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25.-28.1. The Paradise in Me

The exhibition opening is on 25.1.2024 at 18–20 at Asbestos Art Space, Kristianinkatu 16, Helsinki.

The work will be on view during 26–28.1.2024 at 12–18.

The exhibition includes two performance demos: the premiere will take place at the opening on 25.1. at 19.00, and the second on Saturday 27.1. at 17.00.

The Paradise in Me is a performative sculpture, sound installation, interdisciplinary body of work applying set design, and ongoing process of performance art. The work explores gendered otherness, the performativity of gender and the queer gaze directed towards the female body.

The exhibition approaches aspects of femininity and androgyny and their overlooked queer experiences using camp aesthetics as a stylistic and theoretical framework. Our process has centred on a collective reflection on what kind of narratives and representations we need in order to be seen the way we want to be seen – without the male gaze. The artistic premise of the work is to explore the relationship between the feminine gaze of desire and the feminine queer body, and to experiment with new ways of dealing with sapphic desire and its associated multisensory, subjective experientiality.

The design language of the piece is a combination of the organic and the unnatural. The sculpture's forms merge and melt into each other, fusing with the element of flowing water, ready-made objects and the design language of nature. The piece seeks to question the idea of the work of art as a static and unchanging element. Malleability, vagueness and flux are also central on a symbolic level as we reflect on the fluidity of gender representations. The merging bodies and the circular and fragmentary soundscape create a cyclical, layered whole, which is independent of linear time and which never reaches a static 'finished' state.

The work process has been supported by the Kone Foundation.

Working Group:

Tia Hassinen is a contemporary artist (MA) working at the intersection of experimental film, performance art and installation. Hassinen is interested in the body, gaze, identity as well as societal power structures and their deconstruction. Hassinen’s work is characterised by an interdisciplinary process-oriented approach. Flux, malleability and fluidity are keywords in Hassinen’s current work.

Ida-Sofia Tuomisto is a PhD student at the Department of Design at Aalto University as well as a sound artist. Tuomisto's research focuses on the questioning of binary gender representations through the process of fashion design, extending into the fields of fashion, aesthetics and gender studies. In both her artistic and research work, Tuomisto is interested in everything defined as unconventional and finds it essential to deconstruct familiar, overlooked concepts. Tuomisto is a punk singer and composer in the band Aus Tears, among others. She has also made sound art with the support of Taike working grants.

Pihla Sudenyö is a professional in movement and somatics, with an interest in exploring embodiment, ways of perceiving oneself in relation to the environment and the experience of strangeness and otherness through performance art.


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