Works on Paper, selection
Installation; 2010. Ink and aquarelle on 10 x 15 cm index cards.
In spring 2010 I spent five months in Rome at the Finnish Institute. While curiously exploring historical sites and neighborhoods I happened to find amid rubbish – as an “archeologist of the present” – boxes containig old library index cards. After consulting historians it became evident that the index cards are approximately hundred years old. The cards deal mostly with books on the Italian Risorgimento of the 19th century, an ideological and literary movement to unite a nation which was dominated by several states. Some titles on the index cards refer to medicine and classical literature.
The function of library index cards is to organize information by a set of rules. Out of its context, the postcard-sized (15 x 10 cm) cards, executed in beautiful calligraphy on various kinds of paper, became a starting point for a work which comments the fragmentary, contextualizing and additive nature of history, and, narratives in general. I used ink and water color to make figures on the cards, the end result resembling the arbitrary images of a Rorschach-test in which one can recognize shapes and figures by free association. Although the texts and information on the index cards are important parts of the work, they are not the subject matter of Index. My aim is to utilize the histories in order to illuminate the present – how do we react to historical facts; as a tourist how does one approach historical sites; how are the histories visible in the present moment.
Contemporary academic discourse on visual art images often refers to images as “texts” which are “read”. By adding more layers on the index cards I seek to emphasize the interpretative and imaginative aspect of both visual art and scientific research. Both employ fragments and interpretation of multi-layered information from which a greater picture evolves. The result is often a mosaic-like entity which is subject to re-interpretation due to the shifting focus of interests and discourses.
Archive and Ornament I – V
Ink and Aquarelle on index cards; 2010. Four framed parts, each 83,5 x 104 x 4 cm.
Archive and Ornament is a playful take on interacting with index cards and the information and marks on them.
Series I draw Maps Anew. Ink on maps, 2015
Kaisu Koivisto uses salvaged materials in her works. Their common denominators are history, memory and the ways in which traces and objects from the past are present in the here and now, reminders of changes happening in the world. A suite of drawings on vintage maps form one entity. Maps are charged, political objects. The modest pieces of printed matter bear history.