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TO DUST YOU WILL RETURN
To Dust You Will Return, 2019
Performance, Memories of Performance.
No photographic or videographic documentation exists of this piece. The piece exists only in the memories of the few who 'witnessed' it, of which some can be found below.
From the original didactic:
The performance will run from 12pm- 12.10pm.
Kaija will return approx. 12.30.
Amy Spragg (audience), Memory, 2021.
"Kaija began her ascent. As she climbed, her figure became smaller and less recognizable as a human form. She began to blend into the idyllic scenery of blue skies and rolling hills. Slowly through strained eyes, her limbs became hard to distinguish from the swaying grass, rays of beating sun making it difficult to follow her upward. Eventually, she’d travelled far enough that when I moved my gaze for a second, I had lost her completely. My eyes darted around searching the green hill side desperately in the seconds before the clock struck 12.00, when the performance would begin. There was exited chatter at the base of the hill, deliberating whether that dot was her, or a bush, maybe a slightly discoloured patch of grass? Some were certain they’d had her in their sight from the beginning, most were still unsure, until 12 came. But when it did, the chatter fell away. A shape on the grass began to flicker in brilliant white light. Liberated of her clothing, Kaija’s skin glistened in stark contrast against the green and all eyes fixated. The fine details of the female body were not close enough to exploit, compare, or admire. My mind felt free to daydream about the touch of grass on my skin and the warm glow of midday sun."
Edward Pelling (audience), Memory, 2021.
"Kaija has always stood out to me as an interesting artist, tackling subjects like feminism, body objectification, with a persistent undertone in contemporary political affairs. During our class camping trip, we were asked to make a piece of work that could be based on, or include what was available as materials in our rural surroundings. The specification was simply to use what we had as a resourceful artist, and Kaija took that to new and interesting proportions, honing in on her usual practice focuses, but making the most of the open, empty, and essentially freedom extenuating environment. Becoming material, tool, and canvas, she used her body as her artwork. She gradually disappeared before us. She became barely viewable as she shrunk into the comparative size of the stretching hills. When at the top, she undressed and stood still in the breeze coming in from the South Coast. All we could see was the speck that Kaija had become, meaning her expression of autonomy was hidden by the rural desolation of the skies. Freeing oneself, with the feeling of safety and comfort in your own body, must’ve felt liberating. Exposed as nature gifted each human, knowing that judgement, societies laws, and sexualisation of one’s body is for a time dissipated, and one is detached from the judgemental chains of society. It was inspiring to observe this scene, but adding to the pieces' sovereignty was the fact that it was almost entirely unwitnessable."
KAIJA (artist), Memory, 2021.
"I was on a “school trip”, something never allowed; a 20 year old woman excited at the prospect of having a sleepover. When so many things have been restricted, suppressed, the difference between something as innocent as a camping trip, and another as subversive as getting naked in a field, become indistinguishable. Both would have been entirely obscene in my previous 20 years, so why not try two new things? I began my mile walk through the woods, I believe I passed some fellow “walkers”, though my destination was quite different from theirs, I would assume. About 30 minutes, uphill and through thorns. But then I was there, half way up a hill. Could they see me? Did they even know I was there? That wasn’t the point – I was there. I started with shoes, then socks. The feeling of grass on your feet is a sign of freedom, or poverty, who says they have to be different, but definitely familiar. The next steps were worse. T shirt, Trousers (make sure you fold them!) and before long it was all off. I lay in the sun. A small plane flew low over the field. Could they see me? That’s not the point. I giggled to myself – I couldn’t help it! And who among us could refrain from laughing while naked in a field."
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