Who?

Anne Rantakylä (b. 1989 St. Michels, Finland) is a photographic artist and poet based in Gothenburg, Sweden. Her works often constitute from the combination of poems and photographs. In different display formats on paper she plays with the connections and metaphors of the two elements.

In 2019 she graduated as a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from the Valand Academy (University of Gothenburg).

She studied her Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts in Finland, graduating in 2017. Before engaging with photography, she worked with intaglio printmaking and drawing.

contact: anne.rantakyla at gmail.com


2. March 2019 Statement

It was impossible to say what time of the year or day it was, but therewas moderately ambient light and the water was very clear. I was observing the river Vuoksi that runs in eastern Finland. It was similar, but the setting was much warmer. The riverbanks were different. I was watching the river from the side, I could see both under, and over the water simultaneously. I was in the air, and aside the water. It was as if I was inside a documentary film or in an aquarium. The water was very clear and vividly blue. A ship that was oversized to the river was slowly making its way in the river.

Suddenly a blessing! A group of narwhals appeared swimming in the river with the ship. The whales were very playful and glad. They noticed me quickly and suddenly one of them took me into the water.

I was in a yoga posture, something like the turtle, my legs close to mybody and the narwhals started to play with me by throwing my body into the air with their tusks. I was not scared. Me, as an experiencer was not important there. It was like I was outside my body and mind somehow but still observing.

What was left, was my attention and it was fully on these whales. I was not hurt or scared when they threw me, but amazed by these creatures that played with me like they would play with a ball. I could not believe how friendly these creatures were. Was I a ball, a whale, or me, who am I?

Something in me has a strong relationship with water. I mean, I don’t,but something in me does. Something deeper. It something that exceeds rational understanding.

When ever I am in the water it feels so familiar and strong that I have started to believe that in my previous life, I must have been a creature of the sea. I know nothing about the water or the previous lives, but a strange, familiar sensation overwhelms my body when I am in the water.

It relaxes, and if I did not have my human, earthly qualities that limit how long I can be in the water, I could be there forever. I loose the sense of time completely in the water. I loose my thoughts there, I am captivated by the sensations that hijack my entire being. Why did these friendly whales seem so familiar?

Luckily, I do not have to make sense out of this. I would much rather live in the world of the whales where ‘I’ is pure attention, consciousness.

And the ‘I’ don’t understand where the playful whales came from and where they are headed. Understanding is not the point. The places are filled with luminescent light, mysteries, creatures and ‘I’ the experiencer is just a character in a story that is much larger than understanding, and that is the way it should be.

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