The key was once an ubiquitous staple of our daily lives. However, with fingerprint locks, keycards and similar technological advancements, it seems likely that we will see a future where traditional keys are merely souvenirs of the past, stripped of their functionality. Yet still, the idea of the key has since long freed itself from its traditional form, becoming a symbol of access; whether it be to one’s home, a safe deposit box or to a magical world.
In Joakim Ojanen’s ‘Next to Daisy’s, in top of the laundry’ (LL’Editions, 2022), the reader is granted access to such a place. With this special edition of the book, issued with a polished bronze sculpture by Ojanen titled ‘Studio Key’, packaged in a walnut box with cherrywood intarsia, we celebrate the idea of giving someone a key to your place. To keep things intimate, the edition is limited to 10 (+4 AP).
Behind a standardized, white door at Strömsätragränd, a magical world reveals itself. Stepping over the threshold, the visitor finds herself surrounded by a myriad of otherworldly creatures of various forms and sizes. In a corner of the room, a choir of small flowers sings a serenade, led by a cheeky duck and in the opposite end of the room, a thin-limbed youngster – far too tall for his supposed age – looms. The adolescent appears to be sad; perhaps afflicted by the immensity of our ambivalent, modern world?
Artist Joakim Ojanen’s studio is like no other studio you will have seen. A far cry from the carefully curated atelier museum in the Montparnasse neighborhood of Paris, which hosts a reconstruction of Giacommeti’s studio or, in closer proximity to the studio of Ojanen; sculptor Carl Eldh’s Ateljémuseum in Vasastaden, Stockholm.
Over the course of two years, the artist has documented his work in the studio with two analogue cameras. Lumps of clay are transformed into fantastical sculptures while exhibitions are being prepared and works are shipped out to different corners of the world. Outside the studio, seasons seamlessly shift and the rays of sun flickering on the walls firmly follows in both frequency and temperature. Roll by roll of film is sent to the lab for developing and a book is starting to take form.
Next to Daisy’s, on top of the laundry contains 227 photographs by the artist and a text by Jakob Ojanen, artist and brother to Joakim. We dare propose that it is impossible to get closer to the artist than this, at least in a book.