About this artwork
Although the characters and experiences that Salla Tykkä represents are fictionalized, her practice may be understood as self-portraiture. At the same time, the films in her Cave trilogy (2002–03), Lasso, Thriller, and Cave, skillfully distill cinematic genres such as the horror film or the western, drawing out social themes. Tykkä has commented, “In Lasso, I approached westerns, which I adored in my youth, their black-and-white set of values reminding me of the society I lived in. I was touched by the questions these films raised about power and by what kind of roles women played in these films and how.”
Lasso explores the passage from childhood to adulthood with a grand sensibility. The video begins as a jogger returns from a run in the suburbs of Helsinki, catching her breath as she approaches a front door. Ringing the bell and trying the locked door, she walks around to the back of the house, where she comes upon a series of full-length windows. At first, her reflection is seen in the pane, but as she approaches to peer through the Venetian blinds, the camera reveals the interior of the house. A young man, stripped to the waist and barefoot, is deep in concentration as he swings a lasso. The camera eventually returns to the woman, her eyes and tear-stained cheeks visible through the slats of the blinds.
The music for Lasso, equal parts poignant and farcical, is borrowed from composer Ennio Morricone’s Once Upon a Time in the West (1969), a selection that equates this classic “spaghetti” western with the faux rodeo antics of Tykkä’s male protagonist. Coupled with his graceful movements, the mise-en-scène hypnotically draws viewers into the same trance the female character has fallen under. This spell is broken when the young man falls to his knees and forcefully crashes the lasso against the floor, at which point the jogger backs slowly away from the window, leaving behind a trace of her breath on the glass.
According to Tykkä, the original script for Lasso was “a story about a young woman in whose everyday life subconscious visions intrude, shattering her reality into pieces.” The film focuses on what is seemingly a fragment of a much larger narrative.
Currently Off View
- Contemporary Art
- Salla Tykka
- 35 mm color film, stereo sound, transferred to digital video (projection); 3:48 min. loop Artist's proof from an edition of seven
- Restricted gifts of Stephanie Skestos Gabriele and Dirk Denison
- © 2000 Salla Tykkä.