PAULA LEHTONENMorrison & Friends 7.8.2021 – 5.9.2021
The exhibition will feature the premiere of my documentary videoart piece Morrison & Friends, which depicts interspecies communications between humans and an alpaca.
I started working on this short film while I was on maternity leave. Motherhood was a new and very bodily experience for me. My senses were open to observe the animal in me, and I experienced first-hand what it really means to be a mammal. The change in my life together with love hormones, made me conscious of the idea of sharing a common origin and connection to all living beings.
I wanted to change my anthropocentric perspective and delve into the idea of equal non-human fellow species. We gain new perspectives into alternative realities, methods of communication and knowledge by refocusing and interacting with another species whose senses work differently from ours and who, through those senses, accesses the world in a different way than we do. Instead of space, alien intelligence can be found right here.
Deep in thoughts like these, I came across an article about Morrison the alpaca. Morrison is a celebrity who has appeared on Finnish TV shows such as the Dudesons and Fairytale weddings. Morrison also works with animal-assisted activities and alpaca therapy, visiting nursing homes with her trainer Tarja Jokinen. As a therapy animal, Morrison is used to interacting with people and he is not intimidated by people working behind cameras. This made it possible to create an environment in the studio where the participants seemingly simply needed to be present. Having all these beings spending time together was the basis for my documentary videoart work Morrison & Friends.
I am a media artist, and I use video as a tool for observation. I try to depict and understand natural phenomena and their relationship to human through my videos. Technology allows me to observe, study and take a closer look at other animals and beings in my surroundings. My attempt to simulate nature experiences using advanced technical tools, videos, electronics and computer animations illustrates the contradiction between the longing for primitive nature and living in a technological society.