Emilia Ukkonen – Self Portrait (Finland, 2007, 06:15 min)

“The video Self Portrait is a portrayal of expectations and desires. A small-town girl wants to be someone. This semi autobiographical video challenges the motivations of my own actions, too. Why do I do what I do? If I claimed that my art is motivated by higher ideals, and stated that I make art to enrich the world, find truth or solve existential questions, this would be extremely naive or even hypocritical and false. The reasons for making art often include such human traits as vanity, self-aggrandisement and need for recognition. Self Portrait is made to portray the Finnish inborn state making us feel that everything is smarter, better and grander elsewhere. Life is like an endless dress rehearsal and continuous overreaching, without a chance to show our true capacities: why does no one see the genius in me? In the video, life is just plain miserable trudging through gray bleakness. We wait for summer, for holidays, for retirement, or for that big breakthrough exhibition in New York, for the moment when our life truly begins. There must be a place where life is worth living, where happiness awaits us. Life is elsewhere, but where? A person moves from place to place, but life is always somewhere else.” (Emilia Ukkonen)

BIO: Emilia Ukkonen belongs to that category of artists for whom art and life are 1 and the same.  Only which came 1st, Emilia Ukkonen or her art?  Unless they each did, same time, both at once. Because Emilia Ukkonen’s work and life are a single-handed and tireless campaign, mission, crusade and higher purpose, or at least an exploratory critique and critical exploration against notions of supposed greatness, especially self-importance, egocentricity, delusions of grandeur and much worse, megalomania. Emilia Ukkonen’s practice, output and then the shared experience all join forces together, exorcising such faults and wrongfulness.