Bodies, Borders, Crossings

Installation view at Galería Juan Pardo Heeren, as part of Lima Photography Biennial 2014. Photo: Kari Soinio

Elena Näsänen: Wasteland, 2009, still from a video

Minna Rainio & Mark Roberts: Eight Rooms, 2008, eight-channel synchronized video installation, still from a video

Hannele Rantala: from the series Blue Scarf, 2011

Installation view at Pori Art Museum, 2013, (c) Kari Soinio

Jaakko Heikkilä: from the series A Voice Without Letters, 2007-2008

FCINY’s exhibition Bodies, Borders, Crossings (2011-14) reached its fifth and final destination on its international tour in Montevideo, Uruguay. The exhibition was displayed at the Punto de Encuentro gallery from July 31 till August 29 2014. The presentation in Montevideo was realized in collaboration with The Finnish Institute in Madrid.

Thematically, the exhibition both illuminates and challenges borders, whether geographic, national or corporeal. Working with photography and video, the featured artists reassess apparently self-evident norms and examine the mechanisms of social control. The specific themes of the works include the issues of immigration and emigration, and such identity categories as gender, age, ethnicity and color.

All of the artists in the exhibition use either photography or moving image as their media. This brings yet another angle to the show: the relationship to reality shaped by a documentary, lens-based media, which always somehow also registers the reality it comments upon.

The artworks in the exhibition approach the themes of corporeality, borders and crossings from various perspectives. Some of them investigate the meaning of gendered rules . Some works problematize whiteness as a norm in the North. Some interrogate the notion of “free” globalized movement. All in all, the exhibition contributes to the timely debates concerning the disappearance of some borders and enforcement of others.

Artists Jaakko Heikkilä, Catarina Ryöppy, Minna Rainio and Mark Roberts deal with local and temporal border crossings: emigration and immigration, as well voluntary as forced crossings. Marja Pirilä, Hannele Rantala and Raakel Kuukka focus on the borders and border crossings constructing identities. Riikka Kuoppala, Minna Suoniemi and Elena Näsänen challenge, or even interrupt certain presuppositions connected to the borders set for the human body and genders.

The curators of the show are Leena-Maija Rossi and Kari Soinio. Rossi is the Director of the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York. Kari Soinio is a New York based photographic artist.

Bodies, Borders, Crossings was first presented on Governors Island in New York in 2011. It has since then been shown at the Preus Museum (Horten, Norway) and Pori Art Museum (Finland) in 2013, at Galeria Juan Pardo Hereen/Instituto Cultural Peruano Norteamericano (Lima Photography Biennial, Peru), and in Punto de Encuentro in Montevideo (Uruguay) in 2014.

Punto de Encuentro is a multidisciplinary art space bringing into convergence visual and performative arts, lectures and book readings.  The art space is run by the Uruguayan Ministry of Education and Culture, and they also arrange debates on topical societal and cultural issues related to, and reflected by art.

Supporters of the exhibition:

Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, Alfred Kordelin Foundation, Kone Foundation, Finnish Cultural Foundation, David and Nancy Speer Professorship in Finnish Studies, University of Minnesota, Frame Visual Art Finland, Finnish-Norwegian Cultural Institute, the Finnish Embassy in Lima, Peru, and the Honorary Consulate General in Montevideo.