press release

Anna Tuori writes about her There Is No Place Like Home exhibition:

I've been terrified of the water, and yet it seems I'm forced to go into it on every movie that I make. Natalie Wood

In the National Museum of American History in Washington, there is an exhibit presenting American identity. Next to Mickey Mouse is the gavel with which Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery, and next to Marilyn Monroe’s gloves there is the table at which the decision on women’s voting rights was taken. The display shows how easy it is to be conditioned to the European chronological and hierarchical manner of choosing and displaying the essential parts of a narrative.

The idea that a single theme could be approached from the widest range of directions possible was aroused by this museum visit. The goal became eclecticism, avoidance of pure style. This is underlined in small paintings realized as directly as possible from seemingly different themes.

The thematic of the present exhibition is associated with the loss of a feeling of security, seeking, the notion of the home and homelessness. Here the home is an ideal, a partly impossible fantasy of integrity and security.

The mind is capable of imagining a home, of considering itself to be elsewhere and of creating places. Fantasizing about a better place is an idealistic and ideological possibility. In a traumatic situation, the mind protects itself from overload. Both fantasy and denial will thus have an important role for survival; the mind needs fantasy in order to withstand reality. So-called reality and the imagined are not distinct; one takes place in the other and vice-versa.

An illusion of an imagined place can be painted on a two-dimensional surface with colour, by pouring and dripping and brushstrokes. The painting is marks on a surface, a window, an illusion and an impression. It represents at the same time itself and something else. If Paavo is in an empty room with a painting, what is the space in which Paavo’s experience takes place? Is he spending time in the room or the painting? That probably depends on Paavo. The viewer reflects him or herself onto the painting, thus making it also a projection.