SARAH  L  KOLJONEN |home |about |cv |news




  About the 2012-13 period of work:

Qustioning- I am curious about our society’s relationship with uncertainty, contingency and multiplicity. This relationship helps us understand our human tendency to minimize the complexities around us into narrow and selected viewpoints. In trying to pin down one aspect of truth to make sense of our world, we then neglect other aspects of it.

Using available and vernacular media such as stories passed-down, and appropriated audio/visual clips, I attempt to highlight and emphasize, mute and mask my materials, until the work begins to weave through alternative avenues of meaning-making. The result expresses the way I gain insight through the logic of art into the complexities that emerge in daily life. I approach my work through questions that mine into assumptions, methods and logic. They help me frame a structure that does not take its own inquiry for granted, but allows room for feedback and further adaptation into the questions themselves.


  About the 2010-11 period of work:

Questioning- How do we know what we know, and what is it we value in knowledge? How can we be rigorous with our practice and at the same time be generous in our communication?

There were many experiments taken during this time. They all started with stepping out of the studio, where I found myself having to interact with space, place and people at a whole new level. Crowd-sourcing, collaborations, interviews, new forms of engagement, happened.


  About the 2009 period of work:

Questioning- As artists we can mold and bend and glue things together to make a statement about art. The 'know-how' skill acquisition is not so much a question in art education. The rules of art can be educated, but sensibility is not something that can be taught.
Questions that arose for me during this time was triggered by my being a student again, where I noticed the structure and approach of art institutions still seem to perpetuate an industrial-model of art education and practice. This 2009 series in Skillful Practical Coping doesn't address directly- but comes out as my reaction to why this way of working/ thinking is still relevant and practiced, and relevant to whom. Seeing myself as 'entangled' in multiple systems (social, cultural, economical, political, etc.), I find myself in by exploring ideas on unlearning, on disassembling and re-assembling of physical and mental parts, and the model of network(s) as a whole.

Following my investigation on the perception of reality, my work over this period focused on defamiliarization, particularly on the idea of what constitutes “common sense reality”. A compilation of objects, audio clips and text were deliberately setup for conflicts, such as visual ambiguities, logical inconsistencies, sensory disjunctions, and physical restraints. I attempted to formulate a network of relationships using these peices by placing them against each other, so that single meaning (when on their own) can be substituted by multiple meanings, making the work products of decomposition and then reintegration from multiple perspectives.


  About the 2006-2008 period of work:

Questioning- There are many condtions that come together to frame our perception. If what we perceive is only a fraction of the whole, how can we understand the condition that allows this experience in the first place? In another words, how do I get to know what I am looking at, not by judging its appearance, but by understanding the context that allows its appearance?

This was a period of charting the interplay between the perceptible developments of forms through dialogues with chance. My process followed simple rules I devised so as to systematically attune my awareness to nature’s rhythm and chaos. These rules determined which instruments were needed to allow eye or ear to perceive the dialogue; they set the tempo of the piece; and they determined its complexity. Because these rules/ principles can be applied broadly regardless of material and location, a variety of media and processes were used. While constantly integrating and synthesizing seemingly disparate entities, I saw the process, systems and schematics that underlie these works as the unfolding of reality of respective forms.


  About the 2002-2006 period of work:

Questioning- Where are things from, where do they go, and where do I stand in between?

My early work in art addressed change and relationships by questioning the origins of various phenomenon, and offered projections to their future outcomes. As I took interest in the transformative potential of everyday things, I began to experiment with the expressive potential of my materials— stretching them metaphorically, or physically until they warped, melted, and fell apart. The transformation as a recorded interval or void, became the art object as well as my introspection into human perception and experience. I saw my work then as an ongoing quest, a constant search into the history and life of beings, moments, and places. In this body of work, I documented, represented, and recreated happenings while questioning the uncertainty of the future.