All content © Henriikka Kontimo 2018
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Self-Portraits

2018

a series of three prints, 26x34cm each
ink and paper

1

It's time to plant the tulip bulbs. Take your shoes off and sit on the floor comfortably.
Think for a moment about different round and pointy shapes. Then put your fingers into
your nostrils and pull firmly.

The bottom of your nose will become detached. Roll your nose carefully up to your
forehead and tie it in place with your eyebrows. Put some wet tissue paper into the
resulting hole. Then close your eyes and touch the now planted tulips with your
thoughts: feel the shapes of the tulip bulbs. Feel how the tulip buds open. Feel how your
impulses slide on smooth, undulating tulip petals. Feel how the stems rub against
your memories.

If you water the hole regularly, then in early spring beautiful, white-and-red-striped
tulips will emerge from the hole, bringing some long-awaited color on your winter-pale face.

2

When you have a chance to be in this room by yourself, touch the wall with your hands.
Lay them on the wall, fingers wide apart, like octopuses. Remember how it was, to be
touched by the hands you loved most in this world; the hands that won't touch you ever
again.

The calmness or warmth, softness or coarseness of those hands. Their tininess as they
held on to your hands, or their greatness as they enclosed your hands into them. The
way how their touch was speaking and how that touch made you speak. The beauty of
those hands as they were concentrated on doing the thing they did best. Collect all these
memories together. Then push them into the wall with all the power of your octopus hands.

Next time you come back to this place, you'll see it has changed its shape. The walls
have bended and become skin-colored. All around on the walls there are growing little
hands;little fists that, as you touch them, open and wrap their fingers tightly around your
index finger.

3

Breathe calmly in and out, in and out. When you feel ready, place one exhale in front
of your feet, facing you. Place two following exhales next to the first exhale, side by side.
Then place next three exhales sideways on top of the first three exhales. Keep on piling
exhales in the same manner until you have built a tower that is higher than anything you
have built before. Rest of the exhales you can keep to yourself.

Later, inevitably, tomorrow or decades from now, your breathing will slow down and come
to an end. What will then happen to the tower you built today? No one knows.

""