MEMORIES OF THE UNKNOWN (2017)
The artist’s mysterious experience baffles exhibition visitors
“Who’s holding your eyes?” “What’s behind the tree?” “Breathe in peace.” The steady soothing voice of the hypnotist asks questions on the video screen in the middle of the showroom. The picture shows only the eyes of a man in hypnosis. Their movements is the only thing the viewer can use to deduce his feelings – the spoken replies to the hypnosist have been removed. In the hypnosis is exhibition artist Tero Puha. The purpose is to return to him, through hypnosis, memories of the night of September 11 and 12 in Novosibirsk, where he had been on an exhibition trip. Puha had gone to bed in his hotel room in the evening and woke up in the morning with strange marks on his left arm without remembering anything of the night. He had not used alcohol or other drugs except for normal opening drinks.
The MUU ry gallery’s exhibition, Memories of the Unknown, is based on how Puha has subsequently explored and dealt with that experience – especially through hypnosis. On one wall there are works based on pictures drawn by Puha during hypnosis. They feature very imaginative characters that evoke aliens, psychedelia of the human mind, horror films, or sci-fi art. One object has many legs and head and nothing else, one has a hand leaving the eye. There are plenty of ribs and tentacles. On the other hand, there are also forests and other real places along the way. Puha has constructed the color scheme of the images in normal condition after hypnosis. On the other wall is a collection of photographic works taken with the help of Brain Memory Scanner, a device designed to photograph memories. In the background is the pioneering method of British brain researcher Barbara Wong, whose technology Puha has used to produce photographs. In the pictures you can see the connections with the drawings made in hypnosis. “When you are an artist, you want to bring experiences to the public. I was wondering how to bring such an experience into an art context in a way that would appeal to people. It has got this shape now, ” Puha declares at Cable Factory.
People stunned at the opening
Puha intentionally leaves many things open in the exhibition. “I want to keep a certain mystique here. I give the audience the keys to unraveling the experience, and the viewer can interpret it from the perspective they want. My works often move between the boundaries of fact and fiction. It is interesting to raise thoughts and questions. The viewer receives the work entirely through his or her own experience, ”Puha explains.
In the exhibition announcement, the UFOs had a mind-boggling question: Was something unusual in the Russian territory or airspace registered at the same time? “I decided to leave that material out of the show because I don’t want to steer the viewer too far into any particular end result. If the viewer is interested in this, he or she has every opportunity to look into the information I have given and find out for myself. After all, there is tremendous amount of information on the Internet. ” “This could have been done even though the documentary film, but when I’m an artist, I wanted to make this a simple, functioning through the image of the exhibition.”At the opening of the exhibition, the reactions to the experience represented by the works were diverse. There was quite a bit of shock and surprise. People were stunned, even though my earlier works had both fact and fiction. Yes, I have myself taken aback.” Elias Krohn / Kulttuurivihkot / 22.August 2017