Galleria Uusi Kipinä, Lahti, 2.2 – 18.2.2018
In Huuto (Scream) I deal with the self-harming behaviour of Finnish children and adolescents. I have recorded the photographs within the artwork from Finnish blogging platforms.
At Art Häme 12 - Seeing City -exhibition, as part of my installation that dealt with my youth, I painted a poem I had written onto the wall. A visitor of the exhibition took a picture of the poem and it spread over hundreds of childrens’ and adolescents’ blogging platforms. The poem was used by the children and adolescents to describe themselves and the english translation of the poem spread to blogging platforms abroad. On the blogging platforms the children and adolescents wrote about their bad feelings and they posted photographs of the cuts they had inflicted upon themselves.
In Finland 11,5 % of 13-18 year olds cut themselves without suicidal intentions. Counted in are those only trying it out. Those cutting find themselves in various situations of life. No singular reason can be found for the rise and existence of the phenomenon. Cutting and other forms of self-destructive or -harming behaviour are at least partly ways of reducing or dealing with anxiety. Only in seldom are they suicidal. Someone cutting him- or herself is doing so so as to help him- or herself feel better. Someone cutting seldomly tells anyone about the cutting: it is a way of dealing with states of mind that seem unbearable, so that the person cutting can continue his or her life normally again after cutting. Many say they cut so as to “defeat their own body” or to punish themselves.*
Even though cutting is usually kept secret, the scars and their message may be shared on blogging platforms. On the platforms one can read the stories of young people that cut themselves, about their struggles in life. On the platforms photographs of cut arms, legs and other bodyparts are shared. Photographs that show bleeding arms may spread rapidly. Photographs of the deepest wounds may be shared up to a thousand times.
*Myllyviita, Katja 2014. Vapaaksi Viiltelystä (Free from cutting). Helsinki: Kustannus Oy Duodecim. Artist’s own translation.)