Architecture has, with some difficulty, liberated itself from the ornament, but it has not liberated itself from the fear of the ornament”, stated John Summerson in 1941 as a comment of the modernistic architecture that strived towards an even stricter and purer depiction of space. The style demanded an economically efficient and simplified architecture, but paradoxically a structure stripped from all decoration turned up to be unpractical and complicated to accomplish; a tower ends inevitably in a point and the twist of a staircase is ornamentation in itself. Despite the sacrifices, the advanced architecture had to be protected against the decadence of the ornament. In the video work “Dust” the ornament is concretely made of dirt and dust, degenerating materials that have to be banned from our lives and surroundings.
What is the process that turns material into dirt? The gravy on a plate is something else then on your tie, even if its consistency is still the same. Daily we clean our apartments, producing dirt and simultaneously fighting aggressively against it. We could instead lower our weapons and include the dirt as a decoration in the interior of our homes. On closer observation dust is fascinating, its greyness seems to contain all the colours and its hazy softness is bashful and withdrawn. Touch it and the fuzzy roundness will compress and disappear.
In the video titled “Dust” iron particles and dust form a series of kaleidoscopic patterns, which change from chaos into a controlled image. The images are being repeated until they form the basic ingredient of an ornament – a reoccurring, recognizable and continuing design. The dust moves on the surfaces, forming twirls and densities in the still corners of the room. The patterns that the dust settles into could be seen as graphical charts, which register the choreographies and air currents of daily movements. These ornaments reveal our habits and indicate the routes and routines our lives have taken.
2011, 18:28, SINGLE CHANNEL VIDEO
Director: Saara Ekström, Camera: Thom Vink, Editing: Hannu Kärenlampi
2011 Limbus, Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland
2011 Limbus, Kuntsi, Museum of Modern Art, Vaasa, Finland
2012 Limbus, Åland Museum of Art, Mariehamn, Finland
2014 ISCP Fall Open Studios, Brooklyn, NYC, USA