Endogenous Morphine



Endogenous Morphine (or The Fabulous Endorphin Series) is a collection of drawings dedicated to Finnish trainer Sauli Koskinen’s passion for sports and travel. He once mentioned the good feeling given by endorphins, which are hormones released through exercise and other activities. I gave the title in jest, as the scientific concept has a rather questionable history (privileged white men picking apart slaughtered animals’ brains). But the indication of a good feeling given by the central nervous system is quite interesting: first of all it’s what makes some people so independent. Then, the ancient shamans termed the central nervous system “the soul.” The word “soul,” however, used to imply another person or “god” whose unique existence was in direct connection with your unique life. There were as many gods as people, obviously, but only one god was your soul (as in your love). The good feeling is created by the central nervous system opening itself to this inner communication.

The greeting Namasté can thus be attributed to people originally recognizing what we now believe is a modern message, “It doesn’t matter who you love.” Either “My soul recognizes yours” or “I see the divine spirit within you,” both mean that because I am connected with my soul mate, I understand you are your soul mate’s ideal as well, and so I consider your weirdness holy. In the modern world, we presume this recognition of another’s spirit is direct, so we expect everyone to be our own ultimate ideal, just because we see their divinity. Needless to say we project a lot of hurt and mistrust this way, and create totally unrealistic expectations about loving everyone. Remember: in the ancient sense, divinity symbolized sexual maturity, as opposed to the moment of sexual awakening when we’re still influenced by the mythological categories of light or dark.

The problem we have today is Western dualistic belief (if I can be allowed the use of this umbrella term) where the soul is conceptualized as separate from the body; but as opposed to indicating some sort of independent spirit chatting within, the separation is introduced so that the soul appears as something the body (your social persona) owns or controls. This two-fold repression of individuality is done through teachings such as “Do not trust your senses” or “Become an ideal to everyone except yourself,” both of which tell you to exert control over (limit) the influence of your spirit, in favour of society and its rules. It happens because society’s opinions are thought to be a good regulator of negative tendencies in people, but as we shall see this is not the truth.

Ever since I was a small child I found myself going against those restrictions, as I kept exploring the relationship between the soul and my developing awareness of it through my many activities. I was fascinated with aerobics and with Olympic performers – the way they would look inside themselves just before doing something amazing – and I imitated them in my living room because I wanted to know what that place inside was… that fuel. Other aspects that drew me to this project would be how music is used as an information carrier, and then reading about Sauli’s hunger for travel – in Romania we always hear of how this hunger is an essential aspect of our identity, from long ago, but its core connection with Vampires (Upyri, “Those who Fly,” or soul mates) seems a very old taboo I am ready to break. Last but not least, there is the mythology aspect, with Finnish Gods originating in the Carpathian Mountains, studies say.

Dancing On Ice

The Dancing On Ice section is about music as an information carrier. I began by “unwrapping” each song and listening to what it says, while putting myself in the place of the person promoting it in that moment. In this way, I gained information about his soul and what’s important for him. It’s more of an art than a science, of course. Nevertheless, the technique has ancient shamanic roots.

The titles are of my artworks, followed in brackets by the original song titles. The songs can be found here.

1. The Other Side of the World (Maailman toisella puolen). A double meaning: exploring far away places and seeing the hidden sorrows that exist in the world.  

2. Endogenous Morphine (Aamu)

3. The Black Sea Hypothesis (Drink Up Me Hearties). The hero from a 1991 pirate fantasy cartoon is blond and Asian. The villain will stop at nothing to get the treasures for himself.      

4. Old Friends (Wannabe). Friendship never ends. 

5. Sinda (Jai Ho!)

6. O sole mio (It’s My Life)

7. United Drug (All That Jazz)

8. (Vogue) 

9. The Call of the Sea (Minä ja hän)

10. I Do Not Usually Drink Red Wine by Myself / Not Through Lack of Vigilance (Feeling Good)

11. Eyeliner (Nuori ja kaunis). Nuori ja kaunis is a song from the soundtrack of the coming-of-age film Elokuu (2011). The somewhat naive, contemplative protagonist explores his rebellious romantic self.  

12. (Show Me How You Burlesque)

13. Leviathan (Drink Up Me Hearties – reprise)

14. (Sun särkyä anna mä en)

Lyrics | Versuri

Maailman toisella puolen (Haloo Helsinki!) Nyt hihnalle laukku Ja viimeinen kuppi naamaan Kohta pilvien päältä Voin muistaa tämän maan Ei mulla oo tarkkaa suuntaa Mä menen minne sattuma johtaa Mulla on mukana kuvat Mutta katseet eivät kohtaa Isä olen täällä maailman toisella puolen, ja laulan pappadaduda pappappa duudadappa Äiti älä pelkää kyllä pidän itsestä huolen, … Continue reading Lyrics | Versuri