Iona Roisin - Dear reader



Dear reader,

My name is Iona Roisin and I’m here to walk you through my Kuvan Kevät process and some other peripheral stuff. A bit about me: I’ve been living in Helsinki for 18 months. I studied in London previously at this art school everyone is always embarrassed to say they went to. I took two years off from education prior to moving where I worked full-time in a second-hand bookshop in order to buy books I am yet to read and rent a studio that I never used. I came here because I like it and I have friends here and I want to stay, hopefully I won’t get dragged back to the beige British suburbs.

The dysphoria surrounding my practice looks somewhat like this crappy meme I made:

This is pretty much exactly how I spend my time and make my work. I could probably live without a studio as I just sit behind my computer most of the time but that would mean my art would be almost entirely made whilst lying in bed in loungewear. Mostly I’m trying to think or trying to write, or shuffling notes around from folder to folder, or refining my filing system. Here are two pics: my professional cornucopia and my ‘agonising whilst in studio’ stance:

Most recently I co-curated and participated in Practical Masochism at Exhibition Laboratory. It was based around the idea of masochism as art process, but in a more emotional sense, this being something I started to consider in relation to my own practice when thinking about why I make things that I find so difficult and draining. Needless to say my current Kuvan Kevät project is no exception to this but I’ll get back to that.

I was pleased with the exhibition and happy with the work I contributed, some text from my initial statement (which is more like a description of the piece):

You see the character digesting, stumbling over their thoughts. The text is in disbelief, it asks questions, to whom? The visual functions as more of a backdrop to the voiceover, where you watch repetitive domestic actions taking place, washing the dishes, making a cup of tea, it is slow, something like the feeling of a Sunday. This rejection of a linear narrative places the subject just out of grasp, unclear yet somehow familiar. Little lapses into abstraction contrast with more concrete descriptions, odd comments drifting off somewhere, a distracted mind.

The inner monologue clings to physical sensations, describing them in a minute amount of detail. Sensations felt in the present may feel more stable than memories, or the unsteady gaps around the memories. Focusing on what you feel because you aren’t sure what you know, and when you aren’t sure what you know you are just left with what you feel.

Using these fragments one begins to connect to a post-assault narrative, piecing together crumbs to try and form proof, where the body of the character becomes a body of evidence. ‘And the worst thing is you do it to yourself’ is about the distrust of memory in relation to certain kinds of subjects that are already heavily marked or controlled within public discourse. The work doubts itself.

Although I wish this meme (@femmemilitia) was my artist statement:

I haven’t written a general artist statement for quite a few years as I prefer to have texts specific to individual projects but as you maybe already saw on my KK profile my work usually involves some degree of ‘bad feelings’, things that are inappropriate or unacceptable to voice due to social convention. Though I need to spend some more time refining and contextualising this as perhaps it could be easily misinterpreted as some angry neckbeard who’s pissed off that it’s not okay to say un-PC stuff all the time anymore. Also interested generally in things like: language, difficulty, guilt, power dynamics, complicity, sentimentality, desire, mis-remembering, awkwardness etc. I spend a lot of time working on my texts but my style of filmmaking is pretty lo-fi and rough. I’ve become increasingly disinterested in attempting to feign this kind of detached and objective camera and have been questioning why there is so much pressure to aestheticise even when the subjects may not call for it. I’m still trying to figure this out. 

Btw here is my pop music also why not:

Until next time

Iona x

P.S. follow me on instagram if u get lonely