• Ritva Larsson
  • Anne Lehtelä: Asocial
  • Anne Lehtelä: Triangle
  • Anne Lehtelä: Hippo

Anne Lehtelä, Ritva Larsson

2017 §

Jätkä 2 27.6.-9.7.2017

Ritva Larsson and Anne Lehtelä
2017 §
Galleria Huuto Jätkäsaari, Jätkä 2
27 June – 9 July 2017

Finland has gone through many phases on the way towards legal and social equality with regard to human rights related to sexuality and gender diversity. Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1971 and removed from the psychiatric disorder classification in 1981. However, the legal rights of transgender people are still not at an acceptable level. One big step forward in the continuum of human rights was the Equal Marriage Act that took effect on the 1st of March 2017. It has been sadly interesting to follow the process from a citizens’ initiative to the amendment of the old Marriage Act, including a repeal attempt along the way.

This joint exhibition pays homage to the progress of equality, all work done to promote equality and all those people who have worked tirelessly for the cause. Even though couples who love each other are now equal before the law irrespective of their gender, it is important to remember that the world is not yet complete in this respect. We also want our exhibition to serve as a reminder that there is still some way to go until we achieve real equality of all people.

Ritva Larsson:
In my 2011 exhibition Gray, I examined the theme of otherness connected to sexuality and gender by pointedly painting the models gray. The aim was to deal with the existence of hidden diversity, invisible otherness, by means of art. My works in this exhibition depict a variety of people through traditional oil paintings, different relationships between people and also the possible lack of relationships. The focus is on the achieved equal right to love or not to love. Progress with regard to human rights is also a very good reason for an artist to celebrate it by means of painting.

Anne Lehtelä:
Through my artistic work, I look for an answer to what it is like to be an individual in this world and society. Who makes the rules, who follows them and ultimately at what price. I work with conceptual art and textual installation art. Concepts, words and signs create unity within a group and exclude, value and label. I am interested in the realization of human rights among marginal groups at both a global and individual level. The same phenomena recur in society as a temporal continuum that does not only concern LGBT people but also all other minorities. Personal is political and it has been hard to work on this theme. For us this is so much more than just one exhibition.

Ritva Larsson

Anne Lehtelä