THE LANGUAGE OF LISTS
28 April 2014, Cervera de los Montes
I'm proofreading the text Pauli and Mikko wrote for the MuNA Book. I made an index of names mentioned in the article, just for fun.
Ferran Adriá, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Fernando Alonso, Judas Arrieta, José María Aznar, Andrea Bandelli, Patrick Bateman, Samuel Beckett, Klaus Biesenbach, Miguel Angel Blanco, Hieronymus Bosch, Nisrine Boukhari, Louise Bourgeois, Michelangelo Caravaggio, Charles III of Spain, John Cotton Dana, Donald Duck, Albert Dürer, Ferdinand VII of Spain, Luis Figo, Frank Gehry, Raúl González, Francisco Goya, El Greco, Zaha Hadid, Erika Harrsch, Heikki Hellman, Huey, Dewey and Louie, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Gordon Gekko, Görsky Grytvic, Herman Van Ingelgem, Eemil Karila, Zena El Khalil, Kim Il-sung, Martin Kippenberger, Antonio Lamela, Jani Leinonen, Lex Luthor, Edward Luttwak, Josean Martínez Alija, Scrooge McDuck, Charles Montgomery Burns, Shunsuke François Nanjo, Rivane Neuenschwander, Erkka Nissinen, Jean Nouvel, Roman Ondák, Frank Oppenheimer, Ainhoa Ortells, George Orwell, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Tal R, Kimi Räikkönen, Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, Richard Serra, Richard Rogers, Paco Roncero, Riiko Sakkinen, Harald Szeeman, Henri de Tolouse-Lautrec, Katja Tukiainen, Abdul Vas, Diego Velázquez, Cruella de Vil, Andy Warhol, Willy Wonka, Charlotte York Goldenblatt, Zinedine Zidane.
I like lists. On Thursday I´m off to Bury, Greater Manchester. I’ll have some of my list works in the Bury Art Museum’s exhibition The Language of Lists, curated by Tony. I´ll stay in England four days sleeping each night in a different hotel due to the late arrival and early departure of my flights. Maybe it’s not very comfortable but it’s like hitman tactics. A real professional would not list the hotels but this is where you can find me:
Thursday-Friday - Bewleys Hotel Manchester Airport
Friday-Saturday - Premier Inn Manchester Bury
Saturday-Sunday - Park Inn by Radisson Manchester City Centre
THE BRANDS OF MY LIFE
21 April 2014, Cervera de los Montes
The first list that impacted was Patrick Bateman’s ruminative product descriptions of his morning routines in Bret Easton Ellis’s novel American Psycho. The brands are the blood in the circulatory system of capitalism and our life cannot be told in a realist manner without naming them.
I decided to have a look what brands we have in our house. I don’t know whether it’s my portrait or a picture of any average European lower middle class family. The list is far from complete - it excludes, for example, clothing, art works, books, tools and medicines - but maybe I’ll expand it to a real literary project.
100 Pipers, Adidas, Angel Schlesser, Aquarel, Arabia, Arcos, Ariel, Asturiana, Azucarera, Baileys, Balay, Barilla, Bellavista, Bialetti, Bic, Biotherm, Bluesky, Body Shop, Bosque Verde, Bovril, Braun, Brio, b’Twin, Buffalo, Cacique, Callaway, Camel, Campbell’s, Candy, Cardenal Mendoza, Carolina Herrera, Carrefour Home, Case Logic, Chevrolet, Cillit Bang, Clinique, Coca-Cola, Conguitos, Daewoo, Darphin, Deliplus, Deluxe, Denivit, Disney, Dodot, Don Simon, Durex, EasyAcc, Ecran, Fairy, Fagor, Fanta, Fazer, Fin de Mes, Finlandia, Fisher-Price, Fiskars, Freixenet, Fuente Liviana, Gallina Blanca, Gallo, Gilette, Global, Globe Hope, Godiva, Gordon’s, Guerlain, H&M, Habla del Silencio, Hacendado, Hackman, Hama, Haribo, Havana Club, Heinz, Hello Kitty, Hero, HP, I.C.O.N., Iittala, Ikea, Iomega, iPhone, Issey Miyake, Jamie Oliver, Jil Sander, Jordan, JR, Kaford, Kikkoman, Kinder, Krafft, La Morena, Lacasitos, Leffe, Lego, Lifestyle, Littlest Pet Shop, L’Oréal, Lotus, Louit, MacBook, Mahou, Maille, Maizena, Marimekko, Marques de Griñon, Martini, Mary Lee, Matchbox, McDonald’s, Michelin, Misako, Nakamura, Nescafé, Nesquick, Nestlé, Nivea, Nodor, Nutella, Panasonic, Palson, Peppa Pig, Pepsi, Philips, Plastiken, Playmobil, Post-it, President, Ray-Ban, Rebel, Revlon, Rimowa, Roca, Rochas, Royal, Saimaza, Samsonite, Samsung, Schweppes, Shiseido, Solimon, Sony, Steinburg, Stokke, Tabasco, TDK, The Glenrothes, The North Face, Telefonica, Temple of Heaven, Tetley, Twinings, Vigris, Villeroy & Boch, Wilkinson, Yves Rocher, Zanussi, Zara.
ALARUMS AND EXCURSIONS
14 April 2014, Cervera de los Montes
The operations of this spring -the solo showcase at Arco Madrid and my exhibition in Helsinki, both with Korjaamo Galleria - were a great success. Newspapers, magazines, blogs, radio, TV, interviews, talk shows, celebrity and visibility.
The funny thing in the art word is that the fame and money don't go hand in hand. I've sold less than I spent to produce the works for these events. Disappointment, low self-esteem, misery and poverty. We have always two different versions to tell about the same story. I'm not sure which narrative cling to.
Now I'm packing but not for a new artistic campaign but an excursion to the seaside. Tomorrow we'll drive 600km to Hondarribia at the border between the Basque Country and the French Republic. We'll vacation few days with Judas and his family. It will be fun in five languages - Judas speaks Basque to his daughter and English with his wife, who speaks Chinese with their daughter. Our family mixes Spanish and Finnish. The seven of us don't have any language in common. However we communicate, I wish that we don't speak about art or money.
THE POLITICAL ART OF GEORGE W. BUSH
09 April 2014, Cervera de los Montes
What is political art? Is the work that depicts injustice political or is a flower painting more political when politicians want to be photographed next to it? Is the politics in art the theme of the work or the context how the work is used?
George W. Bush has organised a solo show titled The Art of Leadership at his presidential library featuring paintings of world leaders based on the top results of Google image search. The approach is very conceptual and curiously the paintings are not that bad at all. They might be better than the works of many professional painters but some art world people think that they can´t be considered art. The romantic idea of art is that a good artist is a good person too and a loathable warmonger can’t produce any significant culture. They are obviously right that the project is made to soften the image of the ex-president and the Republican Party.
The attributes that made Mr. Bush a catastrophic leader make his artistic attitude excellent. In my opinion, good art is irreverent, disrespectful, flippant, provocative, aggressive and violent. The formula that killed and tortured thousands of civilians works in art perfectly.
Damien Hirst has said that the September 11 attacks need congratulating because they achieved something which nobody would ever have thought possible on an artistic level. He said Al Qaeda’s terrorism was kind of like an artwork in its own right. I think precisely the same of Mr. Bush’s paintings.
03 April 2014, Cervera de los Montes
Few years ago I applied twice to the doctoral program of my alma mater, Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki. I was rejected and gave up with the dreams of the highest level of education. I began to feel that maybe going back to school would be strenuous for my big ego. I don't need anybody to tell me what to read and how to write.
Unexpectedly, Pauli, who is PhD, said that now when I'm director of MuNA - Museum of No Art, the fictitious museum we are building inside Serlachius Museums I should be doctor like him. As the museum is imaginary, the doctorate can be fake too, the Serlachius boss reasoned. I thought it was just a joke but he ordered my PhD from a Hong Kong based company selling university degrees.
Mr. Don Brain (why on earth not Dr.?) answered to our questions:
Based on the confidential agreement with the universities, we are not able to release the name of the schools to you. However, we guarantee all of our degrees are legal, verifiable, recognized and accredited. We are doing this to avoid a lot of potential employers and customers to check the qualification through us and we take confidentiality seriously. I hope you can understand this. We will choose an English speaking university in the developed countries like USA, UK, Australia. We charge bachelor degree for USD$ 200, master degree for USD$ 250 and PhD for USD$ 290. If you want UK public universities, we have the following choice and we charge USD$ 4000 each.
University of Southampton
Bath Spa University
University of Hertfordshire
Now I'm Doctor of Philosophy in Art History from Univeristy of Southampton. I believed we were acquiring just printed paper but I received also instructions how to verify my degree directly from the University of Southampton. Is it possible that my doctorate is real? Can the world be so corrupt that a public university sells a PhD degree for 4000 dollars?
I think I'm not going to include this in my curriculum vitae but I begin to choose Dr. , not Mr anymore, when buying an airline ticket or a renting a car. And naturally in the publication of MuNA - Museum of No Art I'm called Dr. Sakkinen.
I like the doctoral certificate as an artwork. Now I'm planning to contact Mr. Brain and ordering 20 doctoral degrees from different universities and with different majors. I think they would make a charming show - maybe set in a gallery of a university.