Anni Puolakka

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Suckling Animal Sibling

A performance and video (in progress)




Performance documentation/video still of Suckling Animal Sibling.




Performance documentation/video still of Suckling Animal Sibling.




Performance documentation/video still of Suckling Animal Sibling.


Suckling Animal Sibling performance/video work shows two human bodies shape-shifting into different human figures and animals - a cow and a dog. These characters are portrayed through the focus on specific body parts and functions: nipples that can be, voluntarily or involuntarily, sucked and suckled as well as mouths that utter sounds, sing and speak, and that suck and suckle other beings for nutrition, intimacy and sexual arousal. The piece looks at human as a specific type of animal who may not know what its body can do but who can nevertheless experiment with and think about it - in relation to other beings and culture. Breasts and sucking (or suckling) are the focus of the performance as complicated and powerful body parts and actions. In the culture where the piece originates, female human breasts are dominantly and historically considered as a potential feeding instrument, a tool for intimacy, an instrument of sexual attention and pleasure (as a secondary sex characteristic) as well as an instrument for defining gender. Another being whose breasts humans have a particular interest in is cow whose milk humans have been harvesting and consuming for thousands of years. Today the naturalized functions of female bodies, be they of humans or cows, have been questioned. Exploitation of cows for food, expectation for women to have children and breastfeed on the over-populated planet as well as to be available for the male gaze and satisfaction have been called to question. So has the idea that protruding soft organs on the upper front of a person's body or lack of them would define a person's gender. In addition to the issues of involuntary exploitation of human and non-human females, the piece springs from interest in BSDM practices and the idea of being voluntarily exploited for sexual pleasure. It also explores a role-play where one's identity and position are allowed to alter and flow in the name of freedom.

Music and performance in collaboration with Alexander Iezzi | Thank you: Peach






How Do You Say Chengdu

A radio play by A.P. and Alexander Iezzi

How Do You Say Chengdu is a radio drama starring global-music sensation, multiculturalist Yanni and Santorini, a giant panda gifted to Yanni by the state of China in 2011. Situated at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, the play speculates on the animal's thoughts on bear and cat agency in relation to human delusions and desires. Yanni's dialogue is drawn from his own lyrics and interviews, offering a look at the slippery language used by Yanni in his struggle to keep modernist human perspective at the center of it all.

The play contains a track by A.P. and Jaakko Pallasvuo






Sacre 2

A film by A.P. and Jaakko Pallasvuo


Still from Sacre 2 by Anni Puolakka and Jaakko Pallasvuo.




Production still from Sacre 2 by Anni Puolakka and Jaakko Pallasvuo.




Still from Sacre 2 by Anni Puolakka and Jaakko Pallasvuo.



Sacre 2: HEX is the second part of The Sacre Trilogy by Anni Puolakka and Jaakko Pallasvuo. The solemn cybergoth dance enthusiast introduced in the first part of the trilogy (Sacre, 2015) has graduated into a smug Wiccan vlogger. Her formerly know-it-all brother has fallen on hard times and now needs her help. Family relations entangle with work anxiety. Virtual and material survival tactics get tested. Spiritual, financial and social layers mesh in money-burning rituals. A damaged sibling dynamic is further destabilized by a seductive alien.

With Jaakko Pietiläinen and Heidi Soidinsalo | Thank you: Kulttuurisauna, Santarcangelo dei Teatri, Kablam, Reija Meriläinen and Mutonia | Supported by AVEK






Attention Spa

Installation and performance series by A.P. and Jenna Sutela
2016



Attention Spa (2016), as part of Spending Quality Time With My Quantified Self group exhibition at TENT Rotterdam, 2016.




Attention Spa (2016), as part of Spending Quality Time With My Quantified Self group exhibition at TENT Rotterdam, 2016.




Attention Spa (2016), as part of Spending Quality Time With My Quantified Self group exhibition at TENT Rotterdam, 2016.

Attention Spa installation acted as a contemplative assemblage and departure point for a series of public events. The pool was activated through a performance by A.P. and Jenna Sutela as well as their invited program including a performance by musician Tomoko Sauvage and a lecture by researcher Lisette de Senerpoint Domis. A custom moon clock quantified time until the next event. The idea was to gather an audience together with their feet in the water - forming a pool of attention and energy exchange - to test out new forms of togetherness, mutual dependency and networked relationships. In her performance, A.P. narrated the situation from the point of view of You, an anonymous audience member who relates to the situation through subjective observations in real time. A possibility of using human sensorium to reach beyond the borders of both informationalism and individualism, towards collectivity and a more embodied, embedded (Rosi Braidotti: The Posthuman 2013) and leaky (Elizabeth Grosz: Volatile Bodies 1994) existence were explored.

The work was commissioned by curators Jesse van Oosten and Johannes Niekolaas Lekkerkerk | Thank you: Tommi Vasko






Death Berths Xi etc.

A video performance by A.P. and Jess Olivieri
2016



Death Berths Xi etc. (2016), as part of Day for Night performance festival by Performance Space and Carriage Works, Sydney, 2016.

The two video performances started and ended Day for Night, a Sydney-based queer performance art festival and invited the audience to reflect what it means to experience the world - and ourselves - through a queer lens constructed, with the aid of spiritual and communication technologies, by two women on two different continents.







I'm Your Man

Sculpture
2015



I'm Your Man (2015), as part of I Want You exhibition curated by Saara Hannus at Exhibition Laboratory / Project Room, Helsinki in 2015. Photograph by Petri Summanen.





I'm Your Man (2015), as part of I Want You exhibition curated by Saara Hannus at Exhibition Laboratory / Project Room, Helsinki in 2015. Photograph by Petri Summanen.

A sculptural response to a curator as "a lover, whose desire is opening up and reaching out, not owning", who wants to "desire exactly what you want to give" her and who wants you to give her "something, anything".

The group exhibition I Want You was curated by Saara Hannus, quoted above.






Sacre

A film by A.P. and Jaakko Pallasvuo
21 min | 16 : 9 | 2015







Still from Sacre (2015) by Anni Puolakka and Jaakko Pallasvuo.





Still, featuring Jaakko Pietiläinen, from Sacre (2015) by Anni Puolakka and Jaakko Pallasvuo.





Still, featuring Willhelm Blomberg, from Sacre (2015) by Anni Puolakka and Jaakko Pallasvuo.


A cyber goth in her thirties makes dance videos at home, seeking freedom and the truth in a society obsessed with productivity and success. Her mode of living is persistently challenged by an older brother, whose caring and love come with a strive to transform her sister. The sibling drama takes a new turn upon the goth's encounter with a dance prodigy whose brilliance seems to leave everyone else in darkness. The film draws from the thoughts of the philosopher and activist Simone Weil (1909-1943), medievalism and cyberculture amongst other influences, viewing work, art and dance as war.

With Wilhelm Blomberg and Jaakko Pietiläinen | Thank you: Kulttuurisauna | Supported by AVEK






Lion of Finland

A video by A.P. and Tommi Vasko
9 min | 16 : 9 | 2015






Production still from Lion of Finland by Anni Puolakka and Tommi Vasko. Photo by Ikko Alaska.





Still from Lion of Finland by Anni Puolakka and Tommi Vasko.



The work deals with nationalism and the symbol of a nation state - the lion of Finland - through collective performance and personal experience. In the video different embodiments of the lion venture from Big Brother to an art school's studio and from Google Images to a suburban shopping mall.


With Ikko Alaska, Vincent Bozek, Yawer Jafri, Laura Jantunen, Merja Kokkonen, Markus Leppälä, Alisa Närvänen, Anna Paavilainen, Elina Peltonen, Abhishek Sharma, Aarne Tapola, Slava Valas and Simo Vassinen | Supported by Kone Foundation and Alfred Kordelin Foundation






Vibes

A total, multiannual piece by A.P., Ville Ahonen, Laura Birn, Anna-Mari Karvonen,
Ville Seppänen, Heidi Soidinsalo and Masi Tiitta with guest contributors

Performances, videos and installations | 2012-2015


Vibes at SIC (2015). Image by AP.





Vibes performance (2014) at the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art. Image by Pietari Peltola.





Production still from EU (2014), a film by Jaakko Pallasvuo, featuring Vibes as performers and scriptwriters. The film is a sister piece to Vibes performance at the Kiasma theatre in 2014.





Vibes workshop at the Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum in 2014. Photograph by AP.






Nearness

A performance by A.P. and Jenna Sutela
with K.I.Kinnunen, Ville Vainio, Tommi Vasko and other collaborators
30 min | 2013


Nearness performance by Anni Puolakka and Jenna Sutela. Image by AP.





Nearness performance by Anni Puolakka and Jenna Sutela. Image by Anna Mikkola.