A swim into the waters of the real and unreal

Lisa Stålspets A detail of the handmade scenography in Tell Back Time.

Shifting View consists of video, drawings and photography. The works are based on documentary material, observations and stories which have contributed to the developement of ideas.

LISA STÅLSPETS (Sweden) is a visual artist at the HIAP-Helsinki International Artists-in-residence Programme. Her solo exhibition is the artistic representation and continuation of her creative thoughts. Her work is not autobiographical, though. She is more a collector of stories who wants to underline the subjectivity that exists in storytelling through her voice and hands.

Interested in the functions of storytelling, it comes naturally to Stålspets to transform text into art using various techniques. “Everyone makes drawings when they are children, and artists don’t stop, at least some don’t,” she says.

Stories we tell and stories we are told

“Stories explain and make sense of the world we live in. They are a way of relating to the world, deciding how much distance we want to put between the experience of real life and our inner lives. This is something that goes on continuously, not only when we tell stories to other people. We write the fiction that is the reality of our lives.”

For Stålspets, the title of the exhibition Shifting View refers to a constant change, the change that even seemingly inactive places and things go through over time. To shift one’s view also means changing one’s mind, changing one’s understanding and viewpoint. “For some artists, an idea doesn’t change from the beginning to the end, they have a kind of fixed idea. I don’t work that way,” she explains and adds:

“You become a little wiser when you’re working on an idea. It’s interesting to see what happens, how the idea evolves and changes during the working process.”

Time & memory

  Superman/monster pencil drawing.

In Tell Back Time, Stålspets tells the story of a house with a heavy historical heritage. She says the video, made of a handmade scenography, tries to peel down the layers of stories about this house to one objective truth but fails in doing so. Tell Back Time deals with how time and events leave traces in the present. It’s about the artist’s interpretation of the descriptions she was told. “In old houses you can feel the past and the present. It’s interesting to see how memory changes,” she says.

The viewer’s participation plays an important role at the time of exchanging communication with the work and the artist’s own view. “The most powerful image is the one that comes to you and makes you stop and think.”

Certain ambiguity is present in some of the works, which investigate the perception of reality, the creation of myths and the constant negotiation that goes on between the world of ideas and what we call the real world.

Can you convince someone about the existence of an island?

The extraordinary case of Frisland is presented through drawings and text: an imaginary island born out of confusion as being separate from Greenland and accepted by cartographers from the 14th to the 18th centuries. A swim into the waters of the real and unreal.

From inside a cave

  Shifting View
is at the HIAP Project
Room in the Cable Factory
from 10 to 26 September.

A photo tells about inactivity as a necessary step for things to happen, giving room for creation. Emptiness is seen as a path of possibility. Can anything new happen in a constant tumult of activity?

Stålspets’ art is reflective, pointing at different possibilities. It encourages people to see things from a different perspective: making the strange into ordinary or seeing the ordinary as special. It makes the viewer wonder and wander in a sea of imagination and creative thinking. A fascinating experience for anybody willing to look around and think more about what really matters: what you see.

Susan Fourtane – HT


About Susan Fourtané

As a citizen of the world, Susan began her search for her place in the world back at the beginning of the year 2000. After many travels looking for her place in the world, her soul found that place in Finland in September 2006. She has been living in Helsinki ever since, where she combines fiction and non-fiction writing with Philosophy studies and teaching.
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