I travel a lot between Finland and Holland. I don’t feel I belong in my home country but I’m not at home in foreign countries either. There is always a question in my mind “where do I belong?” Only time I am free of this questioning is when I travel. I don’t need to feel I belong to a train or an airplane. I am in a between –state. So paradoxically I feel most comfortable and at home while I am travelling.
I know an object, whether it is a house or a mug, does not last forever. Yet I believe it does. My mind cannot comprehend that an object could contain a possibility not to exist. I perceive the world as ever being without a possibility of it not being.
“A house constitutes a body of images that give mankind proofs or illusions of stability.”
(Gaston Bachelard, Poetics of Space, 1992)
When I live in a house I believe it to be stable. When I come to realize its instability I feel betrayed. When my grandfather died, my grandparents’ house was sold and torn down. I went to see what had been done to the property and was shocked. The house, garden and trees were gone, there was nothing left but ground. A year later a new house had been built there, trees cut down and grass had been covered by pavement. Without knowing the location I couldn’t have recognized it. I kept wondering about the intensity of the shock it caused. It made me realize I can think I know things are not everlasting but still I don’t really know it, not even when I see it.
“It is not necessarily at home that we best encounter our true selves. The furniture insists that we cannot change because it does not; the domestic setting keeps us tethered to the person we are in ordinary life, who may not be who we essentially are.”
(Alain de Botton)
When I travel I don’t get the feeling of being betrayed. I am on my way to somewhere; I inhabit a change and even become one with it. Just like “furniture insists that we cannot change” so does a travel insist that I am constantly changing. I feel freedom while travelling; I am free of trying to belong and to behave in a certain way.
Installation at Kunstvlaai art fair, Amsterdam, 2010, size 3mx3mx2,5m