Jaana Erkkila


Exposition: Osallisuus ja Poliittiset Eleet (05/04/2016) by Susanna Helke
Jaana Erkkila 20/09/2016 at 13:39

Ekspositiossa on mielenkiintoista pohdintaa yhteiskunnallisen, poliittisen ja toisaalta yksityisen suhteesta taiteen ilmaisukieleen yleisesti ja dokumentaarielokuvaan erityisesti. Kirjoittaja liittää tekstinsä useisiin kentällä käytäviin/käytyihin keskusteluihin ja tuo esille yhteyksiä sekä menneestä että nykyhetkestä.


Kirjoittaja pohtii mielenkiintoisesti kysymystä, mikä on yhteiskunnallista taidetta, mitkä ovat taiteen keinot ottaa kantaa ja milloin taiteen katsotaan olevan poliittista. Erityisen kiinnostavaa on pohdinta fiktion merkityksestä todellisuuden esille saattamisessa. 

Exposition: Art and Research Colliding (01/01/2014) by Mäki Teemu
Jaana Erkkila 26/05/2014 at 14:32

Teemu Mäki embraces a wide variety of essential questions about the challenges that an artist has to deal with when entering the field of academic research. Mäki claims that there is a gap between an artistic experience and a verbalized theory and although it sometimes can be temporarily overcome there always remains an area that words cannot reach. He writes from his position as an artist and raises several important considerations in the fairly new academic area of artistic or arts-based research.

Our ways of communication and the language we use either builds understanding and open new ways of seeing the world or they create obstacles which hinder wider collaboration. Mäki claims to use a language that he calls “plainspeak” and he believes that by using a language which an “opponent” understands it is possible to change the world. I do agree with Mäki about the need to find a common ground in language in order to communicate, but I am not quite clear with whom he wishes to speak, whom he defines as his “opponent”.  In part of the text the academic world is clearly identified as an “opponent”, but it might be also the art world and those colleagues who see research as a useless activity for an artist, or who, according to Mäki, have questionable motivations for their research.

 You can hear through the article a clear criticism towards colleagues who according to Mäki have more or less undesirable reasons to conduct artistic research. He gives five reasons why some artists are trying to combine art and research and, although he gives an impression that his arguments are based on reasons given by other artists, there is no clear reference to interviews or where and how the data has been collected. Here we come to the question of “language”. If we as researching artists want to communicate with researchers from other academic disciplines we have to use a common language whether we like it or not. Does “plainspeak” mean basing arguments more on feelings or general beliefs than on information that can be traced and verified through simple research methods. I do appreciate the straight forward style that Mäki uses through his article, but its value is diminished by his excluding the usual methods of verifying knowledge. Although Mäki’s weakness is in generalising about artistic research even so his description of his own artistic work and anchoring it in the article is a useful contribution.

The most interesting part of Mäki’s article is represented in his ideas about artistic knowledge and art as a philosophical-political practice. Mäki writes about art as a subject: “art uses, art makes observations, art is constantly interfering and overlapping with contributing to non-artistic knowledge”.  Here speaks clearly an artist and gives arguments that are based on experiential knowledge. The flow of thoughts is bright and clear. The author clearly knows what he is writing about. Perhaps this illustrates well why artists should research. We do have a depth of knowledge which comes from experience, a knowledge which researchers from other disciplines do not have. The field of artistic knowledge is still a large and unknown territory and there is much to explore and to apply in disciplines outside the art world. Mäki writes that art does not have to be content with asking good questions – it can also try to answer them. And the answers can best be found by practicing artists.

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