Riikka Kuoppala describes her practice as two separate parts that intertwine. The first part is creating narrative films and videos that portray mental and psychological spaces. They often feature protagonists who are reconstructing their identities in relation to the society after experiencing trauma.
Kuoppala portrays her work with film and video as the description and visualization of identity reconstruction processes: “Healing from a trauma resembles the constant negotiation between an individual and cultural expectations and norms. During the process of screenwriting, I frequently find myself looking for answers to these questions: how can one present and represent oneself? What is one allowed to be like? What if you don’t fit in?”
The second part of Kuoppala’s work consists of site-specific and collaborative projects addressing wider ethical issues such as minority rights, poverty of children and food production. The fundamental connection between her two artistic practices lies in a negotiation between the self and the society. Both address the ways in which psychological realities are tied with external realities.
Riikka Kuoppala is Triangle Art Association and FCINY’s artist-in-residence for April–June 2016. During her three-month stay in New York, Kuoppala will be working on a series of sculpture-like video installations. The installations intertwine narratives from Kuoppala’s family history set in Namibia with wider narratives still influencing the lives of contemporary Namibians – namely, the relations between missionary work, apartheid and colonialism.
Triangle is a not-for-profit arts organization whose mission is to support emerging and mid-career international and national visual artists, encouraging dialogue and experimentation through workshops, residencies and exhibition opportunities.
http://www.fciny.org/residency/liisa-lounila http://www.fciny.org/residency/jaakko-heikkil http://www.fciny.org/residency/laura-horelli