Anni Laakso
& Martta Tuomaala

21.10 — 8.11.2020

In their exhibition, Anni Laakso and Martta Tuomaala present two separate artworks, D and Under Pressure, which bring forth the mechanisms and impacts of gendered use of power.

Anni Laakso. D (2020). Sculpture.

D is a strong spiral figure built of thick pine branches. It is a representation of a woman’s body that changes shape. One of the starting points of the work has been the ancient story of Daphne, who had to turn into a tree to avoid  harassment from the male god Apollo.The sculpture is made of old pine tree branches collected from forests after logging and  storms. The branches themselves have a strong shape, movement and texture. The surface resembles skin with various traces of time.

Martta Tuomaala. PAINEESSA / Under Pressure (2019). 19min. 10sec. / 16:9 / loop video. The artwork was made in collaboration with Sepideh Rahaa.

What does it take to be a feminist today? Under Pressure deals with intersectionality and the complexity of privileges and power relations. In the artwork, statistical facts about discrimination against women in Finland are intertwined with metaphorical and fictional storytelling based on real life situations.

About the artists

Anni Laakso is interested in space: the production and perception of it. In her artistic work she has occupied spaces, by a transitory space, which was built using found materials, found within her neighbourhood. Most of her works are temporary walk-in installations, which the visitor can enter. She works with hands and simple tools. Works can be seen as sculptures or as creation of spaces. Using found materials and garbage her works are a kind of poor architecture and personal low–tech technology. Laakso lives and works in Helsinki. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in 1995 as a sculptor and has since exhibited her works in exhibitions in Finland and abroad.

Martta Tuomaala (MA, b. 1983) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Helsinki. Tuomaala focuses on various forms of film, video and installation. Her artistic practice involves elements of socially engaged art and militant research. Common themes in her artworks include workers’ everyday life, the struggles of individuals and communities, and abuse of power. Tuomaala is currently a board member in AV-Arkki (the Distribution Centre for Finnish Media Art) and the Leftist Artists’ and Writers’ Association Kiila. Tuomaala is a co-founder of Kenno Filmi co-op, a production house for film & media art.

Anni Laakso´s work is supported by The Arts Promotion Center Finland. Thanks to Klemetsby Gård for the timber.

Tuomaala’s artwork Under Pressure is supported by: AVEK (The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture) / Tuuli Penttinen-Lampisuo, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Creative Europe programme and Nordic Culture Point.

The artwork has been produced in the framework of the Creative Europe Wom@rts project of cultural exchange and cooperation, as part of transnational artistic residences, exchanges and roaming exhibition”, with the particular support of WIFT Finland, Avilés Factoría Cultural (Spain) and UGM (Slovenia).

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