Flowerhat Phenomenology 2013

Flowerhat phenomenology was an exhibition in the Turku gallery Titanik, 31.1-24.2 2013. The exhibition dealt with questions of otherness and sameness, within the context of Finland where lately, xenophobic ideas and concepts have gained increasing political ground and media visibility. The exhibition consisted of three works, the video installation Thin Membrane, the video "Settler" and a five audio-painting series titled "Flowerhat Phenomenology".


Flowerhat Phenomenology, part of the Titanik exhibition, deals with the experience of travel, memories of places and the attachment to elements of the landscapes and social scenes in various places. The paintings are talking portraits, and each painting is equipped with a loudspeaker, built into the canvas frame. The portraits are painted based on interviews with the people depicted, meaning to show what prejudice makes people blind to. Painted on the canvases are dark silhouettes, but on their heads sit huge, lush and colorful flower hats catching a ray of light. The flowers, fruits, trees and plants are all mentioned in the interviews, as part of the portrayed individuals subjective experiences of places and situations they have encountered.
The five persons interviewed are Greek, Finnish, Iranian and Swiss with family ties in Haiti and the US. All of them have lived abroad at some point in their lives.

The installation turns upside-down the Finnish term "Kukkahattutäti" (literally translated "Flowerhat lady", a Finnish insult mainly used to disparage someone, often a politician or person in any decision making position with an open minded view on immigration). The installation uses the term instead as a metaphor for a rich inner life, and therefore to celebrate and pay interest to the subjectivity of the individuals portrayed. 

The interviews have been edited in a fashion to make it appear as if the paintings are discussing with one another. The discussions revolve around the subjective experiences and memories of different places, and various thoughts around traveling.






Photos of Flowerhat Phenomenology