At Photographic Centre Peri’s galleries at Kunsthalle Turku:

Two Ways to Carry a Cauliflower is a performative photography series exploring women’s self-portraiture through play. To free the subject and the gaze from certain patriarchal ideals of femininity, the character is a playful and tender representation of a woman who behaves, looks, and performs on her terms and rules. Identity, reality, and imagination are blurred in the world Emma Sarpaniemi creates. Most of the time, playfulness can be perceived as naivety in the case of a female artist, but in the project, Sarpaniemi uses it as a means of power. Through play, she can see possibilities for new ways of being and being affected.

Sarpaniemi designs, chooses the clothes, stages, and photographs the self-portraits herself. The starting point for self-portraits is often an object or clothing found at a flea market, from which the artist begins to construct a photograph. Sarpaniemi is interested in using everyday objects in unpredictable ways to create a contradiction and a different symbolic meaning in the photograph. The photographic series is a combination of home studio portraits and scenes shot on location. The character is placed in environments, which bring the viewer closer to the subject’s world and imagination. The photographs are moments of intimacy and play between the character and the viewer.

Emma Sarpaniemi (b.1993) is a visual artist based in Helsinki. In her practice, Sarpaniemi investigates definitions of femininity through performative self-portraits. Self-portraiture is a playground for Sarpaniemi, where the artist aims to question certain patriarchal ideals of a female and to celebrate femininity without the boundaries defined by others. Through play, she can see possibilities for new ways of being and being affected. The world Sarpaniemi builds is blurred between her identity, reality, and imagination. Sarpaniemi has presented her work at The Finnish Museum of Photography, Wäinö Aaltonen Museum, The Finnish Institute in Stockholm, and Melkweg Expo Art Gallery in Amsterdam. Her work is part of The Finnish Museum of Photography Collection, The Finnish State Art Deposit Collection, and private collections in Finland and The Netherlands.

The artist’s work has been supported by the Finnish Art Association.