Saara Järvinen

Photographer: Saara Järvinen


In self-sufficient households people used to have devoted, long lasting relationships with objects. Unlike today, waste equalled failure. Cleaning is a creative way of making sense of our physical surroundings and forging bonds with the things we own. If the processes of getting dirty and clean are made equal through the use of an object, we can regain control of ownership. There is no dirt in nature. No-one expects a puddle of mud in a forest is to be cleaned. By creating associations between certain objects and natural creatures that have their characteristic behaviour and expectations, I can blur the experience of dirt. The decay of these objects becomes acceptable, and cleaning them becomes natural. Cleaning tasks are repeated day after day, generation after generation. I want to show that a delicate caring relationship between the owner and the object is hidden in this routine.

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