Description of the Piece
Auntie Whites Mandala was a durational performance that took place in January 2007 over a period of ten days in Gallaria 3h+k in Pori, Finland.
The performance started in a opening night of an exhibition of Saara Kariranta and Kaisa Luukkonen called Täti Valkoinen ja kysymys inhimillisyydestä. In the opening night an assistant shaved of Kaisa Luukkonen hair, undressed her, seremoniously washed her and dressed her in white clothes. Moods warried from easy going to open tears and resentment. When Kaisa Luukkonen was reclothed to the white clothes she thanked the assistant and told the croud that she would be moving on to the next part of the performance. She told that she would start to build a mandala out of white food substances that were stacked in the gallery and that she would build the mandala for next 9 days and 10 hours each day. She also told the audience that she would abstain from all forms of communication possible. That she would not speack, read, listen to radio, look at television or sight with another person untill the mandala was finished. In the end of the speech Kaisa Luukkonen wished the audience a pleasant continuation of the evening and started her time of social abstinence.
For the next 9 days she practiced silence and build the mandala. In the last evening the moment mandala was finished Kaisa Luukkonen fetched a broom and brushed the formation away. She thanked the audience present and talked about her experience with them.
Auntie Whites mandala lays it’s base on interaction and especially how I see interaction that lacs speech and words. It has often been a distressing and disturbing experience. Wordlessness does have another side to. In the Buddhist or Christian tradition quiet meditation is a way to let go of the mundane reality with its social distractions and look at our lives from a different angle. The quieteness is a form of liberation where we can get closer to who we are. In the quiet it is easier to see what is essential in our lives. After we have experienced the quieteness it is easier to hear what others are trying to say and maby even voice our own opinions better.
Women have been lifted to a pedestry to keep them controlled. They have been portrayed as the creators of the domestic sphere when men are seen as the conquerors of seven seas. This mentality is often found in the religous thinking too. Woman shall not speak in the congrecation says St. Paul. Not even in one form of Buddhism can a woman be inlightened and her function is to serve a man. Mandala made out of white food substances is a womans mandala. It is created with things that can be found in the womans sphere, the kitchen. It does not borrow from the Buddhist tradition its colour either. It is a brand new and pure white start.