Helsinki City Art Museum presents at the Tennis Palace an exhibition of international and Finnish video art entitled Stunt. Eleven different perspectives and stories about constructing identity in keeping with role models created by the media and different communities. The artists often play some role in their own works, not unlike stunt players. The exhibition is curated by the artists Pekka Niskanen and Sari Tervaniemi.
The exhibition features Tony Cokes, Miranda July, Kristin Lucas, Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley and Vincent Pruden, as well as The Wooster Group starring Willem Dafoen and Kate Valkin, from the USA,, and video works by the Philippine/Danish artist Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, and Ville Heinonen and Ilppo Pohjola from Finland. Video works by Pekka Niskanen and Sari Tervaniemi are also presented, of which Tervaniemi's Vanished Pattern receives its premiere at the opening of the exhibition.
Many of the artists in Stunt play some role in their own works. Acting offers an opportunity to be something other than themselves. The process of creation in the videos is much like the work of stunt players, with the artist fixing prosthetic limbs on himself, watching himself for years through a surveillance camera, or going without sleep for days on end to attain the state of mind required by the role.
Individuals are constantly being moulded by the media, the entertainment industry and the role models they mediate, as well as by the influence of cultural, racial or religious communities. For example, The Wooster Group's The Emperor Jones, presented in this exhibition, tells the story how in the 19th century a black man from the West Indies, in hope of financial success, turned himself into a white man by changing his behaviour and the colour of his face. Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen's work depicts the power of a highly immersive religious community and the strong emotions the community engenders in its members. In his work, Ilppo Pohjola illustrates how the homoerotic drawings of Tom of Finland have also influenced the fashions, rock music and advertising of heterosexual culture, making Tom of Finland also known among the general public.
Guided tours: Free guided tours are conducted in Finnish on Wednesdays at 6 pm and on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 pm; in Swedish on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month at 1 pm. To book tours at other times, call (09) 310 87003.