are seen as the 'norm' and women as the 'other' and that women are made to fit a leftover space in the language.

Some gender neutral pronouns that have been proposed and have gained popularity, which you should start learning and using are 'they', 'them', and 'ze' / 'hir'. (Ze called. I answered hir. Hir voice was nice to hear. Hirs new job was going well. Ze sees hirself doing it for a good while.)

So, instead of 'mankind' say 'humankind'. 'Fire-fighter' for 'fireman'. 'Businessperson' for 'businessman'. 'Police-officer' for 'policeman'.

Tell me if you have ideas on what to do with 'dude' or 'hey guys!' Maybe avoid them.

8 Mar 2014

♀ The Purloined Sex (from E.R.O.S - Woman, by Nina Power, 2013) ♀

'The problem, simply stated, is that one must believe in the existence of the person in order to recognize the authenticity of her suffering. Neither men nor women believe in the existence of women as significant beings.' - Andrea Dworkin

'The wounds, deprivations and suffering women suffer today - as simultaneously as lovers, workers, wives, mothers - have crystalized themselves for me in the image of decapitation.' - Julia Kristeva

'But here we might ask: What is left when the body rendered coherent through the category of sex is disaggregated, rendered chaotic? Can this body be re-membered, be put back together again?' - Judith Butler

What does it mean to say that more than 50% of the world's population suffers from a lack of existence? That this majority is - somehow - without a head? That this headless body is itself then further taken apart and its recomposition the object of a pessimistic question? What does the word 'woman' mean outside of its purely 'othering' qualities - not man, no longer girl? And yet 'women' are everywhere, as a shorthand for a visual and structural 'otherness' that renders the category split among even (or especially) those who are supposed to inhabit the role: you have to care not only what 'kind' of woman you are, but also how this type operates as a relation - one is not born, but typifies a woman, and then you still have to 'become' one on top of that too. What a ridiculous amount of work required, oscillating between essence and existence, only to fail constantly! Meanwhile, an all-pervasive neutrality operates at the heart of Man, where this identity disappears ever-effortlessly into the purloined letter of gender, written in invisible ink. Hidden in plain sight and that sight itself obscured.

♀ • ♀ • ♀

Artwork by Rosemarie Trockel, 'Replace me'