An Attempt to Tame the Wild
Our environment is more and more contaminated by the human touch. Trapped inside four walls, we are haunted by sleepless nights that result from the turbulence of technology around us: light pollution, TV and mobile devices showing us crises happening 24/7 around the world, forest fires, drought, wars… And not to forget the human itself, the mind and body try to thrive in an environment filled with the rush, abundance, and noise. In the places that we consider nature, the wild, we cannot actually find it. Forests are just grounds for tree farming. Seas, lakes and rivers are so polluted that they are chemically closer to something other than water. Humans are like hamsters running helplessly on their wheels. From womb to grave, we perform our lives. We are embarrassed by our shortcomings, no matter how sincere they would be. We are afraid of deer. Walking barefoot outside is either impossible or disgusting for us. We are estranged from nature. An Attempt to Tame the Wild is Kirjavainen’s attempt to find the wild in our environment and promotes the importance of saving the little pieces of it that still exist. Kirjavainen’s photographs express our greediness, ignorance, and disrespect for the essence of life, for freedom. We aim to control, but eventually fail anyway. The wild, the free, seems to take over anyhow. We lack the understanding of belonging and harmony. We are not detached – we are attached, linked together. We have adopted a false idea of freedom. We think freedom is to do whatever we like as individuals. Without constraints, we feel entitled to take advantage of nature and other people around us. But selfishness is not equivalent to freedom. It is only freedom for one – but a prison for others. True freedom – is seeing the forest for the trees. It is not being ignorant and giving up immediately when encountering something difficult. It is – seeing the bigger picture for the details.
Heidi Kirjavainen (b. 1991, Kuopio) is a visual artist and a photographer who works between Belgium and Finland. No format or space is a limitation for Heidi’s expression as she pushes the boundaries of photographic practices by combining techniques of staged photography and environmental and installation art. She holds a master’s degree in photography from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp in Belgium and has studied visual arts at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences in Finland.