A bullet shot with a gun through an object is a mischievous target for interpretations. The act of shooting is so real, so violent, and so destructive in itself, that during these dark days, it is hard to see itas a symbol of anything else than the harsh reality we are witnessing. As we speak, bullets are piercing living bodies, destroying things and causing life-lasting traumas to people who remain alive in conflict zones near and far. The closer the bullet holes come to our home the more they shake our feeling of security.
Jani Leinonen’s new exhibition LOVE brings bullet holes really close, to the clean white space of Zetterberg Gallery in the center of Helsinki. All the artworks are pierced with real bullets – leaving a cracking hole in the glass and the art underneath. In the exhibition, the bullets have broken hearts and Coco Chanel No 5 perfume packages, and they have made cracks on otherwise soft birch wood panels. The bullet holes are the remnants of a deadly duel between two of the world’s most famous commercial mascots, and two recurring characters in Leinonen’s artistic oeuvre; fast food mascot Ronald McDonald and Kellogg’s Tony Tiger.
In Leinonen’s works the act of shooting is violence in itself but simultaneously a symbol of violence. According to philosopher Slavoj Žižek there are at least three forms of violence: subjective (crime, terror), objective (racism, hate-speech, discrimination), and systemic (the catastrophic effects of economic and political systems). Often one form of violence blunts our ability to see the others, raising complicated questions. These are the three levels of violence that Leinonen’s artworks play with.
Jani Leinonen has created a giant Christmas calendar for the Dolder Grand Hotel in Zurich, Switzerland. The installation consisting of 24 pieces of art – one for each day until Christmas is an extravagant and cheerful interpretation of a traditional advent calendar.
“I’m thrilled to be exhibiting at the Dolder Grand for the second time this year. I have associated the excitement of the run-up to Christmas with Advent calendars since my childhood and hope that my art conveys this sense of joyful anticipation to guests at the Dolder Grand”, Leinonen explains.
Jani Leinonen and the Dolder Grand have been collaborating since 2009, and he regularly exhibits his works at the hotel. For his last exhibition at Easter, Leinonen created an oversized egg from fresh flowers.
Jani Leinonen, Jiri Geller and Aurora Reinhard are well represented in the exhibition Morning Coffee on the Roof of a Town, showcasing a selection of works from the Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation’s contemporary art collection in Mänttä, Finland from 5.11.2022—16.4.2023.
The foundation began to collect contemporary art in the early 2010s, and to date, the collection consists of more than 500 works, of which approximately 60 are on display in the current exhibition.
Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation was established in 1933 and comprises today more than 10 000 artworks of Finnish art classics, old European paintings, and contemporary art. The collection is one of the grandest private art collections in the Nordics.
Do we often interpret objects that look visually impressive as superficial?
How much can we miss out on if, despite being aware of this possibility, we are not always able to look and explore things more closely – while maintaining the curiosity and open-mindedness typical to the human species?
Why has the disposable cardboard coffee mug, that millions of people carry with them every day turned into a forever-lasting black granite sculpture ten times its size? Is the work with glitter and rainbows bruised? What might we experience when we notice a sculpture that resembles pink cotton candy, which, upon closer inspection, speaks of cannibalism? And what if an artwork offers a solution to the pursuit of eternal youth?
The exhibition Superficial reflects upon the phenomena of individual interpretation of aesthetics through the works by Jiri Geller, Riikka Hyvönen, Mari Keto, Joonas Kota, Jani Leinonen, and Aurora Reinhard.
Jani Leinonen has been invited to create this years Easter egg at the prestigeous Dolder Grand in Zurich, Switzerland. The installation decorated with more than 12,000 carnations will be on display in the Steinhalle from 13 April for approximately 1 week. The Easter egg bears the artist’s unmistakable signature and portrays his interpretation of Easter. The egg is accompanied by the “Seeds in Their Pockets” installation – consisting of seven dried flowed that Jani Leinonen collected in war zones across the world, and which convey a message that is really important to him.
Jani Leinonen’s relationship with The Dolder Grand dates back to 2009 and the artist’s works have been exhibited as part of the permanent collection since. Currently there are six works by Leinonen on display.
Zetterberg Gallery is pleased to present Goodbye Reality – a pioneering collaboration between artist Jani Leinonen and VR/XR tech company Varjo. The exhibition invites visitors into a mesmerizing mixed reality experience. Harnessing the power of the Varjo XR-3 and the Unity engine, Jani Leinonen establishes new methods for creativity, brings tangibility to NFTs, and unites digital and physical art in a never-before-seen way.
Leinonen’s physical artworks on show consist of his vibrantly colored alphabet designs. Each letter, with uncanny corporate symbolism, seems to play on the subconscious triggers that ubiquitous brands have instilled in us throughout our lives. When putting on the XR-3 headset, visitors will enter a mixed reality experience. They can see the gallery exactly as before, except this time with photorealistic, virtual representations of the same alphabet design letters hovering in front of them – allowing one to reach out and touch each individual letter, moving them, duplicating them, or making them disappear.
Varjo’s XR-3 technology delivers the most immersive mixed reality experience ever constructed, featuring photorealistic visual fidelity across the widest field of view of any XR headset. The key innovation of this headset is that it allows for depth awareness, thereby blending real and virtual elements seamlessly. Hence, with the Varjo XR-3 headset, one can experience Jani Leinonen’s virtual sculptures in any physical space, allowing you to interact with them with your bare hands.