HETA KUCHKA & TUIJA KUCHKALet's Give It One More Try
I'm raking leaves. My mom opens the door and yells: "Heta, come and
"Ok", I say
If I'd been drawing and my mom had told me to go and rake some leaves, there's no way I would have done it.
Why is it so hard to be nice to your own mother? No matter how many times I promise myself I´ll be nicer to her, I end up standing in front of her throwing a tantrum like a 3-year-old. I guess I just figure I´m her kid, so she´s got to love me no matter what! God, I'm scared of getting old. But what I´m even more scared of, is watching my mom get old.
Everyone knows that the relationship between mothers and daughters is a tough one. You´re always comparing yourself to each other, from the time one is born to when one dies. There are expectations and disappointments and, as you're trying to change the other to fit your idea of how they should be, you end up repeating your own mistakes over and over again. And we´re also just really different.
My mom worked in an art gallery for almost 40 years. When she retired, she got a really bad herniated disc. Our roles were reversed in a heartbeat. My younger brother and I became caregivers to our once fiercely independent mother.
I've loved my mom´s drawings ever since I was a little girl. Art has always helped the both of us to get through tough times. We started to process our feelings about our loss of independence by drawing each other. For us, the process is as important as the drawings.
Working together to create this joint exhibition has been a really rewarding experience. We've spent a lot of time together. And that's really important. We've taken turns spending hours studying each other´s faces and features. Sometimes we fight over stupid little things, and in those moments her face is the last thing I want to see. And I´m sure the feeling is mutual. It´s a pretty big challenge when you don´t even want to be in the same room with each other.
Tuija: "You know, now that I´m really looking at you, your chin is actually really huge. Especially this part right here" (as she pokes her finger at me annoyingly). "And I´m going to have to fill out your cheeks, too." I roll my eyes. My mom hates it when I roll my eyes. And she hates how I always leave everything to the last minute. But we have our share of fun, too!
In the (freely translated) words of the famous Finnish singer Jamppa
"Let´s give it one more try
Let´s not waste any time
I love you today as I always have I wanted you to hear that right now
Let´s give it one more try, tomorrow is a new day
We´ve both made mistakes for sure
But I guess some things can be fixed if we try."
Heta Kuchka & Tuija Kuchka
The exhibition consists of two separate shows. At the front of the gallery is Let's give it one more try, a joint exhibition by Heta Kuchka and Tuija Kuchka. At the back of the gallery is Heta Kuchka's video installation Present, created in collaboration with people living with Alzheimer's disease. Present is a video portrait of 11 people in which a live musician plays them music from their past or their own cultural or ethnic background. Viewers will be able to see the positive influence of the music through the subjects' own idiosyncratic responses, ranging from a faint smile to clapping and even dancing and singing. The video installation was produced by Residency Unlimited and was shot at the Shore Hill care home in New York City in the fall of 2012.
Many thanks to Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Finnish Cultural Foundation, Frame Visual Art Finland, and the Consulate General of Finland New York.