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004 Ville Laurinkoski - A-Z

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Junior mattress, liquor bottles, loudspeakers, MP3 player. Sound track. Voice: Ville Laurinkoski. Sources: Co-ire by Guy Hocquenghem and René Schérer (1977). Clair de lune by Claude Debussy interpreted by Rudolf Firkušný. Duration 2:30 minutes, played every 10 minutes.

The work was exhibited as part of one century abc in Titanik, Turku, Finland in 2023.




While early Conceptual Art was interested in the document, documentation, and instruction (the instructional as a virtual, a program, cerebral) its second generation is a bit more lossy, interested in the fossil, more precisely the fossilization, that slow decomposition into eternality, history. Recoups its own acidification, hazing, foxing, all the condition reports it will accumulate. This "second generation" invests in the degradation of generations of bootleg tape. Fossils existing as strange evidence of a world. a pathos in the materials we find to mediate our touch to the world. Objects designed for ourselves infer something about the bodies which they govern.
     It would not take a Freudian to posit why particularly women appear to be more sensitive to material conditions of the world. Like, while Kosuth was concerned for all the mysteries of "Chair," Marianne Wex and Mary Kelly were like yes, but we also get pregnant. The "cerebral" of men's white concerns was treated as the higher plane. Which for all its agnostic posturing, the "conceptual" allied itself with a reverence akin the religious divinity it ostensibly exiled. Men, oblivious to their own bodies that had never been in question by culture, had the privilege to etherealize themselves above everyone's heads to some assumed universal while women's were increasingly entrenched in political ground war.
    The infatuation for the industrial process, of say Judd et al, was, in part, premised on the technologic processes' deletion of the body and the body's "expression" (if not a promise of subjectivity lifted entirely) Looking "pure," looking like objectivity, by erasing the human. Of course this was the lie of any commodity: that the clean aluminum sheets comprising boxes or laptops weren't simply wiped of their indentured sweat. Minimalism and technology hid the body in the closet. Melvin Edwards's balls coagulated these castoff bodies minimalism so desperately wanted to forget.
     Like, Acconci making a grotesque of conceptual Art's fetish for rules as a nightmarish pedagogical authority, twisting conceptual art's fascination with linguistic bureaucratics, to assert his body frighteningly close. No excuse unturned for Acconci to get close and expose his body, voice or marmot-like nutsack. And his use of conceptual authority to instruct bodies in some way exposed conceptual art's ability to appear neutral despite its more abusive authoritarian aspects. Conceptual art's denial of pleasure - subsumed into its authority and "instructions" - was itself a fetish.
     But a body can be expressed not through "figuration" but its intermediary. Think of Cady Noland's institutional objects as evidence, learning something about the specifics of flesh under society. Of elder's walkers and handcuffs. We make objects for ourselves and so of course they express us.
     And eventually they exist for so long beside us, silently shape alongside us, that they begin to take on facets and express things that were latent, learning by proxy.
     And today we are so acclimated to objects and commodities adapted to us that any object blurrying suggestion for the function they provide (to us) produces an uncanny effect. We say they look otherworldly, alien, simply because we don't know what good they are to us.
     Objects without a owner, like an island of mistfit toys, castoffs.”

—Contemporary Art Writing Daily, Anti-Ligature Rooms, Plea Copenhagen | Cabinet London, 2020, pp. 57–58.

“What do you do when a full-length translated manuscript is left on your doorstep, of Guy Hocquenghem and René Schérer’s 1977 book Co-ire?”

—Editor’s Note for “Coming and Going Together: A Systematic Childhood Album”, the English translation of Guy Hocquenghem and René Schérer’s Coire : Album systématique de l’enfance, Recherches n° 22, Paris, 1977

Instead of the erstwhile Ouija board, nowadays it is railway station concourses and smartphones, ticket vending machines and service system display panels that talk to us. […] They [the characters] often give the impression that some hand-puppet player is entering them and playing strange games with them: their bodies are maltreated and disintegrate into their separate parts – which nevertheless go on singing, and yet feel no pain when, as with a mechanical creature, individual functions fail. 
     The antique spirit board shows that language manifests itself beyond the control of our minds, moving through our bodies like breath. Language is the ether of the intellect: no-one can possess it. Kaspar Hauser could not develop it out of his own self, nor keep it for himself – it speaks in the mind like an autonomous, dynamic regime. Once we have become literate, having learnt the letters of the alphabet, we can no longer not read whenever we see them. As the early studies of Jack Goody and Eric A. Havelock on the difference between orality and literacy have shown, literacy is a cultural technology that domesticates and completely re-formats our way of thinking. Today, the question is what radical, pervasive influence digital technology and the power of its images and feedback-based situations are exerting on our ways of thinking and our manner of ordering the world.
     While traditional literature translates "the real world" into writing, we are increasingly living in a scripted reality whose protocol takes effect covertly and unremarked. [Like] Atkins[,] [Laurinkoski] investigates this realityformatting character of language in the overall area between writing (text) and script (protocol). […] [They] find[…] a language for the melancholy of an experience of the world into which we can no longer intervene but which, for its part, is forever taking effect on us. […] [Their] interest evidently lies in the rituals of everyday life, the formal patterns of language itself, but also in the mental and social effects of digital culture which we undergo as users of the internet, […] and as people who move in environments shaped by Al and virtual reality.
     As […] author[s] of the digital age, Atkins [and Laurinkoski] use[…] and problematizes writing in a broad sense, in order to present bodies and spaces that form systems, seem crazed and create staged transitions – between literary text and scripted figure, surface and space, work and beholder. In the cosmos of […] [their] oeuvre, immersion is never a pleasurable plunge but the invasion of a language that gets imperceptibly under the skin, devoid of any plot, as the experience of the great script that lives our lives.

—Thomas Oberender, ‘“Immersion is not a warm bath”. The regime of Writing’, in Ed Atkins, KUB, Kunsthaus Bregetz, König Presse, 2019, pp. 420, 421–422, 434.

“An entire minor mythology would have us believe that pleasure […] is a rightist notion. On the right, with the same movement, everything abstract, boring, political, is shoved over to the left and pleasure is kept for oneself: welcome to our side, you who are finally coming to the pleasure of literature! And on the left, because of morality (forgetting Marx's and Brecht's cigars), one suspects and disdains any "residue of hedonism." On the right, pleasure is championed against intellectuality, the clerisy: the old reactionary myth of heart against head, sensation against reasoning, (warm) "life" against (cold) "abstraction": must not the artist, according to Debussy's sinister precept, "humbly seek to give pleasure? On the left, knowledge, method, commitment, combat, are drawn up against "mere delectation" (and yet: what if knowledge itself were delicious?). On both sides, this peculiar idea that pleasure is simple which is why it is championed or disdained. Pleasure, however, is not an element of the text, it is not a naive residue; it does not depend on a logic of understanding and on sensation; it is a drift, something both revolutionary and asocial, and it cannot be taken over by any collectivity, any mentality, any ideolect. 

—Roland Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text, trans. Richard Miller, Hill and Wang, New York, 1975, pp. 22–23.



Ville Laurinkoski (b. 1996)

Alongside studying at Ed Atkins’ class at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Visual Arts, Ville Laurinkoski has completed Maumaus Independent Study Programme in 2021. Working with both literature and voice, objects and space, with and through exaggerated speech, screaming and singing, Laurinkoski denounces the given order and enchants the negative and oblique. Laurinkoski’s artistic practice is a form of critique that produces an aesthetics that exposes and subverts social and economic systems, revealing the broken and unwanted side of the contemporary. Like A-Z, these unconsumable objects and interiors carry traces of the divisions that constituted them, while simultaneously being reminiscent of consolation and bliss.