Scorched Earth by Jaakko Pallasvuo
Afterword by John Beeson
The book of sorts –an object –consists of a collection of contemplations, fragments, online posts, chat boxes, that are cobbled together from the Finnish artist’s dawsonscreek.info Tumblr account with a quote on the cover by the blog’s namesake, Dawson Leery (“We can analyze this to death later”). Off-topic and out of context, it’s a pull quote made by a fictional character from a turn-of-the-millennium US teen drama, about an artist he doesn’t know. Because how could he? Dawson Leery doesn’t exist. But he also does. He’s an influence on Scorched Earth, along with other pop cultural constructions, Rihanna, Kanye West, Chloë Sevigny, Eddie Vedder. They all compose a highly allusive maybe-autobiographical text that’s based in the circulated image.
“The text is not the work”, insists one of Scorched Earth’s fifteen “Works”. Neither is the artwork the life that’s led; one made up of fragments filtered through a body that is odd looking, neurotic, fat, fictionalised (“either a man or a woman or then not”). Here, the online and the offline are indistinguishable, the internet is the IRL, the image, the reality. Nominating himself a kind of Saviour come to reclaim poor Post-Internet (“I want what no one else wants”) Pallasvuo disavows any idea of authenticity: “isn’t it more authentic to be inauthentic than authentic if you’re inauthentic at heart?”
– Jean Kay, 2015
Published By Arcadia Missa A5, 150 pages, Black & white inners, Full color covers, Softcover, Perfect bound, 2nd Edition, 2015