Tuesday, April 14, 2009
*Lemon farming and or in the Tundra
Thoughts about reality and raunveruleiki.
THE FIRST IMAGE search on “reality” that comes up through Google is a b/w picture of two girls in white underwear kissing, as what seems to be a print on a douve on a bed. Hitting up the Icelandic word “raunveruleiki” Google finds a picture of two supposedly hetero teenagers kissing in front of a tomato bush.
THE WORD “veruleiki” has the same meaning as “raunveruleiki” but is detached from the idea of trial, sorrow or action implied through the front-attached word “raun”. The first image brought up by the search is a b/w picture of a naked person stretching out the hand of his/her palm towards a vague image of a person in front.
SORROW, trial or a action that demands endurance, “raun”. The search brings up a b/w picture of a woman stretching towards a camera, dressed lightly, on a mattress, which is laid on the floor.
VERU, vera, a being. A picture of a painting of a woman sitting naked on a chair holding her long blond hair. Fifth in the row is the search result of the word “veru” which is an abbriviation of “vera” and connects RAUN to LEIKI.
GAMES, PLAYING, PLAYED. Leiki means being, a “ness”. Lightness; Léttleiki. Apparently “leiki” is also a Finnish word, cause the first image is the only one which doesn´t show a human conducting some form of an erotic gesture, but a the mother character in the Finnish moomin-elf caratoon I grew up watching, but fearfully so.
LEMON FARMING AND REALITY, FAILED AGRICULTURE LEADS TO ARTIST RESIDENCY PROGRAMS
The Icelandic writer Gunnar Gunnarsson built a large ranch, Skri›uklaustur, in Eastern Iceland in 1940, while celebrating a successful carreer in Scandinavia and Germany. His farmstead was built after drawings by one of Hitler´s main architects, creating a semi-replica of the Fuhrer´s Eagle Nest summer residency in the mountains of Austria. Gunnar was printed in the 3rd Reich but later refused ideological ties with the regime (surprise?) Completed in the first years of the 40´s, Gunnarsson´s ranch failed instantly, due to its remoteness, its lack of usable land, and due to changing demographics in the countryside which was being drained of people who, in growing numbers, were seeking new opportunities in the small capital city, Reykjavik, which was booming with war profits from the continental miseries it almost altogether missed (perhaps a surprise). According to local folklore Gunnarsson´s staff left him during the night when he took his ill wife to the hospital in a nearby township. The ranch deprecated quickly and the writer left before 1950. The idea of life in the country had failed, the Nazi´s had lost, the Eagle Nest became a museum, the wife died and the writer built a modernist villa in the capital city which was quickly spending its war profits on unsustainable infrastructure and its Marshall Aid on big boats.
So, reality. As I stayed in residency at the ranch in January 2008, alone in the stone mansion built to replicate a Romantic castle in central Europe it dawned on me that the place was an emblem of Gunnarsson´s idea of reality, one that had no relationship to current trends, other than his desire.
Some 50 years later a literary institution has taken his house into its possession, a place devoted to research on literature and a safe-heaven for visual artists who need some of that fresh mountain air, far away from the city, far away from people who´d want to work the fields that aren´t big enough to be worked anyways.
So, reality. I Google´d “reality”, “raunveruleiki”, “veruleiki”, “raun”, “veru” and “leiki” taking the first image that came up through each image search. Most of my initial research now happens through Google, using it is a dictionary, a index. A sobering a maybe a problematic thing though is to look up reality and see what an abstraction it is. I don´t know, -reality, a blanket with girls in underwear printed on it. What compels me to make sense of the search, and combination of the words in these two separate languages is the relationship between the material in the images. I´m sure I´ve contributed to reality by making the connection.
I do wonder if failed farming leads to interesting artist residencies. I´ve got two examples of it in reality and I´m sure that there are no pictures of girls in white underwear kissing on the bedsheets of neither of them. At least I don´t desire there to be.
*oh my god, what is this language play? lets have it;
3)veruleiki; reality, a condition (also raunveruleiki). "þetta varð að veruleika!":"it happened!" differentiates with "raunveruleiki" due to lack of trial ("raun").
4)raun; challange, sorrow, trial, something to endure.
5)veru; an abbreviation of "vera":a being, "mannvera":a humanbeing.
6)leiki: an abreviation of "leikur": game but refers to being of something, a "ness". léttleiki:lightness.