Helinä Hukkataival

When I look at you, do I see myself?


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When I look at you, do I see myself?” is a durational performance and media installation that happens only when the exhibition guest wants to take part in it. In the performance, the participant sits opposite to me and the participant´s face is projected on my face, while a camera records our faces. In the studio space, similar portraits are presented.

Thirty years ago, I read the book “Everything is an Illusion” by an Indian spiritual teacher. Nisargadatta Maharaj. I got to page 81 and stopped reading. I could not accept Maharaj´s teaching, which my mind had simplified to the form “I am you”. Now, in my eighties, I see many things differently. In the performance, I return in a concrete way to that teaching, which used to be so incomprehensible to me.

Helinä Hukkataival has worked as a visual artist since 1969. In Hukkataival´s practice, personal is political; her works often examine universal phenomena through personal experiences. Since 1990, Hukkataival´s works have been mainly performance art. Since 2002, she has also worked with video art, and since 2011 with photography. Hukkataival´s works have been featured in exhibitions and festivals in Finland and abroad. Hukkataival was awarded the State Prize for Fine Arts in 2004.