Duncan Butt Juvonen: The Fox Wife
The Fox Wife
“It’s the puppet’s dream; being human”
Solaris, Stanislaw Lem
In his exhibition The Fox Wife Duncan Butt Juvonen (b. 1972) presents an installation, which considers the distortions of translation between cultures, languages, perceptions and media.
The Fox Wife installation features an animation of an abrupt, violent Eskimo folktale of the same name that tells a story of jealousy and deception with surreal, animistic twists. The tale is narrated by a weathered arctic hare that appears to have trouble forming its words, but is compelled to get the tale out. Molded by oral tradition and translated, the tale is now relayed by an animal that is in fact a puppet with a human voice, in a painted landscape, appearing on a TV in a tent erected indoors.
The installation obliquely addresses the human/animal division, illusion, language and control in a darkly humorous manner.
An arctic wilderness. A foxes head glows on the wall. A tent, lit from inside.
Upon entering the tent, a TV.
Upon the TV, the same arctic wilderness.
Enter Arctic Hare, stage left. Hare pauses upon seeing audience. Considers. Approaches.
HARE: A man and his wife lived alone in a remote area. Every day he kayaked out to sea hunting. On his return his wife was seldom in. This made him suspicious…
Hare lopes off. Exit Hare stage right.
Repeat ad nauseam.
Duncan Butt Juvonen is a British artist who has been based in Finland for the last six years. He graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts’ MA programme in 2009. His artworks have been exhibited in nine countries and are featured in the collections of two Finnish art museums and the Finnish State Art Collection.