MELANCHOLY BLOG

CLAESSON KOIVISTO RUNE ARCHITECTS

"Melancholy can be a pleasant downer. But only for a certain time. Like with a cold bath the reward comes when you get out of it." - Mårten Claesson


OLA RUNE


Who are you and what do you do?
I am an architect and designer running our own studio Claesson Koivisto Rune Architects together with Mårten Claesson and Eero Koivisto.

What are your thoughts on melancholy?
For me melancholia is a peaceful state of mind. I often listen to music with a blue note tone when I am alone and it gives me both the energy and strength I need.

What does it do to you, what happens when you feel down or blue?
It is helpful to reflect my thoughts and balance my normal optimistic state of mind.

In what way has melancholy inspired or affected your work?
I think all states of mind is helpful when being creative, and melancholy is one of these. It does not survive by itself as it needs both neutral and positive states of mind to balance. Many great ideas derive from the transition between melancholy and optimism.

What place would you say that melancholy has in your country?
It is a natural existence in Sweden and we do not think it is negative.

Do you think creativity would be better if people accepted that they feel blue from time to time?
I think when you are working with very personal feelings and thoughts you need to give all feelings place in creativity. This is of course most visible in poetry, music and film, but are present also in architecture. It deserves the same status as other states of mind.



MÅRTEN CLAESSON


Who are you and what do you do?
I am an architect and a product designer.

What are your thoughts on melancholy?
Melancholy to me is an emotion related to introspection. A fundamental emotion. But not the only one.

What does it do to you, what happens when you feel down or blue?
Melancholy can be a pleasant downer. But only for a certain time. Like with a cold bath the reward comes when you get out of it.

In what way has melancholy inspired or affected your work?
Melancholy to me is a kind of backward force. It gives me a sense of direction of where I want to go, which fundamentally is forward. Melancholy can trigger the lust to work for the satisfaction of accomplishment.

What place would you say that melancholy has in your country?
The passing of seasons is a stark reminder of the passing of time which is really melancholic when you think of it. We have a lot of changing of seasons in Sweden.

Do you think creativity would be better if people accepted that they feel blue from time to time?
I do think that people like me, who have creativity as a profession, generally has accepted the swing of emotions as one of their creative fuels.



EERO KOIVISTO


Who are you and what do you do?
I’m an architect who sometimes also designs objects, mainly for the different projects that Claesson Koivisto Rune do.

What are your thoughts on melancholy?
Being of Finnish origin, melancholy is a strong part of my cultural upbringing. In it’s art, music, architecture, design, litterature, and theater. In all kinds of artistic expression melancholy has created the works that defines a genre (actually regardless of origin) I can’t really think of any kind of important artistic work that has had it’s origin in happiness? To name a few examples strongly inspired by melancholy: The art of Mark Rothko, the architecture of Taj Mahal, and the music of Claude Debussy.

What does it do to you, what happens when you feel down or blue?
In my opinion feeling blue and feeling down can be two different things. Melancholy can be part of your feeling, even though you’re not feeling down. I connect melancholy with great beauty in most kinds of art-related works.

In what way has melancholy inspired or affected your work?
I don’t really like ”happy” work. Even with artists that are famous for it, I prefer their more thoughtful oeuvre.

What place would you say that melancholy has in your country?
In our part of the world - the Nordic countries - we have lots of nature and space. So there’s lot of room for introspection. Which in turn gives room to a certain melancholy. Which sometimes creates important work.

Do you think creativity would be better if people accepted that they feel blue from time to time?
It IS better. Happiness doesn’t really create great work of any cultural importance.

PETITE MELLER

"For me a good song comes from melancholic feeling but also enjoyment of releasing pain away"
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Petite Meller, a French singer-songwriter who produces "Jazzy Pop". I live in London but recording most of my songs in Stockholm with Jocke Åhlund from "The Teddy Bears".

What are your thoughts on melancholy?
As I study philosophy, Melancholy is a big topic for many philosophers like Hegel and Nietzsche. Melancholic state of mind is crucial for art in retire from everything, reflecting about life and the meaning of existence. For me a good song comes from melancholic feeling but also enjoyment of releasing pain away, in Freud terms: "Jouissance". When a music shout out the pain but also comforts and cheer up at same time, that's where it wins hearts.

What does it do to you, what happens when you feel down or blue?
My song "The Flute" is about this melancholic moment when I feel lost or lonely: "Where can I go, Who can I be, looking at my day and I just long to see" "The Flute". We shot the video in Mongolia, and the lil girl who plays the flute had a really sad face, but when we played her my song she suddenly smiled and danced, and that's the idea behind it, For me it's only the sounds of the music, in this case of a flute, that sends me far away and helps me release my sorrow, leads me into a joyful place beyond, a new reality of laughing and dancing free.

What place would you say that melancholy has in your country?
French Writers like Baudelaire and Sartre are dealing with the fact that Life is absurd! We touch this planet only for a brief moment and the disappear. The only mark we can leave here is by creating something for others. That's how we can touch infinity.  I try to create realities through my music videos, "Baby Love" in Kenya, "Milk Bath" in a pink lake in Senegal , "The Flute" in Mongolia, they're all l'il realities which do exist and are not just imagined. I invite people join in, and dance with me. Everyone can dream and create his own reality. That's why I called my album "Lil Empire".

Do you think creativity would be better if people accepted that they feel blue from time to time?
I think you can easily accept your blues all the time but the harder and beauty part in life is to create something that will take you beyond it, step you out of pain, shout it loud dance to survive.

ANNEÈ OLOFSSON

"Melancholy is the base and core in my creativity, it’s been inside of me as long as I can remember."

Anneè Olofsson
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Anneè Olofsson. I’m a Swedish artist currently living in Stockholm. I lived and worked in NYC from 2001-2005. I work with photography, video and sculpture. I’m represented at MoMA, NYC, Moderna Museet in Stockholm and others.

What are your thoughts on melancholy?
Melancholy is the base and core in my creativity, it’s been inside of me as long as I can remember. But it is strange, people that meet me for the first time could not even imagine this side of me, the outside doesn’t really match the inside, but I think this is common. It is like a mask one wears to hide the darkness.

If you google it, Melancholy is a form of deep depression that is a part of the group "physical illness that effects your mood". So I assume my melancholy is a light version, or the way I myself define melancholy.

For Marcilio Ficino(1433-1499) melancholy was the highest range of intellectual life, freed from all medical limitations. Melancholy has throughout the time been connected with sadness and depression, but despite of this melancholy has been seen as something desirable, something that affects the elite and creates creative expressions for artists.

I remember living in NYC, I moved there on September 1st, 2001. I was given the schoolarships of schoolarships: one year at ISCP including money, flat and studio… Life just couldn’t turn out better. I also had a great gallery in NYC at the time. But as we all know 9/11 came and a lot changed, well everything changed.

To have a melancholic mind is a help at times like that… It kind of calms you down, the inner darkness meets the outside, and in a strange way life goes on. NYC was crippled and changed for good, but with a big desire to recover fast, and so it did. After 4 years I felt that I missed being bored and blue the way I could feel back home.

I needed that melancholy fuel (title of a Blue for Two song) that I no longer could find in NYC, and I knew I could regain in Sweden. So in the fall of 2005 I returned home to refuel.

What does it do to you, what happens when you feel down or blue?
I have always been interested in the darker matters/sides of life since I was very young. I remember the first vinyl I bought as a teenager, Cortex' “Spinal Injury”. A record that has followed me my entire life, many of the songs on that album shaped me into the person I am today, not in a negative way, the other way around, I found creativity in it.

I think that to feel down is very different from feeling blue. Two different sides of the coin. To feel down is more towards depression with sometimes a negative outcome, an unhealthy state of mind, while feeling blue is something that can produce more positive energy. Its simple, down is negative and blue is positive. Since my mind is constantly toward the blueish, what comes out comes out.

In what way has melancholy inspired or affected your work?
It’s not an inspiration, it’s a constant state of mind and way of thinking. It’s here to stay and my works will follow my mind and heart.

What place would you say that melancholy has in your country?
We don’t embrace it as something that can be fruitful and used as positive fuel. I think many fear it as only an illness. The Swedish site for medical information defines melancholy as follows: “Melancholy is the most severe form of depression. You feel depressed and the feeling cannot be averted or affected by outer stimulus. Everything is painful and you feel a total apathy towards the world around you, lacking any sense of engagement, even with your loved ones. The sense of unease and anxiety is strong. The anxiety can verge on mortal fear and be very painful."

Maybe some embrace melancholy as something to be very fruitful in their own creation, while others get lost in it and create an illness, just some thoughts.

It’s a balance and it depends very much who you are as a person how to be able to use it or not.

Do you think creativity would be better if people accepted that they feel blue from time to time?

Yes absolutely, maybe not in every blue moment there will be an immediate positive outcome, but the mind of darkness will chew on something and eventually something very interesting can come out.