Kaisa Luukkonen offers her art as crutch to help limp through chaos of living an everyday life. She freely admits that she does it herself. She creates installation and performance work to try, at the same time communicate with and navigate through, the contemporary society of Scandinavian living. She asks the viewer to join her, not moving in great speed or even in comfort but still somehow managing that limp on, even when the ground under us is very crises prone and expanding to all directions. With this shifting ground it is very hard to know where the horizon lies and what does it really stands for.
This crutch of art helps us move were grand narratives have been declared to be dead. No not dead but they have transformed to activist cultures instead. Activist cultures that McDonalds, Colgate and Nestle can claim to be comfortable bed fellows with. With no hint of sarcasm! Yes to equality! Yes to human rights! Yes to clean water! Yes yes yes! Yes there are good things happening! Done by really bad companies whose strategies include animal cruelty, complete disregard of nature, use of slave like work conditions and always in the forefront maximal return for minimal investment. There is real double levels of consciousness at play here but does it help create a confidence towards our futures? Is it really possible to think that all the good things cancel out all the bad things and we can just keep on confidently trekking on?
This crutch of art helps us breath when politics of emotions has become confusing. When hope is not dead but turned into a harness and carrot contraption against those who advocate for the rights of historically oppressed. When it is this contraption that enables Western democracies to pinpoint their own willingness to remedy past violence and negate present structures of oppression. ‘If these boxes are just checked this will be solved. There is hope! And lets not forget the photo-op!’ There is this fussy warm feeling and all the love of the world! Yes! In love we can trust! These organisations like Love Watch that just loves and watched over us. No, wait! Didn’t they just change their name from the Hate Watch? So did they just start looking for love instead of hate? Or are the two feelings just interchangeable? Maybe the solution is in ambivalence and all is a great big slurry of hate/love flavour. It really doesn’t make a difference are you being excluded from a position of love or hate. You are still left outside.
Luukkonen’s work won’t manage to comfort you or give you head space to figure out all the turmoil on your screens or in your life. You wont find a guideline for more moral behaviour or how to built an intellectual bomb. All it can promise is to be a crutch. An aid to help you limp along and not much interest to those who can keep up with the contemporary world anyway.
Since the autumn of 2012 I have worked in the curatorial and producing team of a Tampere based performance art even called Perfo!. We have yearly produced 2-4 events, mostly in Telakka but also in Tehdas 108 and Pori Art Museum.