Väliaikaisuuden keskellä (Within Non-Permanence) – art exhibition on at Galleria 4-Kuus in Helsinki

Welcome to to Usva Seregina’s and Anni Ekström’s art exhibition “Väliaikaisuuden keskellä” [Within Non-Permanence]! The art exhibition opens on 24.11 at 5PM-7PM in Galleria 4-Kuus (Uudenmaankatu 4-6, Helsinki). The exhibition is open until 21.12.! Please see some photos from the opening night below.

Moments come and go, continuously building and developing a stream of impressions and sensory experiences. Is there an understanding of themselves and their own place in the world about these ideas, experiences and memoirs? Through her paintings, Usva Seregina explores important, colorful memories; moments that have defined her awareness and consciousness. These moments may seem ordinary and everyday but are extremely powerful and influential. How do different moments define our self? Why do some of the experiences remain with us as important pillars of understanding? How do they affect our views on society and the world? Are the memories even intact or truthful? Does it matter if their power remains?

Where does the power of senses and memories come to an end? Death is an experience that awaits us all, but also a topic that we have abandoned in modern society. Death has become a taboo subject we want to forget and avoid. Anni Ekström examines death as an everyday and earthly theme through her sculptures. She wants to understand death as part of life and bring it closer to us. Why do we live so far away from an issue that connects us all? Is death really so different from life? Is it really so scary? Could we not approach this mystical, distant subject more archaically?

The paintings and sculptures create a conversation among one another. Past and future experiences collide; both always transformative, unstable, non-permanent.

Usva Seregina is a multidisciplinary artist and a researcher who is interested in the structures and norms of society, their impact on individuals and communities, as well as the questioning of these structures. As an artist, Seregina works through paintings, installations and performance. As a researcher, she works in the fields of consumer culture research, sociology, performance studies, and art-based research. Seregina’s artistic work and research are strongly linked to each other and support one other. At present, the main themes of her work are fantasy and imagination as part of contemporary society; aesthetics and consumer culture; communities, belonging and being left out. Seregina is currently working in Helsinki and London.

www.usvaseregina.com

Anni Ekström is a Helsinki-based sculptor born in 1988. At the moment he is working at Santala, near Hanko. Ekström is a metalsmith and visual arts artisan. Anni Ekström is fascinated by various materials, exploring them and experimenting with them. Specifically, various metals are close to her heart. The smell and feel of iron make her feel at home. As a craftsman, Ekström is accurate about her materials and their use. In her work, Ekström explores human and animal rights as well as issues of equality.

www.anniekstrom.com

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Book launch at the Word Bookstore

I organized a book launch for “Performing Fantasy and Reality in Contemporary Culture” at the Word Bookstore in New Cross in London last Wednesday Oct 31st.

It was a success! Great people, great discussions, great space,great drinks and snacks 😀

See some picture below from the event.

 

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New book is out!

I am now a published author! ”Performing Fantasy and Reality in Contemporary Culture” is out, published by Routledge Advances in Sociology.

The book explores the concept and subjective experience of fantasy in contemporary culture, mapping out its use in recent history, providing an interdisciplinary overview of terminology, and focusing on the bodily performance of fantasy in today’s Western world. The book uses performance theory and theatre as a theoretical lens, and LARP as an empirical context to explore the performance of fantasy.

More info on the book and how to get it here: https://www.crcpress.com/Performing-Fantasy-and-Reality-in-Contemporary-Culture/Seregina/p/book/9781138088948 

Engaging the Audience through Videography as Performance

Consumer culture research aims to explore consumption as an element of contemporary culture that is intertwined with social life and its patterning, thus influencing our day-to-day lives and the logic of our reality on a fundamental level.1 To explore consumer culture as it is experienced by individuals, researchers have been developing a variety of so-called “alternative” research methods that allow for approaching knowledge and understanding from perspectives that have a different form and logic than the traditional academic research process and the traditional academic text that is its end-result. One of the the most popular “alternative” methods in consumer research has been videography. Simply put, videography uses the medium of video to conduct research, gather data, and present findings.

Being an avid proponent of non-textual research methods, such as art-based research,2 I have found the use of videography a thrilling aspect of consumer research!3 Yet, in engaging this method, I found that the audience is often left out in the process of creating and presenting research through video. Audiences tend to be approached as a passive entity and their experiences are largely shaped and guided by the researchers. Yet, non-textual media, such as video, have enormous potential for creating lived, co-created experiences for both researchers and their audiences, which would allow for engaging in bodily, sensory understanding of phenomena as well as activating audiences to reflect and take action.

To explore this potential, I have provided a perspective on using videography as a means of creating live performances and thus engaging the audience in active meaning-making. To do this, I first develop the notions of performance and performativity in the context of videography. Moreover, I contextualise videography historically as a recording medium, thus exploring the form of the medium through its position in contemporary Western culture and its connections to other recording media.

I suggest that videography as performance allows researchers to activate their audiences by creating video work that does not directly provide information, but rather creates a basis for interaction, meaning-making, and contemplation through open-ended stimuli. The result in a deeply contextualised, multi-sensory, co-created experience that focuses away from the video itself, and emphasises engagement, reflection, and interaction.

The approach causes both researcher and audience to step out of their comfort zone. Neither has a template to follow, but both are rather asked to make sense of things as they go. This is exactly what allows for heightened reflexivity and engagement to take place, activating individuals to make meaning. The approach is further useful for reaching wider audiences beyond limited academic contexts through foregoing delimiting aspects, such as the use of jargon, and tapping into the visual literacy individuals already possess.

The paper provides practical suggestions for creating videography as performance as well as for evaluating such work within an academic context.

 

To read the whole paper:
Seregina, Anastasia (2017). Engaging the Audience through Videography as Performance. Journal of Marketing Management. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2017.1377753

 

Notes:

For more on the subject, see e.g., Bauman, Zygmunt (2007), Consuming Life, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
Slater, Don (1997), Consumer Culture and Modernity, Oxford, UK: Polity Press.

2 Seregina, Anastasia and Oscar Christensson (2017), “Art-based research of consumer culture,” Synnyt/Origins 1/2017: 74-84.

3 E.g., Seregina, Anastasia, Norah Campbell, Bernardo Figueiredo, and Hannu Uotila (2013), “A Pen”, Advances in Consumer Research, Vol. 41, eds. Simona Botti and Aparna Labroo, Duluth, MN, USA: Association for Consumer Research.

 

Upcoming exhibitions!

Heads up! I will have two art exhibitions in the near future!
“Mielen kipinöitä” (~ Sparks of the Mind) will be held 5.8-1.9. in Galleria 4-Kuus. See the invite below.
“Here we are!” will be held from 16.9 onwards in Red Conception Gallery. This exhibition will be officially a part of Helsinki Design Week. More info on the event here.
I will provide more info closer to the dates 🙂
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