Of objects and me - Iiu Susiraja

Of objects and me - Iiu Susiraja. Part of Belfast Photo Festival.
01 – 30 June 2017.


Thursday, 29 June 2017, 5pm - 7pm.:
Aesthetics of display//Photography in context
- an analytical walk through sites of the Belfast Photo Festival
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Meeting place: 5pm at Golden Thread Gallery
Ends in PS².


The Belfast Photo Festival shows work both inside (traditional) galleries and outdoor locations, turning public/commercial spaces into open-air art venues.
During the final week of the festival, this informal tour, guided by Alissa Kleist and Mirjami Schuppert, will provide a discussion and analysis of different forms of display, focusing on how the festival’s themes of gender and sexuality are represented, particularly in public. This (short) walk will start at Golden Thread Gallery, visit St Anne’s Square, Writer’s Square, ADF Gallery and finish at PS² and should be a leisurely and critical review for everyone to contribute to.
Alissa Kleist is the Curator (Exhibitions) at the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) Derry/Londonderry and one of the co-founders and directors of Household, an organisation that develops and shares inspiring and thought-provoking art projects with people in the public realm.
Mirjami Schuppert is the curator in residence at PS² and curated the current project with Iiu Susiraja which is part of the Festival. She recently completed a practice-based PhD in curating at Belfast School of Art. Her research explores the critical potential of artistic interventions into photographic archives and the curator’s role in this process.

Free and open for everyone. Fresh elderflower cordial will be served- at the end.

Links:
Belfast Photo Festival
Golden Thread Gallery
Art and Disability Forum (ADF)
St Anne's Square
Writer's Square

Alissa Kleist is the Curator (Exhibitions) at the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) Derry/Londonderry and one of the co-founders and directors of Household, an organisation that develops and shares inspiring and thought-provoking art projects with people in the public realm.

Mirjami Schuppert is the curator in residence at PS² and curated the current project with Iiu Susiraja which is part of the Festival. She recently completed a practice-based PhD in curating at Belfast School of Art. Her research explores the critical potential of artistic interventions into photographic archives and the curator’s role in this process.


Aesthetics of display//Photography in context
 
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Opening: Thursday, 01 June, 6-9pm
Opening hours: Wed-Fri, 1-5pm, Sat, 12-4pm

The solo exhibition by Finnish artist Iiu Susiraja combines large-scale self-portraits, still-lives and film-based installations. 
 
Susiraja’s work depicts the artist engaging in a variety of absurd activities in a domestic environment. She stages surreal situations in which a woman takes risks and challenges social stereotypes by exposing herself to the camera. Susiraja's work is both humorous in its simplicity and unapologetic: her direct gaze challenges the viewer by contradicting what the work otherwise appears to be portraying.

By combining most mundane items with her body, the artist constructs iconographic relationships between the object and the figure, transforming both. The banana inside a glass jar, positioned on the artist’s abdomen creates a new purpose for the items by reconstructing their function. This transformation is echoed in the still-lives composed of ordinary household items and their extraordinary re-appropriation. These odd and funny constellations generate associations of the woman as a domestic goddess and our obsessive relation to food and corporeality. In the context of this year’s Belfast Photo Festival with the theme of sexuality and gender, these utterly self-confident, witty and empowering works are a daring and provocative contribution to the subject.
 
Iiu Susiraja’s unconventional self-portraits have gained significant international interest particularly on the internet. While she has been widely exhibited both in Finland as well as abroad, the presence of her works on numerous international journals and blogs has made her photographs expansively acknowledged and debated. The reactions to her work range from disgust to admiration, from ridicule to appreciation.

Despite having gained international attention, Susiraja’s works are not well known in the UK or Ireland. This is the first time that her work has been exhibited in Northern Ireland. The division into the English speaking and continental and northern European photographic world still appears to be pervasive, and bringing Susiraja’s challenging work to be displayed in the context of the Belfast Photo Festival functions as a game opener in making Finnish photography better known in this part of the UK and Ireland, not to mention the wider audiences  her work will reach.

Of objects and me is curated by Mirjami Schuppert, curator in residence at PS².

For more information about the Belfast Photo Festival see.

Of objects and me - Iiu Susiraja
Iiu Susiraja- Trace with no sleep - Jälki joka ei nuku, 2014, 40 x 60cm

Iiu Susiraja graduated as an artist from the Turku Art academy, Finland, in 2012 (BA). As the major substance was photography. She also makes short videos. She now studies in the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts for an MfA. Susiraja’s solo exhibition in the Project space at the Finnish Museum of Photography in 2011 made her work first known by wider audiences. Her first solo exhibition in United States called “What am I?” was seen in New York at Ramiken Crucible gallery, was one of the most important exhibitions for her career. Susiraja’s works are included in several major collections, e.g. Helsinki Art Museum, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Finnish National Museum, Finnish Museum of Photography, Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art and Päivi and Paavo Lipponen Collection, Stavanger museum, Gothenburgh Museum of Art.
For more information see.

Of objects and me - Iiu Susiraja
Installation view.

Mirjami Schuppert is a curator based in Belfast. She recently completed a practice-based PhD in curating at Belfast School of Art. Her research explored the critical potential of artistic interventions into photographic archives and the curator’s role in this process. Schuppert is interested in time and its cyclicality; how the past, present and future coexists in and through the works of art. In this note, she considers critical curatorial practice as an open, slowly evolving process that is willing to experiment and develop initiatives with unforeseen outcomes.
She is currently curator in residence at PS² and recently curated a project with the artist Dorothy Hunter.

Schuppert has curated internationally, including exhibitions ‘Contacts from the archive’ (Belfast Exposed, Belfast, 2010), ‘World’s End’ (OKK|Raum29, Berlin, 2013), ‘Glimpses of the Unattainable’ (Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, 2014, ‘How to Show?’ exhibition and residency project (Berlin, 2014), and Archive Play (Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, 2014). She has co-edited as well as contributed to art publications. She is a member of Ulster Research Salon, and co-founder of EGFK, European Society for Art and Research.
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Image top: Iiu Sisiraja- Great communication - Toimivaa kommunikointia, 2016, 130x195cm

This project is supported by funding from Frame, Finland.





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