by Ranjit Menon and Meri Hellisnt
The series of works under the monicker ‘REPTILE’ is a variation of themes that are projected from the term reptile. These are manifested in many forms that combine to conjure a range of attributes around the term ‘reptile’. The artists are Ranjit Menon and Meri Hellisnt.
1_The Interdisciple: This one belongs up there. What more can you ask for in inter-disciplinary magic? A sculpted torso, sawed of legs of trees for utilitarian purposes dipped in some art and design giltter, a chinese artificial leg with feisty knobs that are begging for some cheap action, with some bio-philiac artefacts from a random moose and reindeer strategically arranged to fit into the cross-disciplinary fiasco. One cannot miss the sustainable ‘bio-life affirming’ aspect to this experiment either as a strange UFO vegetable grows from the soil. This is the future if not the present of Aalto and we are loving it, as it says on the QR (question without response Code) code that summarises this theme.
3_Rock Rebel: A postcard form Oulu merges magically with a nostalgic incense box found in the attic of a seedy astrologer in Bangkok. The nostalgia resonates through the wood with the “ egg slicer “ strings. Behind the box is a contact microphone that converts these impulses into signals for the ‘rock rebel’ : a mysterious sound unit that will distort that signal in a huge variety of ways. Feel free to play the strings and find new sounds from Rock Rebel knobs. The reptile is created in thin air as you fool around.
4_Kuttichaaten: What do a flying rainbow trout and a demon God from India have in common. Some of the mythological creatures of Kerala, in South India, are from the neolithic times, with stories that fly form ancient Vedic cults. However to date, they are well preserved through Kerala’s ultra sophisticated Temple Culture. Among the various temples in Kerala, among which are ones dedicated to Serpent Gods, is the temple of Kuttichaaten – which literally means the ‘child devil’. The first ever 3d movie in india was made in Kerala and was a tribute to this child devil. One of the unique things about this demon-God is that children can evoke it from their natural impulses, apart from the more manipulative forces of black magicians. However, once manifested, only children and certain magicians can see it appear. Adults only see things randomly flying, such as the ‘flying serpent’ in the insulation heading toward the ‘idol’.
The small ‘thumbnail’ idol has been made with the Fablab Lasercutter, using a unique 3d engraving process that uses red water colouring to sketch the piece of wood, prior to cutting the negative of the image of the ‘Child Demon’. This gives it an authentic ‘painting like’ engraving effect. This effect is seen often in old temples in India.
5_SS – Stockholm Syndrome is termed after the Norrmalmstorg robbery of Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg in Stockholm, Sweden, 1973. In a strange episode, the bank employees became emotionally attached to their captors and defended them. The term was reinforced when the daughter of a Billionaire, Patty Hearst was kidnapped from her home in California, by the Symbionese Liberation Army. Patty went on to not only empathise with their cause, but proceeded to run guerrilla operations for them. Interestingly, according to wikipedia, Helsinki Syndrome is a confused term which is a case of group think and inattentional blindness to the negative in order to achieve some perceived benefit, a reference to the non-binding Helsinki Accords that attempted to settle post WWII Cold War tensions, a term interchangeable with Aalto post University tensions ? The symbol in the triangle is the 7 headed snake logo of the Symbionese Liberation Army.
7_Aalto Witch – The Aalto Logo in a cryptic format. Can you see the Aalto logo there? Why is the kid a bit unsettled though? Or better still, can you see a fairy tale when you look closer for the wicked witch in the logo? Kids sometimes get lost in the woods.
8_Santa_Reptile: Why did little Santa cross the road with two Burkha clad women? The last winter in Finland saw quite less snow, the summer gets hotter yet the Santa Claus village in Lapland attract many tourists around the world for the Santa Myth. However the real myth is stranger than fiction. Is Santa in Lapland or loitering somewhere near St. Blaise high school?This image was taken near my school in India. In some parts of India, there is so much chaos that there is no time for clear social categorisation. Some parts of the country spew more variety than iconoclasm or fanaticism can handle.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Ranjit: I am a Sound in New Media MA programme fresh graduate. I dabbled in many things, entered as a musician and now exit as an organisation designer.