Johanna Pentikäinen


Exposition: Various Writings: Chapter One (16/05/2017) by Dion Star
Johanna Pentikäinen 28/09/2018 at 10:53

The exposition fits very well to the theme of RUUKKU #8. It explores the nature of writing and thus questions the very essential part of meaning-making processes related to all research and artistic activities.


For me, the most fascinating part is how the exposition questions the ”natural” essence of writing and challenges the viewer to look the theme from different perspectives. For me, the exposition seems to inquire writing from ”various” perspectives to show that there is no such thing as a writing that is some kind of general human-controlled meaning-making process. Instead, there are various context-related ritual-like activities that we may call ”writing” in hope of finding some evidence to trust our own attempts of somehow trying to make sense of the world and communicate with others.


The artistic practice is in focus of this exposition. It clearly develops and communicates the theme. I personally found this piece really alluring and sophisticated, but at the same time, I feel my own limitations as a reviewer because I do not know the context(s) the researchers are from (and the exposition does not provide the information).


In order to be (more) significant in other disciplines, the exposition would need to communicate its setting, methods, and findings in a more explicit way. The written parts of this piece of research are very compact and dense which is partly purposeful and partly means a risk of confusing the reader.


As part of the artwork the compact texts work well and are part of the linear composition of the artwork. The text can be read in the same time than the videos are being showed, and reading and watching both compliment and beautifully disturb each other. The artwork does not need any longer texts to maintain its communicative aspect and composition.


At the same time, I felt that I am missing some worthy information. Who are the artists, and why they work within this theme? What is their background and how they developed their research questions? What are their presuppositions and argument(s)? How they or their artwork communicates with other artworks, theories? How do they justify their epistemology and methodology? In other words, this piece would need to show some awareness of the social aspects of the research conducted in research community, which means being aware of its mode of speech. Not all aspects of these questions are needed in an artwork like this, but at the same time, some mapping would be preferable.


The exposition shows solid understanding of the practices and designs of artistic research, and its overall implementation is noteworthy. However, it needs some improvements in the ways it communicates its research settings and contexts. Hopefully the artists find a way to share the background information with curious readers without violating the current manifestation of their project.