Hilla Kurki (b.1985) describes her artistic practise as pragmatic exorcism. Kurki combines elements of performance art and her family’s legacy of weaving in her photographs, that aim for self-recovery after her sister’s death. Her practise follows a long history of female artists who renegotiate the past through self-reflection and re-evaluation of their own families’ relationships. She states, „One cannot empty out an emotion just by feeling it. One can overcome it and learn to own it, by meticulously re-telling it“. Kurki is currently pursuing her Master studies at Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture. She lives and works in Helsinki, Finland.
There are only two kinds of stories: from life to death, and from death back to the living.
After my sister passed away I felt that I did not only lose her, I lost myself. The series narrates a tale of navigating oneself through grief. Using my body and my late sister’s dresses I examine the relationship of memories and materialities. Can objects harbor emotions? And can one access these enclosed emotions by intervening with their materiality?
The act of cutting runs in my bloodline: generations of women cutting up the clothes of the deceased to continuous thread, later to be weaved as rugs. And through this same act of cutting I am born again.