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Three Variations of an Image · 2015

installation in three parts:

1. What We See We Remember I
daguerrotype from late 1800's, united states
9,7 x 8 cm

2. What We See We Remember II
mirror
33 x 27 cm

3. Sentiment
sculpture, wood
135 x 105 x 20 cm

The focus of Tanja Koljonen’s site-specific installation Three Variations of An Image is the correlation between three objects: an American daguerreotype from the 1800’s, a wooden sculpture and an old mirror. Koljonen places the accent on daguerreotype’s inherent tension between the past and preset and how a two hundred year old portrait becomes a culturally specific memory unfolding its own narrative and thus history.

Daguerreotypes are unique objects made on polished silvered copper plates and mounted in decorative wooden housing where the remembrance of human flesh is encapsulated and preserved. The appearance and proportion of Koljonen’s large scale wooden sculpture is reminiscent of memorials, often abstract in form, yet always carrying a specific message. As such they are considered to be an expression of mankind, commemorating principles that humans wish to honor and preserve for posterity.

The daguerreotype image consists of silver and mercury particles that can be viewed both as negative and positive pushing the limits of visibility and invisibility. It is the elimination of the image altogether that concerns the artist and its slow erasure over time both in memories and reality. At the dawn of the 21st century we are constantly submerged with pictures and the oversaturation makes them easily eradicated from our consciousness. Koljonen use of the mirror within this constellation can be interpreted as an investigation of metaphors and symbolism concerning self-reflection. While looking at one’s one figure there is always a conflict between the autonomous perception of the self and how the rest of the world defines our being.

Text by curator Boshko Boshkovic / New York

 
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What We See We Remember I

daguerrotype from late 1800's, united states
9,7 x 8 cm

 
http://tanjakoljonen.com/files/gimgs/th-58_IMG_1180.jpg
On the right: What We See We Remember II

mirror
33 x 27 cm

 
http://tanjakoljonen.com/files/gimgs/th-58_sentiment_IMG_1152.jpg
Sentiment

sculpture, wood
135 x 105 x 20 cm

 
http://tanjakoljonen.com/files/gimgs/th-58_ihminen_IMG_1155.jpg
exhibition view: interpreting the frame, gallery augusta, helsinki, finland.