Shaken hands with statues...

Posted by NeMe | Tue Jun 12th 2007 2:51 p.m.

NeMe has secured 3 texts by Erkki Huhtamo

We have published the first one on 27 Feb 2007 and today we are pleased to publish: "Shaken hands with statues...": On Art, Interactivity and Tactility.

"I have secretly caressed paintings in museums, shaken hands with statues..." This line from asong called "The Tourist" recently caught my attention. Is this an expression of projected affection? The confession of a madman? An account of innocent touristic pranks familiar fromtravel snapshots? Or is it a deliberate subversion of received codes of behavior with - perhaps - ideological implications? As it turns out, the protagonist of "The Tourist" is a loner, "a man lost inhis hometown." Touching paintings and sculptures is a compensation for the lack of a human touch that he has been searching for "in wrong places." Touching the untouchable, crossing theline, avoiding the public eye. Our experiences in public spaces often include the temptation to 'exceed the limits,' at least for a passing moment. Such actions often involve the hand. I have met'normal' people - including artists - who occasionally practice shoplifting. Not for profit or the need for anything - the stolen object is something insignificant, like a piece of gum. For suchpeople the act of shoplifting is more like a sleight-of-hand that challenges the limits of the permissible. It is also a test of one's agility and "guts," bringing to mind the lonely endeavors ofRobert Bresson's Pickpocket (1959). More determined challenges are the "para-legal" arts of street graphics and graffiti that often spring from alienation. They represent the need to "makeone's mark" and to assert one's presence while remaining anonymous, a shadow figure. Posting notes or spraying tags is linked with tearing down, covering, replacing. These acts are part of anunfinished/able urban semioclasm, a palimpsest taking place anywhere where bills are posted and bare walls - potential surfaces to be filled - are available.

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