KAISU KOIVISTOTransient empire
We live in a world of objects and materials. In my sculptures, I combine objects such as hand-made steel structures with furs and leather bought at swap meets, or use industrially manufactured fishing hooks as building material. In other words, I construct new entities from different materials and thus seek to create new connections and meanings.
My series Traps (steel, wood, 2006) consists of various objects fashioned from hundreds of fishing hooks. The hooks glitter like jewellery, enticingly beautiful yet dangerous; you want to touch despite the sting of the idea of sharp objects piercing the skin at the neck, mouth or leg. The piercing and injuring quality of the objects is clearly present in the works. This aspect of hooks combined with the shapes of the various objects introduces new dimensions of thought.
The cycle of life and death is a natural process: the seed of death lies in everything that lives. In the Transient Empire series of photographs, a pelt gnawed on by vermin resembles a map where soil erosion compares to the vulnerable surface of hide or skin. Leather brings to mind memento mori imagery, which is a symbol of the fleeting nature of life. The hide - or skin - is like a guest book where the life led makes its mark. Underneath the skin lies another world that obeys its own laws.
The torturous presence of objects or unpleasant materials in our environment and in art fascinates me no end. The texture of the material is an important element in objects as well as in my work. Photographs, however, render texture abstract. This is evident in the photographs of animal skins, in which a unique texture may be formed.
Ambivalent beauty is of interest to me: the simultaneous attraction and repulsion, the synthetic and the organic. In my works, I wish to bring together a systematic structure and the rambling, occasionally ornamented world of natural shapes and materials. The fabric weaved by the images challenges viewers to see, feel and think. However, it takes the will of the viewer to stop and see, to react to the questions raised by the piece.
How is the fox tail an abstraction in the piece "Pendulum abstraction" (steel, fox tails, engine, 2006)?