Jarkko Räsänen is a visual artist from Hollola. He worked at Hôtel Chevillon in 2018.
My plan for the residency period at Hotel Chevillon was to focus on digitalising the photography archives of my parents, who were enthusiastic amateurs in their youth and from whom I learned my first skills in the field, for further processing. In my artistic practice, I have been interested in reordering the structures of photo and video files by means of artistic programming in order to visualise hidden properties within them, resulting in semi-abstract digital collages flirting with painting tradition. The peaceful and historical surroundings of the residency resonated well with the project about personal microhistories. Terrifyingly though, 90% of the archives were destroyed during my residency as an arsonist destroyed my mother’s house in Finland before she had had time to send me more material – But if I had not taken the 10% with me to France, everything would be gone now.
Nevertheless, I was immediately intrigued by the contemplative surroundings of the hotel and started studying the landscape intensively with my camera: I developed a new variation of my photo-deconstruction algorithm and created a series of neo-impressionistic nature photographs during my stay. I also worked on other structural experimentations that will serve as a good starting point for future projects.
Encounters with my fellow artists turned out fruitful: With a composer we created a video for his new music concert dealing with former resident August Strindberg’s paranoiac episodes. (The collaboration will continue next year). With an artist, we created a soundscape for his exhibition. I was also lucky to collect the first interviews for my upcoming documentary ”1ibrary 0f 1oss” about stories of losing data. My stay in Grez also enabled me to participate in the Food Art Week exhibition in Paris, where I presented a sound art piece based on my earlier recordings of a fermentation process recorded with a self-made piezo microphone.
The residency period was outstandingly productive and refreshing at the same time. The closeness of Paris made it possible to explore the cultural life there, which had previously been unknown to me. I am truly grateful of the possibility to spend time in Grez.
PS. In the end I even stepped out of my artistic comfort zone, grabbed a guitar and recorded a sentimental song accompanied with a silly video featuring the birds of the river Loing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDvzyOAjTg4