Mikko Rikala: Towards Nothing

Free to visit:
1 February 2022 – 13 March 2022
Tuesday - Sunday 12:00 – 19:00.
Closed on Mondays and public holidays.

The tree in the yard is swaying. It’s leaves look like a school of fish startled by the wind. On the shore, the tide is moving sand, exposing pebbles, and covering them again. Birds and clouds are moving across the brightening and then darkening sky. As the sun sets, a gentle breeze blows briefly until it settles. When the darkness falls the air cools off but the oak trunk remains warm throughout the night. East of the house, the rock turns into marble. The steap cliffs by the sea steadily move towards the inland. Their arches seem to carry the weight of the entire continent. Until even the continent wears off. Then the sun rises again, and everything starts all over. 

I have now spent ten days here in the south. Routines evolve quickly in a new environment. I wake up before sunrise and go out, I sit underneath the oak tree by the house and watch the landscape. I stroll around the garden and nearby woods. In the afternoon, I walk to the sea shore or sit in the shade protected from the heat. Surrounded by an oak forest, the house s it’s on a hill only a kilometre away from the Atlantic ocean. The house is similar to all the other houses in the region. I was told that new houses are built the same 

way as the old ones because animals don’t change their colour either. The horizon can be seen somewhere below, far away. Nearby, there is meadow flowers in the high grass, little bushes whose scent remind me of a spice, rustling paths, and a silence rising from between it all. Rocks, the size of a fist, come loose from the dry ground. The heat combined with the bright light makes everything around seem shapeless. The deep darkness of the shades muddles the brightness of the light. Far away in the horizon, the light vibrates and glows brightly. 

Inside the house, in front of a window that reaches all the way down to the floor, there is marble top table. When I look across the table, through the window, I see a limestone hill rising beyond the house. The hill
is even higher than this one, on which the house is. How much time, heat and pressure is required in some prehistoric time, for limestone to be transformed into marble? And now there lays a plastic bag of oranges on the marble table. The second time I looked through the window, I saw my own reflection instead of the rocky hill. For a moment it felt as if though I had become pure form without human dimensions, as if I had become part of the surrounding scenery. At the moment I remembered how, in the city, I often noticed shiny surfaces that multiplied my movements. In the city I was a reflection. And now, as I stayed still, if only for a moment,
I felt I was a form that melted into the scenery. The longer I stay still, the faster my mind began to move. Like in that legend, where Anthony of Rome arrived from the city to the sea shore, stepped onto a rock in the water and stood there the entire day, the night, a week, then two weeks, until after months had passed and the rock began drifting away and sailed around Europe with Anthony on it, to finally stop at some river bend. 

Yesterday afternoon, I walked to the sea shore. It was a windy day, kind of a powerful, constant, and at the same time gusty wind that makes your mind hallucinate. On my way to the shore, I sat on the bank of a small river and watched how the leaves of a poplar tree were quivering in the same rhythm as the pebbles that moved with the stream. I recalled an interview in which a writer explained how a golden beetle flew through a window just as the writer was reading about the case of the golden beetle in Carl Jung’s biography. The wind moved the striped curtains of the study as the writer alternately watched the golden beetle and its name in the pages of the book. 

The light here reminds me of southern France where long sandy beaches behind the low wet land reflect light back to the atmosphere. The light spreads, bright and simultaneously transparent, far into the land. It is told, that on that shore Vincent van Gogh lost his mind. Years ago when I lived by that shore, I used to ponder whether it was the endless northern wind or the brightness that broke his mind? Did he just sit for too long at the beach gazing at the sea, with the entire continent and its history behind his back? Maybe something in him opened up and through that opening a wind blew into his mind. In Paris, he used to walk around feverishly, feeling the trembling of the underground metro tunnels shaking the earth beneath his feet. In the south, he stayed put, but his thoughts began moving with the surrounding natural phenomena. Then the rock took off, and Vincent with it. 

As I sat in the yard this morning awaiting the sun, I thought of the rock drifting on its own and the new era or order that began with the Renaissance. The landscape in front of me opened in perspective. According to the rules, things and events follow each other in space and time. We have learned to communicate what we see and experience through these rules. A drifting rock poses an immediate threat to this order. The rock takes off, and does as it pleases. It drifts without regards to either time or space, nor order. I cannot help but thinking, that while sitting on that rock, Vincent’s mind broke with joy, as he finally saw beyond perspective, and those who had defined that perspective were far behind his back. Ahead, a bright blue vastness. Eidos is scattered to the four winds, he said. 

In order to see the gallery please click or tap on one side of the image.
Mikko Rikala: Melting Ice
Mikko Rikala: Water Equals Time I.
Mikko Rikala: Oblivion Towards Order I.
Mikko Rikala: On Relativity
Mikko Rikala: Moon Spin I.
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