Art in the Park showcases works of different notable post-modern and contemporary artists each year, and the focus of 2016 is on Finnish artist Jani Leinonen, who’s sculptures will fill the garden of the Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich this Summer. Previously Art in the Park has presented works by masters like Allen Jones, Yves Klein, Joan Miró, Fernando Botero and Robert Indiana amongst other.
Art in the Park was created in 2007 by Gigi Kracht, wife of the sixth-generation owner of Baur au Lac, Andrea Kracht, and takes place in the hotel’s verdant garden along the shores of Lake Zurich. Art in the Park is curated in collaboration with Galerie Gmurzynska.
The exhibition is open from June 13th until August 7th.
Jani Leinonen’s School of Disobedience – exhibition is now open for the public at the Finnish Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma.
The School of Disobedience is not only a real school, but a metaphor for the entire exhibition, which also is a retrospective of Leinonen’s work to date. Visitors are treated as students, receiving lessons from the more than 100 works on view or through workshops that encourage to civil disobedience. To the the school’s workshops Leinonen has invited experienced activists and opinion leaders to teach people how to effectively confront and solve any social problem. The workshops will include, for example, lessons on social movement formation (Li Andersson), media criticism (Riku Rantala and Tuomas Milonoff), music as a tool for revolution (Paleface), and social media to critique big-name corporations (Sampsa). All the classes will focus on social media as a key tool for mobilising people.
Leinonen’s School of Disobedience has received worldwide media attention and the exhibition will continue from Helsinki to ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark in the spring of 2016.
Q: What do you think is the most surprising thing about humanity? A: Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present, the result being that he does not live in the present or the future, he lives as he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.
Leinonen’s Sacrifices is forcing us to think about what we really are willing to sacrifice?
Assassination – Bullet Works by Jani Leinonen Zetterberg Gallery May 25 – August 10, 2013
Sometimes violence is arbitrary, sometimes structured. And ever more often, it’s entertainment. In his Bullet Works Leinonen has replaced his brush with a gun. He has shot through framed laminated glass with tens of different guns and different calibers from 22 to 500: handguns, assault rifles, automatic weapons, shotguns; Desert Eagle, Walther PPK, Streetsweeper (buckshot), 45 Colt, M4, .500 S&W Magnum; using each gun model only once. There is a contradiction between the snowflake-like beauty of the bullet hole and the lethal force of the AK-47 that made it.
Assassination is an exhibition that shows one line of the three series of Bullet Works: the other lines are Monochromes and Painted Bullet Holes.
The origin of the word “assassins” (Arabic: Hashshashin) traces back to before the first Crusade around 1080. Assassins is a misnomer for the Nizari Ismailis brotherhood, who found themselves not only fighting for power against other Muslims, but also against Christian invaders. Since the Crusades the term assassin has been used to describe a hired professional killer or a cutthroat. Assassination (French: assassin) denotes any action involving murder of the target for political reasons.
Jani Leinonen’s starting point for the Assassination / Bullet Works leads us to Andy Warhol, who was shot at his studio. After Warhol got out of hospital, he found that one of his prints had also been pierced by a bullet that had first gone through his body. Bullet, Body, Brutality, Art!
Leinonen’s Bullet Works are some of the most violent works in the history of modern and contemporary art. The series is both conceptually and physically comparable to Picasso’s Guernica, the Spatial Concept / Slash Series “cutthroat” works of Lucio Fontana, the Fire Paintings by Yves Klein, the building cuts house installations by Gordon Matta-Clark, the Ambulance Disaster by Andy Warhol, or Robert Longo’s Men in the Cities – a monumental series of drawings of a man shot in his back and sharply dressed men writhing in contorted emotion.
In the Assassinations series Leinonen has shot at commercial cereal characters like Tony the Tiger, Cornelius, Cap’n Crunch and Snap, Crackle and Pops. When looking at the assassinated figures, which represent the Big Business of industrial food, GMO, health and obesity problems etc., we begin to feel sympathetic and protective about the fictitious characters – we might even feel morally offended by the violent act. Only because the marketing of these friendly characters has been managed in order that it touch our feelings. They have a place in our hearts. We are the ones who have been shot!
Leinonen shows in a very simple way how entertainment and advertising techniques – insane capitalism – distance us from the real.
TEASER Salon Dahlmann Berlin January 20 – February 17, 2013
Zetterberg Gallery presents TEASER – a selection of works by the most influential young Finnish contemporary artists. Founded in 2008, the gallery Zetterberg Gallery is showing the highlights of its programme at Salon Dahlmann Berlin. Combining a critical perspective and meticulous craftsmanship with a humorous and aesthetic treatment, the works of Jiri Geller, Mari Keto, Jani Leinonen and Aurora Reinhard explore the boundaries between constructed, commercial culture and individual, materialistic addiction. TEASER presents these prominent Finnish artists by composing a strong body of works from international private and institutional collections. By including elaborate sculptures, accusatory installations and tenacious imagery, the exhibition provokes observant attention to the prevailing phenomena of society.
Jani Leinonen throws light on the tactics of commercial operations by turning them into objects of ridicule, parodying the unstated assumptions of our marketing society and economic daily life. Jiri Geller’s accomplished, detailed sculptures serve up cold irony and raw critique by questioning the dominant, neoliberal iconophilia. Aurora Reinhard creates controversial artworks that explore tensions and structures in contemporary society – in particular our obsessive representation of gender and female sexuality. Mari Keto focuses on the tensions and structures of our contemporary culture by using predominantly diamonds, crystals, pearls and other materials used in making jewelry to depict icons and symbols in her delicate installations and portraits.
Mari Keto & Jani Leinonen Time Is A Luxury We Don’t Have Zetterberg Gallery December 1 – 22, 2012 Opening Hours Wed-Fri 4-7pm, Sat-Sun 12-4pm
Overwhelming details, offensive décor, punchlines we do not want to acknowledge. The works of Mari Keto and Jani Leinonen put us all into cold sweat. In Mari Keto’s works the conceptual underpinning and high degree of craftsmanship merge into an artwork. Keto explores the tensions and structures of our contemporary culture by portraying icons and symbols predominantly surrounding us. The fierce stare of a lost Joker Face arrests the attention with an unpleasant recognition of the decomposing moment.
Jani Leinonen attacks symbols and marketing strategies, turning them into objects of ridicule, clichéing our agreed marketing society and economical everyday. With these strikes Leinonen unfolds the chain reaction we all are voluntarily involved and plays up the iconographies of the global brand land.