Gobi 2007To See One’s Own Face and Ambiguity
To See One’s Own Face, 2007
The two video works are about identity, its origin and memory, formed and deformed, and the human condition, which has vanished in this in-between geography.
In the videos, two figures are to be seen: one ’anonymous portrait’, and one symbolic figure, a swastika being drawn/carved on the sand with a barber’s razor. The first refers to origin and identity. The second refers to ancient symbolism and its ambiguity, the Swastika as a semiological paradox after the use of it by the Nazi Party as a symbol of the Arians, through which it became a semiotic pariah.
In the videos, the razor blade cuts continuously into the figures, deforming and mutilating. The sound of the carving is dry and cracking, and in the background one hears the wind and the loneliness of the huge desert. The figures will slowly disappear with the wind.
The Finnish people originate from central and northern Asia and migrated along the Volga to Europe. Their language belongs to an old Uralic lingual family. Finnish is one of the purest of the still-existing Finno-Ugric languages, and is rooted in northern Asia, where small tribes still speak these kinds of languages. The Finnish do not use masculine or feminine genders in their language.
The swastika is part of the national heraldry and also traditional ornament as well as a sign and symbol from the shamanistic past and witchcraft. Because of this the use of the swastika, it is not forbidden in Finland, unlike in many countries: even some Native American tribes have stopped using it officially.
Orog Nuur documentation