T H E R E 'S F R O S T O N T H E W I N D O W S
Josef Ka was born and raised in Nizhnevartovsk, Western Siberia. White, gray and red are the colors that predominate in her childhood memories from October to May. White and grey colors present in the frozen forests in Siberia. The red was her favorite color to wear at that time.
My childhood memories took place between settings contrasted by the intense blue of the Sea of Cortes and the ocher and cuttlefish of the deep landscapes in the style of the Mexican painter, José María Velasco. Winter feelings in Mexico City were more appreciable for me when we visited my great-aunt in a small town near Nevado de Toluca. There the cold was noticeable and left its visible traces in the grasslands covered by a very thin layer of ice.
The contrast of my childhood memories compared to Josef's are surely very diametrical. My experience with very white and snowy winters started relatively recently, when I came to live in Finland in 2009. Since then until this last winter experience, I have only seen one completely snowy from October 2009 to April 2010.
Last year practically in Helsinki we had a black winter. No frozen sea or excessive snow.
In her performance and installation, Josef Ka takes us to her memories behind the window. The glass is the screen that takes us to a distant world and lets us contemplate stories of her childhood in a voyeuristic way. Her curious and mischievous face leaning against the window gives traces of those childish grimaces. Making figures of steam and trying to see everything that happens through the memory glass.
Imaginary snow becomes tangible but does not stay anywhere. She struggles trying to hold the frost on her body, on her tongue, in her memory. In the first performance she plays with the frost stuck on the window. In the second performance, she tries to paint white those brown walls from her memories but the white slides off. It disappears. Not her body, neither the walls, nor the canvas can hold the white color of her memory.
This winter started black, the snow returned unexpectedly to the pleasant surprise of all. January 2021, there’s frost on the windows. Weather refuses to lose its frost and wants to keep playing and dressing trees, streets, cars, buildings… the urban landscape.
Climate change is a reality. Earth is warming.