Iiu Susiraja. Sausage cupid. 2019. Chromogenic print. 30 ½ x 30 ½” (77.5 x 77.5 cm) (framed). Courtesy the artist, Makasiini Contemporary, and Nino Mier Gallery.
MoMA PS1 will present the first solo museum exhibition in the United States of photographer Iiu Susiraja (b. 1975, Turku, Finland). On view from April 20 through September 4, 2023, the presentation will bring together over fifty photographs and videos that highlight the trajectory of Susiraja’s practice since 2008, when she was beginning to photograph and film herself in interior spaces. Most often, her images are shot in her apartment in Turku, Finland—the city where she has lived nearly her entire life. Susiraja selects and stages objects to accompany her that are both familiar and farcical, including tablecloths, umbrellas, hotdogs, bananas, treadmills, rubber duckies, and dead fish, amongst many others. Iiu Susiraja: A style called a dead fish highlights Susiraja’s unique manner of navigating between the slapstick and the deadpan, as she explores self-representation amidst physical and psychological interiors.
Susiraja was trained as a textile designer before turning to photography, and her early works brim with fabric. One of her first self-portraits, Large-scale cleaning (2008), conceals her body behind an elongated rug, as a sliver of her body peeks out from the carpet’s shadow. More recent works such as Happy Valentines Day (Big Heart) (2022), presented for the first time in the exhibition, expose the artist’s bare flesh in intimate yet decidedly unsentimental situations. Susiraja approaches the small domestic stage of her apartment with boundless creativity: in Functional communication (2012), Susiraja hosts a telepathic encounter with a banana on her bed, which she revisits as a site of playful repose in Pinwheel (2019). Grounded in private performances for the camera, Susiraja’s works are carefully constructed tableaux—both spare and abundant with understated theater—that double as snapshots of her everyday reality. The resulting photographs and videos test the limits of propriety, indulgence, and “good” behavior.
Blurring the lines between portrait and still life, Susiraja considers how setting intersects with—and informs—the self. The household objects, furnishings, and food she casts in her work become unlikely conspirators and protagonists. “I don’t actually do much consciously at all,” she has stated, “other than list objects on paper and go and fetch them.” Her droll approach to imagemaking explores how the items we don, remove, manipulate, ingest, conceal, and rebuke inflect the stories we tell about ourselves.
Iiu Susiraja lives and works in Turku, Finland. She earned an MFA from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2018 and has held solo exhibitions at venues including: Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma/Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki, Finland; SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand, Norway; Makasiini Contemporary, Turku, Finland; Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles; Ramiken, New York; and Francois Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections, including the University of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma/Finnish National Gallery, Rubell Family Collection, Gothenburg Museum of Art, and the Finnish Museum of Photography.
Iiu Susiraja: A style called a dead fish is organized by Jody Graf, Assistant Curator, MoMA PS1.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated monograph featuring original poetry by Susiraja and over fifty plates, with an extended curatorial essay.
Iiu Susiraja: A style called a dead fish is supported by Frame Contemporary Art Finland. Special thanks to the Consulate General of Finland in New York and the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York.
ABOUT MoMA PS1
MoMA PS1 champions art and artists at the intersection of the social, cultural, and political issues of our time. Providing audiences with the agency to ask questions, access to knowledge, and a forum for public debate, PS1 has offered insight into artists’ diverse worldviews for more than 40 years. Founded in 1976 by Alanna Heiss, the institution was a defining force in the alternative space movement in New York City, transforming a nineteenth century public schoolhouse in Long Island City into a site for artistic experimentation and creativity. PS1 has been a member of New York City’s Cultural Institutions Group (CIG) since 1982 and affiliated with The Museum of Modern Art since 2000.
Hours: MoMA PS1 is open from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Sunday, and Monday, and 12:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
Admission: $10 suggested admission; $5 for students and senior citizens; free for New York State residents and MoMA members. Free admission for New York State residents is made possible by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation. Tickets may be reserved online at mo.ma/ps1tickets.
Visitor Guide: Discover even more from MoMA PS1 with the Bloomberg Connects app. Read wall text, hear directly from artists, and uncover the building’s history with this multimedia visitor guide. This digital experience is made possible through the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Directions: MoMA PS1 is located at 22-25 Jackson Avenue at 46th Ave in Long Island City, Queens, across the Queensboro Bridge from midtown Manhattan. Traveling by subway, take the E, M, or 7 to Court Sq; or the G to Court Sq or 21 St Van Alst. By bus, take the Q67 to Jackson and 46th Ave or the B62 to 46th Ave.
Information: For general inquiries, call (718) 784-2084 or visit moma.org/ps1.
You must log in to post a comment.