Jounis Kujansuu: Round the corner
17.9. - 9.1.2005






Round the Corner

Jouni Kujansuu deals with… No. Jouni Kujansuu’s art is about… Nyet. In his works, Jouni Kujansuu touches upon… Nah….

Contemporary Art resists any nutshells. At least in Kujansuu´s case, it subverts meaning rather than offers any. So what is one supposed to do when the press – that is, the public – needs something easily digestible?

Perhaps one might nonetheless start with touching upon, feeling for something. By making ‘images’ – creating different kinds of presentations and visual analogies – Jouni Kujansuu gropes for meaning, touches upon content. The object of this groping is often the uncanny, the unspoken, that which dare not speak its name.

In Finnish we talk about dressing into words, that is, putting something into words. But do we then undress things when we visualise them in the form of images? Perhaps so. One thing must be made clear, however: Kujansuu’s art has no use for a mysticism of the ´supra-linguistic´. His works may avoid blunt interpretation, but there is always something about them that every viewer can personally relate to. That something often takes the form of a discord; a notion of ‘impropriety’, of a dissonant body which seeks its place in a world structured by rigid gender ideals and e(s)th(et)ical norms.

Alas, ‘interpretation’ is not perhaps the most pertinent strategy in the case of Kujansuu. Interpretation turns art into a neat package, house-broken and well-behaved. In contrast, a reading of his works entails, opening them up – by dressing into words through reading, one undresses them layer by layer, slowly, teasing out associations without forcing the work to ‘make sense’. Reading is by nature subjective, it requires placing yourself at the mercy of the work.

Harri Kalha

Jouni Kujansuu’s (1962) retrospective exhibition comprises some 30 works from 1990 onward. It includes videos, photographs, drawings, sculpture and installations. In conjunction with the exhibition, the Helsinki City Art Museum will publish the book Nurkan takana [Round the Corner] which includes an essay by Dr Harri Kalha.

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