This series began when I was invited to take part in an exhibition displaying lens-based performances from Nordic countries. The exhibition was never realised but the name for the concept, ’Nordic Ego’, had already started to intrigue my mind, so I decided to finalise those ideas and to add to them the questions and issues that had arisen from my research. In the end the series became my solo exhibition in the Finnish Museum of Photography’s Project-gallery (2013).
The basic theme for the project was to explore when a work can be seen as performance art and when it is a work of photography or video art. With this series I suggest that we can refer to a work of art as performance, for example, when the presence of the artist, their body or their experience, is an essential part of the photographic or video piece. All this has been present a long time in my practice, as well as research, in the form of still lifes and stillness. This time I added other values to it. Whilst working on the piece Kiss Me, and going through the writings of Virginia Woolf, I had encountered the issues of shame and guilt she wrote feeling about her body as a child. Woolf even suggests being afraid of her own body. She also writes how some body-related feelings must be instincts and thus are common for all of us. This is something that has justified the use of my own life experiences and my own body in artworks, as I believe the personal becomes common when it is put on display or said out loud.
When using my own body, or making the personal public, the shame always lurks in the background and there is vulnerability between the audience and the performer. There are some similar features between public shaming and performance art, and this connection is where the idea for this piece came from.