Handwriting has Died (part 3: Fire: Digital drawings and handwritings)
Fire in the shape of candlelight is the recurring element in the six digital drawings/collages, 41 x 66 cm, Fotosec pigment prints. They are all a part of the Golden Section series. These six works are all inspired by a trip to Armenia, where I photographed monasteries and churches in the countryside. Many of the mythical sites from the Bible have origins in and around Armenia, for example, the mountain Ararat is nearby, on the Turkish side of the border though. In a world which is burning in different ways, also the “old” knowledge system based on reading books, handwriting and ornamentation is disappearing and phantasms of old temples and churches are seen in the works. For two of the works, I went to the manuscript museum Matenadaran in Yerevan and photographed medieval illustrations. I scanned them and used them to construct new temples to honor the old way of drawing and writing. The small candlelight is of course a symbol of hope.
In that way, hope is also to be seen in the series of small handwritten and drawn works, which depict fire. These I would not have been able to make without the new, digitally based, knowledge system. On YouTube, I found videos showing how to do handwriting in several languages. I chose 13 of them which I studied to write the word Fire.
These allude to the handwriting exercises I made in a primary school in the 1960ties, always accompanied by a drawing. I tried to find out if I still was able to do handwriting as precise as when I was a child. I used the same-sized paper and helplines as I used in school.
The languages: Swedish. Armenian. Latin. Chinese. Inuktitut (Inuit). Arabic. Telugu (India). Hebrew. Native American. Hindi. Amharic, Ethiopia. Aztec. Finnish.
This is a documentary video. Parallel with the visual output mainly filmed at the gallery, PhD Marja-Terttu Kvirinta, art historian and critic, discusses the works with me for the audio part. To reach people outside Finland, we decided to make it in English.
The discussion starts with the personal importance of Handwriting as a mental escape place for a stuttering young boy, but also pointing out its connection to experiencing beauty. It ends with the discussion touching on a variety of themes, from modernist design and the nature of the green colour to the fires in the USA and the planning of the new Spruce-house. For Kivirinta a key element in the exhibition folds around the experience of “having the past present, not only today but also tomorrow”. The video is 32 minutes long.
At 12.20 and 17.15 the digital drawings/collages are discussed. At 21.40 we are discussion the Handwriting-series.