30 November 2008, Cervera de los Montes
On Friday, Raúl found the website with pictures of my censored installation We Love Samsung an Kim Il-sung in Yeosu, South Korea. Raul got furious with th eYeosu authorities and the result was that now the website is closed: Under of daily traffic restriction, this page is inaccessible for a while. It would be thankful if you drop by tomorrow again.
This was Raúl's reaction: I just went to the blog where the pictures were posted that depicted Mr. Sakinnen's vandalized work; but it has now been shut down. You think you can control discourse by controlling the media? I have the pictures downloaded on my computer, and have sent them to others for safe keeping, for they will appear in the article that has now been assigned to me. Since the website you have shut down in trying to control discourse was affiliated with a news organization, they will now also be implicated in the cover-up, vandalism and censorship. This will underscore how far the right wing is enmeshed in some South Korean news agencies. This will be major PR blunder on your part. I am now ready to go global with this act of cultural terrorism and the subsequent attempt at coverup. I find your actions very disgusting when you consider that more than 200 students were murdered in in 1980 in the prodemocracy movement in Gwangju, a city some two hours away from where the artwork was destroyed. This movement supposdly led to "freedom of expression" in South Korea? They are hailed as heroes by the Korean people, but you have soiled their memory and are making their deaths seem in vain because you do not respect freedom of artistic expression.
Korean Right-Wing Goons Vandalize Artwork
28 November 2008, Cervera de los Montes
I just got new visual material of the Yeosu incident from Raúl:
South Korean Right-Wing Goons Vandalize Artwork will be the headline in an article that will soon come out in New York about the artwork by Riiko Sakkinen that was vandalized in Yeosu. I will also be contacting magazines in Europe and South America and will make sure that this vile act does not go unnoticed. People need to be warned about acts of cultural terrorism. In the most recent picture, of which I am sending you a link, I see what was finally done to Mr. Sakkinen's artwork. Let me see the sequence in the history of art of those who committed the same crime:
4. Kim Il Sung
5. Yeosu International Art Festival Committee
STUDIO STUDIO STUDIOLINE
27 November 2008, Cervera de los Montes
This week I've been finally back in the studio. I love working. I hope that one day I can spend most of the time with my drawings and I can afford hiring a beautiful young and skilled assistant who can argue with the gallerists and do all the boring office work and the endless e-mailing.
Now I'm working with several drawings:
Tropical Flavor Flavor Aid Massacre
Breakfast Cereals & Domestic Violence Smacks
Chocolate Milkshake with Rachmaninoff Vodka of Lidl
Jani and Riiko's Saturday Night
Ban Antipatriotic Noursihment
Eden Club One Man Two Ladies
Samsung Lions Protect the Free World
The Food Stuff I Missed When I Was in Korea
Super Hot Tijuana Taste
From the Third World to the Fourth World
Transvestite Prostitutes in Madrid
Who Cares What It Is If It Is Strawberry Flavored
I also promised to Timo to try to do something abstract. But it's difficult and of course I can only do a pastiche of abstract art. Besides, I think that abstract is sinister.
24 November 2008, Cervera de los Montes
I have no idea how Stock Artist functions, maybe it's some stupid art project about the art market, but it seems to have something to do with the Artfacts ranking. Compared to the crashing real equity market (neither I have idea what it is or how it works), my value seems to be fine.
RIIKO SAKKINEN ART MARKET VALUE PROFILE
Internet recognition index: 0.425
Art critic recognition index: 0.086
Primary market index: 5.419
Secundary market index: 0.000
Artstocks launch price: 2.71
Artstocks actual price: 6.93
Artstocks higher price: 21.25
Artstocks lower price: 2.71
I think there's too much art about art, artists, art world and and art market. Damien Hirst once said that art is about life and the art world is about money. It would be easy to agree but I think that the millionaire artist forgot that the most of the people worry about the money (they don't have) every day. So I would be even more populist and put it this way: Life is about money and the art world is bullshit.
FEEDBACK FROM CHICAGO
23 November 2008, Cervera de los Montes
Time Out Chicago's Amy Schroeder writes in her review of From the Arctic to the Prairie group show at Golden:
Riiko Sakkinen lists the Names of Prostitutes in Madrid in one of 20 works on paper. The Finnish-born artist displays the most provocative work in this exhibition, subtitled “New Art from Finland & Chicago.” Sakkinen’s lists (including My Favorite Banks) grab viewers’ attention, but his depictions of consumerist icons hoisting twisted political slogans are even more striking. He makes the Pillsbury Doughboy the poster child for “Fat Supreme: Lard Is Christian,” and personifies ramen as a “Fish Ball Gun”–toting hero in Curry Flavor Cup Noodle Wars. While dissecting the perky-yet-disturbing tactics of pop marketing isn’t new, Sakkinen distinguishes himself by educating viewers about cultural symbols from Korea to Cuba to London.
FRESH START IN HISPANIA
21 November 2008, Cervera de los Montes
I had almost given up with the Spanish art world. I thought that it was nearly impossible to have any presence or success here because I'm an immigrant living in the countryside. Suddenly, everything changed.
Rafa and Tania of Musac, the most dynamic museum of contemporary art in Spain located in León, discovered my work and decided to give me powerful backing. I'm in a small show in Musac in April and give an artist talk there too. And even more importantly, they told about my work to Topacio Fresh who is opening her La Fresh Gallery in December in Madrid.
I make realistic art and the reality where I live and work is Spain. Obviously, I want to show my stuff in Spain, too. I'm going to be finally an integrated and domesticated immigrant.
EVERYTHING IS IN THE PROSTITUTION ADS
17 November 2008, Cervera de los Montes
Some people begin to read the newspaper from behind or from the sport pages. I read first the prostitutions ads. Actually, it’s enough to read only them. It's easy to interpret from them the most important events. When the blow job prices go down, you know – before the politicians admit anything - that economy is entering to a recession. When the half of the male prostitutes are named Adrei, you know that Andrei Arshavin is the star player that will be bought soon by Real Madrid.
A couple of years ago, all Asian prostitutes were advertised as Japanese geishas. There are still many Naoko’s from Osaka but recently many Chinese are told to be Chinese. This tells clearly that China is now more respected as a culture and a nation. Still the Chinese girls don’t have any names but I think it’s question of months when there will be Xiu Meis, Huas and Yins in El País "Relax" section.
HEINZ MUSTARD GAS
13 November 2008, Cervera de los Montes
My latest work - which is made in USA -is a real and full Heinz Tomato Ketchup bottle, where the word tomato ketchup has been replaced with the word Mustard Gas. The surprising thing is that I ordered the 10 custom bottles directly from Heinz.
The great American artist Paul MacCarthy has used lots of Heinz Tomato Ketchup along with other foodstuffs in his performances, videos and installations, where they represent different bodily fluids. When I was a kid I used ketchup as fake blood and mustard prepared by mother as fake mustard gas. Later in my practice I've combined frequently food and weapons.
Mustard gas is a vesicant chemical warfare agent with the ability to form large blisters on exposed skin. It is yellow-brown in color and have an odor resembling mustard. Mustard gas was first used effectively in World War I by the German army against British soldiers. The United States has mustard gas stockpiles, located in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and Utah.
Heinz Tomato Ketchup is the best selling condiment in the United States.
WEAPON ENHANCEMENT PILLS
11 November 2008, Cervera de los Montes
I thought that the Americans have a insuperable self-esteem behind their attractive smiles but now I'm doubting it slightly. I bought the Maxim men's magazine (2,5 million readers in the United States) at the O'Hare International Airport and its last pages are full of advertisements of male enhancement pills that increase the length of the penis by four inches.
The Extenze pill inventor Dr. Daniel Stein says "It's even been my experience that guys that are almost too big, so big in fact that many women won't go near them with a teen foot pole still want to be larger!" This is maybe what happens with the U.S. foreign policy.
Though they say that the black men have huge tools, I my most sincere hope is that the president-elect Obama has a smaller one and he has no need to enhance the American phallus like the missile shield in the Eastern Europe. I grew up under the cold war climate of the 80s fearing the nuclear winter. I don't want my daughter to live the same icy nightmare.
THE PROJECTED PROXIMITY
06 November 2008, Chicago
Many friends have asked me what I did on Tuesday, how I celebrated Obama's triumph in Chicago. I was sitting in Pingpong - the restaurant owned by my gallerists Jacob and Henry - drinking Tsingtao and signing and numbering the edition of 100 of my Encyclopedia slide show. I show it at Golden as a three-channel installation with cardboard structures (Gerhard Richter's Atlas meets Thomas Hirschhorn constructions) and we sell it as a one-channel version, the price tag is $50.
I was watching Obama speaking in Grant Park on BBC that Henry projected on the wall in Pingpong. I felt a little bit stupid but I wasn't enough brave to adventure alone the downtown. I was trying to think that maybe you see things more clearly on TV. And maybe you see the world better in my Encyclopedia than in the streets, the supermarkets and the brothels. A picture is a worth of a thousand real things.
WITH FREEDOM'S HOLY LIGHT
03 November 2008, Chicago
I'm in America and it makes me smile. Because the Americans know how to smile. Because the Americans never complain. Because the Americans work harder. Because in America everything is possible. And because tomorrow a black man and a second generation immigrant is going to be elected for the next president of the United States. Could you imagine a black immigrant president of the republic in France? Or Pakistani prime minister in the United Kingdom? Or a doner kebab chancellor in Germany? All these ideas sound like absurd jokes. Maybe for the Americans my beloved Europe is just a joke.
What I didn't like, were the interrogation at the immigration. Finally, I decided to lie, it's easier. I said that I'm here for a holiday and didn't mention that I participate in an exhibition. I think they don't want to let artists in. My friend Adel didn't get a visa for his own opening in New York. He was born in Baghdad but holds now a Finnish passport. I said to him that I understand it. We don't decorate rooms. We do dangerous art and we want to change the world.
MASSACRES ON TUESDAYS
01 November 2008, Cervera de los Montes
I'm picking boletus edulis and climbing the rocks with my daughter in the forest. It's the perfect way to recharge the energy and charge the weapons for the next battle: Chicago. I'm flying there tomorrow. It is the cradle of industrialization and the working class movement. The Haymarket affair is the origin of the May Day. Tuesday, May 4, 1886, it began as a rally in support of striking workers. An unknown person threw a bomb at police as they dispersed the public meeting. The bomb blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and an unknown number of civilians.
Carrie told me that next Tuesday, the presidential election day, there's a big Obama rally in down town Chicago. We'll see how many people get killed. Actually, I refuse to be interestedin the U.S. domestic policy.The United States of America has the importance that we give them. I hate our newspapers writing more about Palin and Obama than Zapatero and Merkel. And who ever wins the elections the U.S. foreign policy stays arrogant and agressive. But maybe I'm opportunist and support next Tuesday Obama and celebrate his victory all night in his home town. But don't tell my mum!