NAVIGATION MEDIUMS
[use with caution]
emerge and let go

Xenia O. Keskikangas Klein

With Writing We:

Failing Failures 2021

Season Cycles 2021

 

On Guestfriendlyness:

Waves from the Great Hammer 2020

Artist in Retreat 2019

The Neo-Pussy Lectures 2016

The Bi-Polar Bear 2015

 

AAAH! [Approaching Aspects of Abandoned Houses]:

Gather forgotten breaths 2018

A-Politics 2017

Nothing 2017

 

EEIB-MIP [Early Experiments on the Intersection Between Moving Images and Poetry]:

Vale of Tears 2016

Movements 2017

Psh-ychology 2016

* since we can't decide.. we're re-chaptering, re-conceptualizing all the time.
That's part of the freedom, that's part of the negotiation. That is re-negotiation.

Archives:

Archive of Estrogen Aluminium 8 years+ since 2012

Archive of written post-its, 13 years+  since 2014

Collection of Estrogen skies since 2017

Working with / Upcoming:

Artist books / prints:

Artist books of failures #1–8 est.2021

Season Cycle 2 #11–20 est.2021

Three singing leaves / Blue print book est.2021

The Purple book of the amount of Dead est.2022

Artist Novels:

Mercurious Shadow est.2021

Barbelo est.2022

Translation and Elaboration of Prince Hat under the Ground (Swedish to English) est.2021

Moving Images:

Walk the night est.2021

Flower Work Simone Weil ft. Xenia Klein est.2022

Curating / Conversations:

Artist in Retreat 2 – International est.2021

Performances / Installations

The east – Victor Segalen ft. Xenia Klein est.2021

 

Research:

DMZ work Golan est.2022-2023

Potpurri or the Compliments of Writing est.2022

Collaborations:

Lyrics for Johan Stohne est.2021

Exhibition project collaboration with Pauline Fransson est.2022

Cash is Queen (theater) est.2021

Antology about Vaginas est.2021

The writing exist publications est.2021

Podcast:

Podcast: Marinen est.2021

Podcast: Artist Novels est.2021

Podcast: Variete and Drag est.2021

Podcast: Gender and museums est.2021

Articles:

Arabic Poerty est.2021-2022

Hate Poets and artists est.2021

The value of absence est.2021

 

Photography:

* We mainly work with analogue photography in large and medium formats.
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photography 2017–2020.
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* We use both colors and black and white, but colors are tempting, mesmerizing... we do love them. (We never shoot people, maybe we've read Susan Sontag and got affected... maybe we're not interested in other people, or maybe we're too interested in other people and thus aren't so ignorant that we think a human or anything alive can be concealed in a photograph).
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avocado birds 2018.
* What still fascinates us is that photography is reality (Sontag again). We look at the images and can't really grasp what we see, what they say has existed. The photographic process is an uncovering of the unknown, not as in pointing or proving it, not undressing it, but the photographic process we feel is a witness. And the developing act, an act you do with your body in the dark, we're noone sees (truly no one not even your own self) is an unraveling act. That is mysticism.
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my grandfather's dog Finger 2017.
* Photography has a materiality, just as light has mass (resist an Einstein quote here). Photographer tend to, in our opinion forget the materiality... we do that as well.
* For a long time we only printed photography on silk, we used habutai, we used charmeuse, (expensive stuff). We saw how the colors we're highlighted by the shimmering qualities of silk. We thought about silk worms, build to death in their cocoons... for what? for luxury (this can be related to Batailles economy of Luxury)? for art? The relation between photography and death became clear when it became real.         
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* Photography and writing is something we can't forget to discuss. (we fail in articulating, we suck). We could say something banal or something aphoristic,such as – photography is writing, writing with light. (but we won't because it's not true). The relationship is much more elusive... everything is always always much more elusive. That is because difference is existence, that is because singularity presupposes alterity (think about Levinas' Totality and Infinity). 
* In 2018 we exhibited twice at Center for Photography in Stockholm. Both time we were asked to talk about our works, both times we read a text about something else. The first time about Writing and Linguistics (I will try to find this and share it here <---) the second time, for a much bigger audience, we talk about responsibility. we remembered people asking irritated – and do you think all of that is said by these pictures?! – we answered – not a single bit, the art doesn't say or do anything. Someone else in the audience (we believe she was a potential gallerist... we burned some bridges that evening) said so why don't you talk about the photography. "We can talk about the process, we can try to interpret the pictures, but we can't tell what it is because we don't know... We know that we sound like some kind of Edward Hopper now saying "if we could say what the art works says we wouldn't do the art". That's not it; but when we prepared for this talk, we thought we would talk about what we wanted to talk about, we thought now we have an amount of people listening to us... maybe we can just talk about something else (something more important). And see what happens with the perception of the art work then. A sort of via negativa – we can point towards what the art work is by talking (in relation to it) about what it is not. We truly believe that this contrast is meaningful."
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Print making:

 
* photography is print making, photography is craft. 
season cycle #1–10. 2021.
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* we drown diving in to photographic print making or "alternative photography" but there aren't not alternatives to the alternative... either the screen translates the pictures (as here on my website) (which is a sort of printing... it has visuality, it has materiality, it has technology).
*Here we can not stop thinking or referring to writing – we think about Plato's sphere of ideas – or Saussures' Signified – that is the actual photograph, the actual photograph which is a memory of something seen/unseen is unseeable, it is elusive. It's always translated and conveyed in order to be seen, to be grasped – the printing creates the Signifier or the worldly idea referring to the heavenly idea.
*(Here I really need to read Barthes... he thought about photography so well)
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season cycle #1–10. 2021.
 
* as artists and photographers, we have to acknowledge that inkjet exist, that laser and blueprints exist, that etching and photopolymer exist, as well as silkscreens, risographs and dark rooms exist
* (and the writing – the writing exists, that the poems of Inger Christensen makes everything exist)

Artist Books:

 
* each o in the word book, is an eye...
* the book is a place, a home and a room (resist quoting Woolf here... the room of ones own).
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the book of the goat of joy. 2018.
* The book is not only a holder of content, it generates, it is an actor, an agent. The book says hello hey, and we smell it's pages if it's old enough to have the peculiar smell that old pages have, we touch it gentle by the back, we hold it's frames and it lets us gaze into its innermost secrets... the book forces us into the reciprocal (it tricks us) (late we have to tie this to that literary discussion about resistance and the Trojan horse). When we gaze in to the innermost parts of a book, we also open a channel, if so, if tho, only very thin and small to the innermost secrets of our self. 
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the book of the goat of joy. 2018.
* we're not saying that we become "better" humans by reading per se, but we're saying that we can – and how powerful isn't that – that the book, that writing, gives us that opportunity to enter into the presence of something other (alterity again).The responsibility for us, which is we the reader, is to resist the desire to reinforce, to conquer, to sort of stay with the trouble (as Harraway might say), to resist the desire to take possession over (as Hjorth said).
* Understanding is not always the sought after in terms of ethics, as much as understanding presupposes unity (or the becoming same) which is the elimination of difference, of the alterity
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dandelions of empathy. 2017.
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* note of reflection – from book maker to book maker – if the writing is a prism (with this I mean having the ability of creating rainbows from whiteness... rising rationality with capital R apart isn't the book then a sort of anti-prism?
--->   The book as medium or body for expression gives a unique opportunity to combine different mediums (that is plurality) into not the oppression of unity, but maybe an identity of oneness... that is giving a collective sensuality
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my grandfather's dog finger. 2017.
* (is this a metaphor for something that is morally good? is book binding an analogy to ethical process and way of being together or existing with difference.... or is the book it self an oppression, is the glue, the frames and the threads of the book just force... forcing understanding to arise?   On this I have to further my thinking)
 

Writing:

* we will not quote the first paragraph from the Gospel of John – in the beginning the word was – the word was god. The first chapter of the Gospel of John is lovely, but it's just the first chapter... we think that the Gospel of John is the least Marxist of the Gospels, we prefer Matthew or Mark – read them and unrich yourselves
 
tea tiger 3. 2017.
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* most days, on good days (which is not all days) we write between 09 and 12. We feel hided away, and we write, and then we read, re-read and re-write. It's our secret title table, our secret little space-time... think about Susan Bröger and Margueritte Duras (we're not comparing ourselves to them... because they're are writers, we just write).
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my grandfather's dog Finger. 2017.
* Sometimes we feel like that Flaubert anecdote... that he in the beginning of his working day could put a comma in a sentence and in the end of a working day remove that same comma. (drowned by perfectionism? or as Unica Zürn says lost in details.... we can't loose ourselves in those details).
* we have noticed many times that humans, that is people, tend to give a special attention towards the written. If we think about the text as a picture, we're astonished by how closely the examine every corner, every shift, every turn and nuance. We say, to each other we say; that is beauty, the gift of attentively seeing (that is reading) is the beutifacting act.
avocado birds. 2018.
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* we would like to ask: what writing is.
(a what and an is – in a metaphysical sense)
* The simplicity of the question resonated with the possibility of truth. 
* In 2021 we started to research this more in depth; we called the project 'Portpurri or the complements of writing'. In this research project, which aims for the form of a thesis, we argue that writing precedes thinking (not the other way around) – we make the argument through drawing parallels to Levinas' ethics precedes philosophy, the other precedes the I and to Christian-Gnostic-Egyptic theology and mythology were the word precedes creation.
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avocado birds. 2018.
* once we lived in Palestine, and we wrote letters, we could not do art anymore we thought, what art can be true in all this, what can we say in all this, can we bear witness, how can we bear, we said. 
* we wrote the letters to family members, friends, acquaintances and some people we did not knew very well. we wanted to do something with the outmost effort, we tooked it to crazy and reckless aspects (we wanted people to think, overwhelmed by the effort, she really is a crazy people). 
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DMZ postal-service. 2019.
* wwrote long letters, we wrote it beautifully (a sort of contemporary calligraphy), we where honest and outspoken, we wrote sometimes that we loved them more than we actually did, we made the letters nice and we posted them from the most difficult places we could imagine – the de-militarized zones around Israel, we posted letters from Syria midst the civil war, we smuggled letters into the Gaza strip. Yes, in one way we did it because we are crazy. But we did it because it could be done, we felt (in one way in a spiritual sense) that the possibility had to be acted upon. That this little gift, a single little letter, could have etichal impact, could be meaningful, was meaningful.
* this should be understood in relation to Deleuze (and also Bataille in a way) – that something becomes because it can become – potentiality
 
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DMZ postal-service. 2019.
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* an other time we wrote poems, or just phrases we wanted to say and phrases we had heard (that is phrased that had been wanted to be said), we wrote them on cigarette role-paper and handed out free tobacco. We wanted to materialize, to realize the parallel between reading and eating. Between logos and pneuma. 
* the reader touches the poem gently with their fingers, they role it. They hold the poem between their fingers, the light it and they put it towards their mouth, they inhale it. (Between their lips they inhale it). They in hale the letter, the word, the poem. They breath it, the become it, they are it.
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ephemeral sentences. 2020.
 

Conversations:

* conversations as art, conversations as writing. 
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a-politics. 2017.
* we love our own company (sometimes to much... there has been times when we have been thinking, at least some of us, that we don't need other people – as long as we have books (and there are endless of them) and a few Bergman movies we're more than fine)
* but we have experienced that unique thing that only can happen in the meeting of an other subject, in a talk, in a conversation – when the brain and the body extends – when the thinking is perforated at first and then founds it's way through, around and beyond.
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a-politics. 2017.
* the conversation is a being in itself, she needs care, she needs nutrition (moist and carbon... a smoothie and a buttery toast), she needs activity, she needs movements – she smiles upon us when we do things together, when we experience, experiment, when we go on a little adventure. Our talks and discussions is filled with poetic riddles as well as clear sentences – that which was unreachable for us as selves – candle lights in our memories – lessons for our abilities and strategies for co-existens. She is the togetherness personified and she exist, she exist.
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nothing. 2017.
* even more than performances, we think conversation based art is impossible to document. It's a dubious thing, the documentation, especially if it entails the presence of a camera tend to have a destructive impact on the conversation. That is destroying the art work. The being together brakes a little bit. So the practice of documenting conversations is a collectors task; we collect the remnants, the left-overs, we do sometimes get pictures from visitors (visitors braking the rules – <3 on you – there's a special sphere in the heaven for visitors braking the rules).
artist in retreat. 2019.
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* in 2019 we organized and artist in residency called Artist in Retreat. It was a micro-artist in residence in the southeastern archipelago of Sweden – we invited artists to come and visit us and live with us (for how long or short they wanted) – we would pay their tickets, we would pay for all of the food, we would pay them a little salary – what we could do was talking, walking, and thinking together, we would look at their artistic practice, we would talk about their references, we would write them letters and thorough feedback. We would end the residency with a public talk, lecture, performance or exhibition. We wold with he help of profesional archeologist pick an object form the regional historic museum, a some what forgotten and never exhibited object – and we would throughout the whole residency talk about this objects, it's history and how this object could relate and inform the practice of the guesting artists' practice and being.
* in a way what we coin as 'conversation art' by others would be called curating artists or artist in the curating role. We hate curators, we don't even want to touch that word... curators are just rubbing all the founds that could go to artist and art. We have never experienced an curator, whom enrich the conversation and artistic moment (the singularity of the creativity) in any meaningful way. And here it's important to acknowledge that most artist loves to call them artist, or curators with an artistic background (that doesn't matter, they are often the worst). As big difference there is between artist run residences and other kinds of residences is the differences between conversation art (when artist make what the neoliberal society calls curating) and curating.
artist radio. artist sound.  
2020–2021.

PODCASTS

and RADIO

tune in    tune in

* Magnus Bärtås, a Swedish artist and researcher whom worked at Konstfack when I studied there – I remember that he once said, that a simple thing, but quite mingblowing is asking oneself What ones art work is about three times – what is it about? – what is it really about? – what is it really REALLY about? Mine really about, in the sense of Artist in Retreat, was to make an artist in residence that really had the artist needs and wished in the center – I wanted the structure and organization, every aspect, to have the specific artist as it's guiding star (not the regional funding authorities, not the public, not the visitors, not us – only they).
 

Performance:

* Performance is being present, or everything is precense... is it? Performance is playing, taking use of your precense. Performance is pretending, is draging, presence.
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the bi-polar bear from Sweden ft. Glitterlickin. 2015.
* our biggest audiences we've had at our performances, when the bi-polar bear visited Bucharest, the Cinema Museum in London, the hysteria lounge in Paris or the Queer festival in Copenhagen
* or as in the epic Swedish tv-series Girls liks us [Tjejer som oss] a modern cult-classic with in the Swedish Queer and transfeministic discourse... as series which in total had tens or hundreds of thousands viewers
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dandelions of empathy. 2017.
* an abject     > > > >
* and since we always re-enact (even though if we sometimes fail) a coherent self but not only a self or the same self, we extend our performative practice beyond bodily or litteral precense (in the same room time). Hence the definition we give to the performative act eg. to performance it self is this – to present a coherent self or present ourselves as oneself – the we as an I. This is a self violence from our part. We grow more and more hesitant towards the performance as artistic, spiritual and epistemological form... though sometimes the pain needs to come. Sometimes the I has to be born, by the maieutics of the we (as the Socrates in us would say).
* ever use of the body is performance. Performance is also bodywork. It's acting, it's modeling, a documentary movie is a documentation of a humans bodily precense that is their performance (a creator thinking that they can capture someone and own them, they're like the demiurge in the gnostic cosmogony – evil). Our society is so used to the use of body, the use, the discarding, the endless supply of bodies. We shouldn't creed any photographer for their work, any movie maker, and especially not so called fashion photographers... the models, the beings, the creatures, the humans are the ones whom should get the primary creed. Here we have Susan Sontag again – the photographer is a murderer.        Yet, today, being a body is an unpaid work, being a body is a unrefined work, being a body is being unknown, an unquoted unpaid blackhole 
 
 
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tjejer som oss. 2016.
* the corps, that is the dead body, is obviously an abject (Kristeva) but the more we live and the more we think, especially by taking in consideration our bodily work (which sometimes has been even more badly paid than artistic work). We start to pose the question, is the living bodily an abject as well? Or at least an subject oriented abject, that is being an abject for oneself. When died, after the transformation and metamorphic of dying, this abjection only previous experience by the self is externalized and materialized in the abject the corps (or object oriented abject)
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tea tiger 3 – dinner performance. 2016.
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* so, with other words, you have no reason why you shouldn't hire me for own of these spectacular dinner performances... just read the menu for tea tiger 3: communistic sugar pills, the body of Christ, wine in the shape of edible soap bubbles, bubble gum in every possible form – liquid, fluidity (a liquid fiction), solid, object, chew chew as OOO it self and in the shapes of condom, blow blow :*) that is gas and gasoline
nowadays we're slitty more serious (á professionale) we can offer you a reading room in which we'll serve you or the visitors to your institution a corse consisting of Adorns last meals. Together we'll eat up the mediation.
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tea tiger 3 – installation and scenography. 2016.
 

Sculpture & Painting:

* seriously! how can we group such a wide field, such a grand field, how can we combine 2D and 3D into one?        Shame on us – they rejoice in screaming shame, shame, shame
my grandfather's dog Finger. 2017.
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* the tigers have a long history, very long, so long. Tigers appears in a lot of our art, projects and exhibition. Why? We don't know why... and we do know why. [are you always this elusive and reluctant in sharing your ideas?]. The tiger carries an important role in our inner symbolic language, they're connected to fantasy and the ability to envision other worlds, they're connected to psychosis, and paranoia, they're connected to conspiration theories and to an over sensitiveness to patterns, they're connected to exoticism – how to relate to it, re-tinkit (finding your inner Victor Segalen). But foremost the tigers are an obsession.
* as Unica Zürn and her eyes, the tigers are for us. The Tiger always has to exist, there's always a tiger in everything.    In creation, in crafting, in art... the inevitable question (a whisper that comes over the shoulder, like air in the ear.... where should the first tiger be born?)
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my grandfather's dog Finger. 2017.
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* being a hypocrite is being vegan but using silks, analogue photogprahy with it's gelatin, printed on silk, it's using taxidermy... birds, fur... We're hypocrites
oh we are hypocrites
* like evening moths we're drawn to the fluorescent... turning to silicon, epoxy, plexi, pigment and all those (polluting materials). We count, and every detail has important, the number of strokes, the number of fibers... the smallest carries the biggest importance for the magic, the number symbolism: 3, 7, 12, 13, 42, 69, 101, etc. etc. 
* rather than talking about materia and material, we talk about materiality and spatiality... but an important reservation here we don't talk about it in the object oriented way (which was so popular, art school trend, in the late '10s)
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my grandfather's dog Finger. 2017.
* we have two (at least two) formulated aesthetics... the hysterical cute, which also can be called the face of other words and wishes – it's an aestethical philosophy / a way of seeing / we often apply when we approaches groupes, collectives, gatherings – this aesthetic you can see in use in several exhibitions, performances, installations etc. Art tailor sued for a moment, for a room, for a public/semi-public room.
[this aestethic have to be compared to the kawaii]
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my grandfather's dog Finger. 2017.
* the hysterical cute is a more sharply political tool, of creating asetethic that is not compliant at full with societies norms and structures, an aesthetic that tries to make resistance (important to note is that it only tries, not necessarily do, saying that aestethci does can sometimes be taking water over the head or over-empyazing the artist political ability in their own practice... that is the arrogance of the contemporary artist – the egoistical self observed, believing that their own art is sooooo important.
(we on the other hand are political aware ethically consios artists)
* (don't forget to discuss that materials has this ability, this tendency, to lead the way – it's unneccecasry to have a vision, a plan, which should receive life through the GESTALTUNG. That would be approaching the act as a tool, the material as a tool and not a goal in itself (cf. Kant and Aquinas). Having no plan, unnaming the knowledge (not seeking it to be verbalized) and just meet the material through owns own materiality (that is bodilyness... no... actually fleshliness) can show things beyond owns categorical ability – we mean the rational thinking can only think what it knows in other forms – rational thinking is memetic. But through the not knowing, un knowing or rather the unnamed knowledge the sleeping beauty can be woken. 
* one can just be, be with, and the Gestaltung will come through the existens, as a memory, as love, as a goal and not a tool nor at 'through which'
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my grandfather's dog Finger. 2017.
 
 
 

Other:

* for Artist Novels, Podcasts, Moving Images, Artistic Research writing and Creative writing go to ----> words [or the logos].