_VD42534_LOWRES kopio

Jani Leinonen We Are Sorry, 2013
Metal, plexiglas, neon lights 248 x 146 x 15 cm
Photography Vilhelm Sjöström Courtesy of Showroom Helsinki

Alina Weckström

‘How to listen to the other, to open one self, horizontally, to the other’s sense, without preventing the return to one self, to one’s proper way?’

This is a question French feminist and philosopher Luce Irigaray poses to us, to humanity. So how is it then in the contemporary age of mass media and with streams of information constantly seeping through our consciousness – or more possibly our unconscious – that we keep love alive? Are we too distracted today by technology to see the other person for who they really are, to truly fall in love and not to ‘return to oneself’ or recoil in a narcissistic and self-indulgent way? An Orwellian take on love may be a little extreme to apply to our society. We’ve still got it in us and our hearts are still beating, but our ways of connecting with one another and sharing our lives has inextricably changed, perhaps forever.

In the twenty-first century, the rules of the game have been rewritten. As we approach the other, the individual of our keen interest and pursuit, we may want to refrain from seeming too eager. Instead of walking over to say a simple ‘hello’, or deploying one’s friend to send a subtle hint of our desires, or just calling them , we now revert to the ‘wonders’ of a mere Facebook message. The many outlets of communication we now possess means that face-to-face contact is decreasing as the space between people is increasing filled by a mountain of messages. The result is that more steps must be taken before one can meaningfully connect. Our social media profiles constitute a very real wall we’ve built that makes the powerful, oh-so delicate moment of truly opening oneself and getting to know the other person all the more difficult. And wasn’t that hurdle big enough already?What we need to do is to liberate ourselves from the distorted image we create for ourselves, the distorted image we project and the distorted image that we receive from other person, in hope of reaching a more authentic and real connection.<3

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