Group Exhibition in Finland: Art is So Gay

Art is So Gay opens on June 26, 2012 at the Forum Box gallery in Helsinki, Finland. This mixed group exhibition will run through July 22, 2012.

Emmi Kattelus writes: “The ‘Art is So Gay’ exhibition will present an uniquely wide selection of contemporary art as a part of Helsinki Pride Festival 2012″. “The exhibition will present the widest selection of art on sexuality and gender in Finland to this date. Included are 40 artists whose works deal with the diversity of sexuality and identity. The exhibition will include paintings, sculptures, installations, photography, drawings, media art, video and performances. The artists are not selected according to their sexual orientation, but how their works fit the Pride theme.”

Art is so Gay Opening reception:
June 26, 2012 at 5pm to 8pm.
Forum Box gallery, Helsinki, Finland

The Child Venus, sculpture by Emma Helle

The Child Venus, ( glazed ceramic clay, height app. 40 cm), sculpture by Emma Helle, 2012. Photo by Miikka Pirinen

The exhibition will be held alongside the Pride in Helsinki June 25 – July 1, 2012 and I have asked a some of the out & proud women artists of the group exhibition to talk about their work and practice.

Sculptor Emma Helle
“I take delight in old, mostly Baroque and Renaissance art. At my latest two exhibitions, history of art in general or some paintings or sculptures in particular have been the subject matter of my works. I cannot promise the viewer any new perspective on the topics, such as the Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus, a work by Rubens that became the namesake of my current solo exhibition [Emma Helle
30.5.-30.6.2012 at Gallaria Sculptor, Helsinki]. I, a queer woman, was fascinated enough by that piece of art to paraphrase it. I cannot give up modelling or remodelling putti, those fantastic, fat, muscular flying babies that populate most of my favorite artworks. I don’t know why, and any added value to the old themes remains for the spectator to find.”

Phoebe and Polydeuces, sculpture by Emma Helle, 2012

Phoebe and Polydeuces, sculpture by Emma Helle, 2012. View of the exhibition in Galleria Sculptor, Helsinki, with Phoebe and Polydeuces in the centre. Photo by Miikka Pirinen

Phoebe, sculpture by Emma Helle, 2012

Phoebe, sculpture by Emma Helle. Phoebe is a part of the work Phoebe and Polydeuces, tempera on red pine, dimensions variable, 2012. Photo by Miikka Pirinen

Performance artist Heidi Lunabba
opens her Studio Vilgefortis, a beard salon at Art is So Gay and invites the women to come to have a beard made in the salon. At the exhibition you can also see a video about Studio Vilgefortis.

Beard Catalog by Heidi Lunabba

Beard Catalog by Heidi Lunabba

Heidi Lunabba says, “I think my art practice deals a lot with identity and gender identity. Identity is a lot about visual expression so I think art is a good medium for talking about that. There haven’t been so many big group exhibitions in Finland dealing with glbt identity, so I think it’s good that the name of the exhibition clearly states the subject.”

In her beard studio Heidi works on raising women’s awareness of the fact that they may look very beautiful/handsome with beard. The androgenous look is quite fun. Get free a makeover and a unique opportunity question you own gender and gender identity for an afternoon at Studio Vilgefortis.

Press photo by Studio Vilgefortis

Press photo by Studio Vilgefortis

Laura Lilja
presents her sculpture Globe from her installation Freak (Basic Education Act of Finland), 2008, at Art is So Gay.

Laura Lilja: “The globe with the mirror tiles stands on a lonely school desk. The audience can put the globe spining. Then also the light spots on the walls go round and round like the toughts and dreams of the outsider, the young queer person in the heteronormative school world. There’s a strong nostalgic feeling in the work – despite of the hard times difference and finding one’s own identity is eventually a richness and dreams can be made true!”

Globe by Laura Lilja, 2008

Globe by Laura Lilja, 2008

Related Links
Posts about Heidi Lunabba at Feminine Moments
Posts about Laura Lilja at Feminine Moments

New Works By Laura Lilja At The ‘No Tricks’ Show In Helsinki

No Tricks - group exhibition at MUU Galleria, Helsinki Finland, August 2011

No Tricks – group exhibition at MUU Galleria, Helsinki Finland, August 2011

Queer artist Laura Lilja (Finland) invites you to the opening of

NO TRICKS
- Eight MUUs
 
Eeva-Mari Haikala
Inkeri Harri
Mikko Kuorinki
Laura Lilja
Sebastian Lindberg
Marika Orenius
Heidi Romo
Hypnobatia group
 
August 5 – 28, 2011
MUU galleria, Helsinki, Finland
 
Opening on Thursday, August 4, 5-7 pm. Welcome!

No Tricks is an exhibition entirety curated within the members of Artists’ Association MUU. In the exhibition are participating eight artists who are known to work with different motives as well as various tools and methods. The exhibition consists of performative pieces, photographs, installations, one video work and conceptual art.

The invitation to be part of the exhibition was sent to 600 members of Artists’ Association MUU in Spring 2011 with the title “MUU attitude”. All the artists participating in the No Tricks exhibition do have this attitude – their distinctive works that are fruits of a long artistic career or merits of young artists are of heavy content and deliver a powerful message. The
exhibition works have been selected by Hanne Ivars, Varpu Lukka, Timo Soppela and Outi Sunila.

Related links
Read other posts tagged Laura Lilja at Feminine Moments

Installation view From ‘Black On White’ by Laura Lilja

Photos and installation: Laura Lilja

Installation views from Laura Lilja’s exhibition ‘Black On White’ at
Titanik-galleria, Itäinen Rantakatu 8, Turku, Finland, 7.1. – 30.1.2011.

Text about Juvonen and Olsson, Installation by Laura Lilja, 2010-11

Text about Juvonen and Olsson, installation by Laura Lilja, 2010-11

Laura Lilja about her exhibition:

The starting points of the exhibition are obituaries of certain deceased Finnish artists, as poet Isa Asp, author and poet Eeva-Liisa Manner and author, illustrator and painter Tove Jansson. The obituaries have been published in Finnish newspapers during 19th-21th centuries. What and how they told about artists’ private life? What can be read behind the conventions or between the lines? Is it possibly to question the hetero-norm by studying the obituaries and repeating them slightly differently?

… Read the rest of her artist statement: Laura Lilja: Black On White

Text about Jansson and Asp, installation by Laura Lilja, 2010-11

Text about Tove Jansson and Isa Asp, installation by Laura Lilja, 2010-11

Text about Manner, installation by Laura Lilja 2010-11

Text about Eeva-Liisa Manner, installation by Laura Lilja 2010-11

Text about Olsson, installation by Laura Lilja, 2010-11

Text about Hagar Olsson, installation by Laura Lilja, 2010-11

Text about Siri von Essen, installation by Laura Lilja

Text about Siri von Essen, installation by Laura Lilja, 2010-11

 

Black On White - Exbibition Poster
Exhibition poster 'Black On White' at Titanik-Galleria, Finland by Laura Lilja

Exhibition poster ‘Black On White’ at Titanik-Galleria, Finland by Laura Lilja

Related Link
Laura Lilja’s website

Laura Lilja: Black On White

7.1. - 30.1.2011 Laura Lilja: Black On White in Titanik Gallery, Turku, Finland

Laura Lilja:

Black on White By Laura Lilja, Titanik Galleria 2011‘The starting points of the exhibition are obituaries of certain deceased Finnish artists, as poet Isa Asp, author and poet Eeva-Liisa Manner and author, illustrator and painter Tove Jansson. The obituaries have been published in Finnish newspapers during 19th-21th centuries. What and how they told about artists’ private life? What can be read behind the conventions or between the lines? Is it possibly to question the hetero-norm by studying the obituaries and repeating them slightly differently? I have searched the obituaries for texts concerning the private life of the artists. I have copied these text extracts on broad newspaper rolls. So I have used the original texts and fonts, only in bigger scale and by different technique – cut stencils, spray paint and the shadows of the texts on the gallery walls. In the Titanik Gallery I’m presenting the obituaries of 7 Finnish artists – Hanna Ongelin, Tove Jansson, Isa Asp, Eeva-Liisa Manner, Siri von Essen, Hagar Olsson and Helvi Juvonen. Also names of Edith Södergran and Tuulikki Pietilä turn up in texts. Other interesting deceased Finnish artist, when studying gender, sexuality and the questioning of the hetero-norm, are for example Hilda Käkikoski, Venny Soldan-Brofeldt, Wivi Lönn, Vivica Bandler etc.’

Laura Lilja: Black On White
Titanik-galleria
Itäinen Rantakatu 8
Turku, Finland
7.1. – 30.1.2011

Related Links
Laura Lilja’s website
Titanik-galleria

‘Freak’ A Queer Art Project By Laura Lilja, Finland

Laura Lilja talks about her Freak-installations:

“The queer project ‘Freak’ is one of my most successful installations. The starting point of this series of installations is my own experiences in the Finnish school system. I chose three typical classroom items (in Finnish school) and tried to present them such way that they would challenge the conventional ideas of gender and sexuality in the school world.

Freak Installation, Laura Lilja carving the queer alphabet

Performance: Laura Lilja carving the queer alphabeth

[The installation series consist of three parts]

Freak (Official Photographs of the Presidents of Finland) includes 11 silhouettes of leather and studs. The silhouettes are “copies” of the photographs of all the presidents of Finland. The leather silhouettes are placed very high on the wall like the original photographs in classrooms. Theme, materials and place, they all deal with the power relationships – political power, state, underground culture, sexuality, S-M etc.

Mannerheim from the queer project Freak by Laura Lilja

‘Mannerhemi’ from the queer art project ‘Freak’ by Laura Lilja

Freak (Globe) is about the feeling of not belonging, and dreams of finding a different future, maybe by moving to a bigger city with a gay bars with mirror balls… Spectators can sit down behind the school desk and the globe rotating.

Freak (Basic Education Act of Finland) is an installation, but also a carving performance. During the exhibition I carved the text from the basic education act of Finland on the teacher’s desk. The carved letters are copies of the logos and the name signs of Finnish gay bars, queer associations and happenings for example ‘S’ from SETA – Association for sexual equality in Finland, ‘H’ from Hercules gay bar.

The exhibition text with my private “life story” was also very important part of the exhibition in Gallery Huuto in Helsinki, Finland.”

Freak, Basic Education Act of Finland by Laura Lilja

Installation view: The teacher’s desk from Freak (Basic Education Act of Finland) by Laura Lilja

About Laura Lilja
Laura Lilja (born in 1975) is a lesbian artist based in Pori. She earned her Master of Arts at University of Art and Design, Helsinki, Finland in 2004. Her latest exhibitions are ’Grow Up And Get a Life’ at Lönnström Art Museum and ‘Heroes’ at MUU Galleria, Helsinki, Finland.

Related Links
See slideshow with photos from the ‘Freak-installations’ at lauralilja.net 
Information about ‘Heroes’ by Laura Lilja
See slideshow with photos from ‘Heroes’