“We are discontinuous beings, individuals who perish in isolation in the midst of an incomprehensible adventure, but we yearn for our lost continuity. We find the state of affairs that binds us to our random and ephemeral individuality hard to bear. Along with our tormenting desire that this evanescent thing should last, there stands our obsession with a primal continuity linking us with everything that is.”
Georges Bataille in Erotism: Death and Sensuality
Through both love and communication we aim to connect with others, the world around us, and leave a mark, something permanent while our existence is perishable. Idea is somehow sensitive and beautiful. As is the idea of nostalgic and romantic love letters. Not only the idea and the content, all those honest words filled with longing and desire, but also the form. Carefully picked quality paper or quick words written on the corner of an old receipt. Touching the surface that your lover has touched, far or close, is almost like touching his or hers skin. Handwriting, certain kind of ink, materiality and hapticity in words. Letters we no longer write or receive, that have been substituted with chat messages and emoticons.
Both love letters and photography are about making us, our feelings and our perceptions, our being in the world, immortal and lasting. As Georges Bataille writes above, we are discontinuous beings who desire continuity. We desire permanence that is shared with others, something that can exceed the gap between our singularity, isolating individuality. For Bataille communication requires violent openness, and community is based on death and anxious awareness of mortality. This awareness of the sacredness of a moment binds us together, sacredness that is celebrated in multiple ways.
Emma Suominen’s Love Letters is about this celebration and about the heterogeneity side of sacred. It is about the almost forgotten and unconscious knowledge of the transitory nature of our existence. Love Letters series is about punk culture, gigs, playing in a band, fangirlin, drinking a bit too much, growing older, endless summer nights, sweat. Beauty of a moment that is partly built on the knowledge that when the picture is taken the moment is already gone.
Photography is often about trying to imprison these precious, fleeting seconds. In Love Letters those seconds are the ones shared with friends that may no longer be friends when the winter comes, when adulthood hits you, when you have to go to work, wake up early and say no to the endless afterparties. Travelling with a band is like no other travelling. Sharing things you do not actually want to share, material and immaterial. It is exhausting and it makes you dirty, in multiple ways. But damn doesn’t it look good!
WORDS Anna Jensen
Image courtesy of the artist
3. Dirty Sneakers
7. Kiti smoking a fag