The Eyes of Lovisa
Four cyanotypes on watercolour paper, edition of 3
22,9 x 30,5 cm
The Eyes of Lovisa is an artwork commissioned by Loviisa Town Museum for the exhibition Kuolemattomat – esineiden muisti (trans. The Immortals – the Memory of Objects) held at the museum 5.11.2019-28.3.2020.
Within its collections, the Loviisa Town Museum holds a random selection of objects with almost no background information. The objects were donated to the museum by local people around the time of the foundation of the museum in the early 20th century. The donations and donators were published in the local newspaper, but besides that, not much is known of these objects. For the exhibition the museum asked seven contemporary artists to respond to these lost objects and create a new history for them.
The Eyes of Lovisa consists of four cyanotypes made from digitally collaged negatives and using as its source some of the many pairs of glassed found in the museum collection combined with the eyes of unknown locals from the museum’s photo archives. Besides the unknown locals, a few pairs of eyes belong to famous people with a local connection, like the composer Jean Sibelius and King Gustav III of Sweden, the founding father of the town.
The work is giving eyes to the anonymous spectalcles and is asking what these eyes might have seen throughout the history of the town. The use of cyanotype, one of the oldest methods of photographic printing, is a reference to the past and the history of the town and its people.