Provocateur lives!!! When the whole system turns up against me I feel I have made a point that has touched truly painful issues. It makes me thrilled.

Let’s talk about harassment in art. Yes let’s there are an awful lot of shades to harassment, has been since art school. It is a whisper and common knowledge it is there. Not the easiest of topics to bring up anywhere but definitely not easy there where it is seen almost an organic part of doing and part of interaction somehow. I have felt it is like working in a bar, all is possible and will happen without consequences for men and it is reality that has to be seen as a fact and always be prepared for it. It is not much talked about, done much about and anyone who brings the topic on the table is a whining weakling who cannot handle the toughness of the business. The amount of pure harassment and ill can be so devastating it is time someone brought it up since art is good, right, it is doing good in the world, right? How nice should one be then?

Sexual tension is seen a part of making art. We draw and paint nudes from the beginning. Being an artist as such and as an idea is expected to have an open relationship to sexuality, inhibitions, taboos, act of sex, shame and artists are thought to live more sexually liberated lives than most. It goes with the territory to learn to handle and laugh about it. This somehow makes it right to harass female artists and students, especially those who tackle the touchy topic bringing it up and do not tolerate treatment given. It is expected to face harassment at some point, sex and art go hand in hand self-evidently. It is expected the kind of openness to sex, understanding and tolerance to all kinds of forms of sex (this is an illusion). A historical narrative of artists is they have got a deep contact to sexuality especially men and they are allowed to behave accordingly. When woman does the same she is punished as she is not in the game when game is conducted by men. How deep does this perspective and look into human sexuality and hierarchy actually go is a good question as art institutions do have strict views on showing sexually explicit material, or is toying with sex and consent just a shallow fun for boys in the game which game is more a rule as it is for them and goes with the territory that women are used, a game only for men who play it hard. One can ask as art is male dominated where rumors move fast and the famous narrative of heroic artist is kept alive since it brings in customers does this relic ever make progress and grow up? What this in deep view reveals other than sexism, ignorance, abuse, hedonism, repetitious behavioral codes, conventions and practices which can be given harsh critique, sweeping under carpet unable to face reality is not changing anything. Sex is and has been topic to be horrified over in art, although sexual harassment and moving on up via sexual relationship is nothing new, wide and well existent. Loose morals and misconduct belong to rebellious, dim, fun-loving, careless and hazy portrait of an artist which image has been admired as this artist is free and creative force of nature, a true man who makes and conquers.

When woman does the same story is different as is normal. Misbehaving woman is a scandal in a place where to look good is all for businesses sake and the children. In business where ill happens behind curtains something out of control that is made visible is shocking. Still woman is there to offer sexual favors as she wants to succeed, she poses, is looked at and touched, poked, made fun of and minimized. What a fool. She has to work hard to get anywhere on her own, so suggestions on how about it may sound tempting. It is also women’s benefit as industry’s benefit to call and decline such terms of making, make harassment visible, to make an end to such culture of abuse is necessary. It is no surprise sexism is rampant in art. Those who desperately wish to make it use sex as a way. Issue cannot be dealt with because those who use power are not dealing with sexism or think it as a problem. There are no laws by which to live in art, breaking rules is part of making art. There are other problems like finance and how to be heard and seen. As long as sexists and chauvinists are protected and admired as great artists who cannot be accused of any ill nothing changes. When there is no accountability, transparency or professional ways to deal with difficult clearly criminal issues nothing changes. When morals is lacking how can there be any trustworthy voice within art and of art which talks about those important social issues for the rest of us?

If art is rebellion why the scandal? Why sensitive skin and offence? Why sex makes the same horror and appall as ever?

Art the language

Do you speak art? Do you understand art? Do you get and like art talk? Why should art even be a spoken tongue? But it talks, has a voice, tone, presence, ideas and message. To those who are interested message is there to be caught, to resonate with and think about. Then on what kinds of things does it depend how we understand what we see and what we want to see? Do we analyse art via our bias and preconceptions? We have to care about what we see to actually see what it is we see. We have to be alert and open to cultural references, meanings, links, traditions, to philosophical and cultural grounds art and makers spring out. Where is it, who sees it, who is speaking, who speaks about it if anyone, who is given a voice? It is complicated when you start to think about what art is about, why we do art, present it in the ways we do, one particular piece of art is worth lengthy analysis, not to speak of the whole of contemporary visual art. How much of it is about taste, objectification and luxury, about cultural intellectual shifts we experience today, politics, our progress as humans and about continuation to Art History, to institution and conventions of fine art and the tradition of Modern Art.

Contemporary art can be avoided completely in everyday life. It is almost strictly isolated in institutions and galleries as a specific expertise field where hierarchy, finance and knowing people make the rules of this peculiar set where one idle person does not accidentally enter or feel comfortable being in. Reference to temples and palaces is quite accurate. How to learn to speak this language and is it necessary are very relevant questions especially when some of art is meant to be political, game changing, radical and new. How political art is inside a palace which has an entrance fee? Well one can wonder. What can be achieved by isolated snobbish fame hungry scene other than decay and a circle that does not achieve the things it dreams about in the art it likes to present.

Frightening forecasts and events stand an everyday phenomenon, unsurprising in a way but always new, bigger than the last one.

There are monsters like in stories invading spaces of ours which spaces we think are ours and there are real ones just as bad. Monsters in this case today are dictators, illnesses, refugees, terrorists, Muslims, trolls, advertisers, salesmen, politicians and bankers. Some monsters are made to hide issues that do more damage than the visible ill. Disturbing the balance of ours which we like to have and feel safe in, stay undisturbed, spaces which we do not have nor hold forever completely but defend against intrusion ferociously especially politically. Those with means do not have to think about borders when they have no respect for boundaries and crossing them. Something that is ours cannot be taken away but what is? What kind of news value is there other than what this fear of invaders, fear of losing one’s space stands for, fear of becoming of some horrible intolerable change that will alter everything for the worse? Worse than has already happened over and over again escalating. The total crash is coming could be said without much understanding of how things effect on each other, to us and an ultimate crash because there is not much understanding nor will to understand why. Intrusion, invasion, ultimate disturbance, catastrophe, survival, decline, misery. News value brought by common public scare understandably, the value scare brings cannot be underestimated. Fear of losing something valuable is an industry. Life as it is and will never be again, worth while having and owning, easily destroyed. What can be build again and how will it be good again? Emotion of fear and what we should be afraid of is exploited because it is the easiest motivator to act upon, feeling is present, in a way everlasting as it is pleaded for, kept alive and therefore profitable.

Those easily scared may become angry in their fear against those who are threatening something very basic essence and an ingredient of ours. Team up to feel more secure is to protect values, protect the group at hand, guarantee survival and success. It is a very primal reaction to fear, useful as such for living and is on surface of what makes us thinking considering humans solving problems for us not to be afraid again and always of that same monster who is deciding how we should live. How to live with fear and not be afraid? Whether we like to admit it or not irrational faith-based mass movements have never been the best solution into solving threats and ways to live. This is the conclusion I make on what is going on now and on reactions of hate which we have witnessed during recent years. Hateful acts may look like they are of bravery and strength. We tend to be afraid of a lot which most is absurd and out of control without much reasonable base but partly fear is grounding us and keeping us from evolving on. Does fear keep us away from illusions and disinformation which tend to take too much hold?  Female sex is targeted as usual, the vulnerable, seemingly weaker and fragile as are children. Is the best defence to be prepared and learn self-defence, make oneself a frightening opponent? Our constant falling into fearing immensely of threats that are there lurking behind the corner somewhere unnoticed, some hidden forces, strange people like animals guided by irrational urges and beliefs, monsters, dangers, death and sickness all over, darkness and the unknown which can take us over just like that and it will no doubt. Fear itself is dark and can take over completely making vision narrow. We are alone, small, insignificant, easily hurt, killed, tortured, bullied, offended, exploited, abused, bruised, cut into pieces losing our minds, left to rot if we do not defend ourselves, be cautious and be prepared always.  

We are afraid of failure, shame, losing face and name, losing friends, possibilities. Fear of stepping on someone’s toes, authorities can be frightening and they often times know how to use this fear to stay in power and rule. Fear is useful and painful in this regard how we are to stay put, in our places and consider our chances. We can expect and be aware of dangers but how much do we have to be wary and guarded. It is not good for us to shelter ourselves too much for many reasons. This sheltering happens for women and is built-in. Women who defy this timid place face obstacles and are tested more than men. It is tempting to become too comfortable, you never know when your comfort is bad for you, against you. For some the most feared are afterlife experiences purgatory and hell, which for some already exist on Earth, to be prepared for afterlife in that case is ruled by fear, threats in this earthly life are those of religion’s creation. Do we, as it seems, fear outside threats most and not ourselves? We don’t see ourselves as dangerous to ourselves and others as what threat of Hell is telling we should. We can be afraid of losing ourselves, not being interesting enough, not being successful enough or not living at all, not getting work, afraid of rejection and loneliness &c. What happens when we lose all this fear which can be a load, burdening worry that things don’t go as planned, fears of modern man whose interest is self-interest and fears are socially bound? Will we become free when we lose modern anxiety and torment?   Press is loaded with economical and violent threatening things that are overcoming that blow up on our media space everyday. Interesting is how we react to those News and which ones. The ones that come closer and closer, that are so close they connect to our daily lives and begin to bother our spaces especially spaces which are also virtual and closer behind the corner on our faces.

Poetry used as ‘a perfect weapon’ for recruiting violent Jihadis, study finds

We like to predict, tell the future. It is something we do because we must see what is ahead and what is going on inside opponents head. To calculate what might happen when we do something is also wise. Tell research results what can be conducted from them, insights into details and facts, new information, new ideas, what happened and will happen and why is more recommended, to base action and talk on facts. To paint black images, stories and forecasts to make headlines and turmoil has been normal part of making a gap in between us and them, isolating and socially killing people. Tempting ways to make an impact on public opinion is to invent the evidence, invent anything what could be worth telling as a scoop, tell something and leave something else untold, blame the other party heavily and fully, exaggerate, make a scapegoat. National politics that expands from blame, shaming happens us versus them as a rule. It gives ground for phobias to grow, moods to swing up to very hostile and violent as has happened. Fascism which never went away is more visible than in years.

Movements of crowds are fast as are emotional responds, thoughts do not evolve as fast to make progress. Reasoning of how much emotions effect on how we act and what we think about things gets easily ignored. To feel something strongly is considered a right to have and not irrational or harmful when it comes to nations, political and religious interests. Media is a kind of testing site of what will happen when creating mass hysteria, maybe happens other than selling magazines. Interesting question is what media makes, panic, mania and other sudden uncontrollable reactions. Such irresponsible practices that often seem hasty as if we didn’t know what is going to happen in the end. To be manipulated to this extent is therefore very accurate issue to wonder. What is to be expected, why we expect what we do, why we create talk that is hateful without truth in it, predictable or unpredictable anything very much beats me: one way to make harm is to troll, one reason to be a troll is to make harm and mould virtual space and mass opinion. Action which is violent wants to let it explode, shit on the fan. Interesting is how strongly fears we have mould the whole society and to what things we pay attention, our sense of reality, what is true, how we behave now and in the future. Is there learning and what is the essential change happening?One can say fearing is normal elementary part of our emotional bodily map, map of nerves, organs and hormones opening and closing us to others and to ourselves.

We can be scared of ourselves which seems to be the case when oneself is hard to face, one’s self is denied, you are your biggest opposition resisting the effort of learning who you are, a wall to climb. One can be scared to look inside and analyse oneself because it is the case of learning about one’s imperfections, perversions, thoughts and all what is uncomfortable and shameful. To predict what will happen to anyone is partly out of our hands. Tell weighty information on something takes an expert and authority. Who is the biggest authority when it comes to facing oneself trusting the knowledge that we have, that we are psychologically and spiritually complicated incomplete beings and there is a lot to learn for all about this aspect of humans. We may need an expert to tell why we behave and feel the way we do because we can and will get lost, which is also one thing to be off and as odd as it sounds, we do not know what is wrong with us until we hit the wall, not to speak of how to fix our emotional selves.

To whom authority is given in this regard, in which kind of science, people and knowledge we believe in plays a mighty part, by whom this knowledge is used, analysed, how and what kind of characteristics do experts have to have to be trustworthy, reasonable, understanding, weighty and effective in a good way? Do we trust more male or female expert, young or old, black or white, rich or poor, Western or Eastern, Christian or Muslim, which degrees and occupations get most credits? Politics and traditions mould our ways of thinking more than we like to admit. CEOs and economists tend to do well in who is listened to depending on the matter at hand of course. CEOs give political advise very gladly as life advise as well. Who do we count on and trust seems to be somewhat matter of visuals, values, statuses and official credentials in show, a public agreement of an expert and again intellect of a mass. This goes well with who we think is crazy and whose talk counts. Thinking you know who knows the truth is something we should always question. Do we say we don’t know when we really do not know how something is in reality? Knowing who really has valuable information can be matter of instinct and experience. What information given and withheld does then? Who can and could be trusted when politicians act like clowns and making politics seems like a comedy show creating destruction. Who can be questioned and be forced to answer, who is accountable? All these good and nice people. “If I want to go to New Zealand, for example, there is a process. Quite a strict one. And if I turn up in that country without the correct documentation, then I will not be getting in.”

Something in the way

Has quality of critique fallen or is it due to which kind of media one reads what comes up in front of you suddenly, accidentally or maybe never? How could quality have fallen when there are more possibilities to write and publish on your own and be heard out of self-interest, possibility and ability, we are being heard but are we listened to on the internet, we try to be heard as well as we can with the means we have paying attention to what are the things that get attention most.

Is it the perspective we lack because it is not lack of information available, understanding of what is important, important knowledge that does not interest enough the great mass of people, fact checking and dimensions we tend to ignore and be blind to. We get excited and love the surface of things which changes in rapid speed and want to be connected to it. Are there wrong things we pay attention to when critiquing anything and why is receiving criticism nowadays almost too much to take? Not noticing what there really is behind when we evaluate something or someone is a common flaw. Are we in such a rush we do not pay attention, understand because we do not see, too arrogant to go down on somebody else’s level and look behind. We are unable to focus, stay still, afraid of staying put and simply don’t know how.

In a galaxy far far away:
As is the whole of enormous marketing boost single movies can get distracting and annoying, the exposure and narratives offered to us can be dazzling sucking in the awe because of sheer magnitude of the phenomenon of movies, a flow of creating mega success is dazzling and bigger than big. Intensity of size and budget which all media make possible and is harnessed with social media looks like brainwash. Shouting attention in repetitious fashion so that we will not forget what is entertainment, how we want to be entertained, what we should all like and be part of. It is a carnival for surface, celebration of spectacular shell. What is the place for critique in all this seems a bit frivolous and unnecessary but is anything but. This, unbelievably forced drive for huge and massive shuttle-like machinery itself what it can produce and will produce is troubling. All which bring in money, what else, fame and then in contrast the lack of thorough analysis, it is there but it has to be found, or more so lack of need, disinterest as heavy words are too much. Place for critique is strikingly shrinking. Movie industry is as massive as it is penetrating all of contemporary culture, economy and any possible field there is to be exploited and used to sell merchandise. What is the poor quality then I think is that movie the form of art, as it should be, would be seen and treated as such, has shrunk into the grandiose experience must have and into the instant gratification suction which sucks out dimensions, denies and abandons complexity and experimental expression which may be too much to take for the mass of consumers. What this has to do with our everyday lives? I think quite much.

It is not surprising that women have been portrayed stereotypical, conventional in the sense that all they want is heterosexual relationship and a man with things, who can provide for all needs to be fulfilled. We can argue what is good quality, how good quality shows itself and when does it become art that has layers. culture of New Babylon does not result from isolated activities, from exceptional situations, but from the global activity of the whole world population, every human being being engaged in a dynamic relation with his surroundings.”

darling Bud

I know you expect a lot of me and it is clear I do not match those expectations of yours and I don’t know why I should because I expect a lot of myself which is more than what you expect of me because mostly you expect me to fail, meaning to ignore expectations of my own in life and what it could be. Failure is not to try to that is not what I am going to do. It is a common phrase and atmosphere that it is no use trying, you won’t make it anyway. No matter how tiny issue but to go the easiest path is not my thing. I have noticed it is something we are encouraged to do because why do it difficult when you can choose easy. To discourage and give dark prospects is a norm to which I don’t want to get accustomed and refuse to believe in. My expectations for me are to accomplish as much as is possible and more than I even could dare to imagine could be possible for someone from nowhere. So what I expect me to become differs quite a bit from what other people expect because I do a lot of things women don’t normally for some reason do, which I do not understand and for which reason I have felt unfitting oddball. I don’t understand the normal for women and men and why they are so different. People think it is custom and good to expect something, usually bad of someone and we do expect in advance always something to happen but it is unfair to expect me to do things I don’t want to do as it is strange to think you know what I think and want. What I am expected to do and be like has been very strange because I put a high standard for myself which I work to reach. To expect a lot for a woman has meant that she looks and behaves a certain way and if she does not she is no good. Standards placed for women move on a very superficial ground and model for ideal women is made of plastic. Ideal women don’t swear, do dirty work, lift heavy items, fix cars, do technical work which requires machinery etc. Ideal women obviously show how beautiful they are on the outside, how kind and loving inside. So you understand I often struggle with these expectations and it is not only men who expect women to be of certain way. I am not going to be kinder, forgiving, less critical, less vocal about how I see things should be and what kinds of things I see problematic and in need of change. That is how I envision part of a contemporary artist and a feminist going against the stream. Women are expected to be less in every way and I am not going to be. To expect me to be less than I can be is asked quite a lot.