May 19 – June 17, 2023
Nino Mier Gallery is thrilled to announce Hot Stuff, a multimedia exhibition by Finnish artist Iiu Susiraja. Her second solo exhibition with the gallery, Hot Stuff develops Susiraja’s investigations of domesticity and consumption. Comprising video and photography, the show also features the artist’s first foray into sculpture: 3D printed plastic manifestations of the absurdist objects found within her images. The gallery space will also feature a life-sized wallpaper replicating the artist’s own kitchen, the location where she creates many of her still life self-portraits.
Susiraja’s ludic self-portraits capture the artist within her own home or her parents’ home, interacting with objects such as newspapers, balloons, flowers, and clocks. To construct each composition, Susiraja first begins with a simple list of objects, then generates new contexts for or juxtapositions of them. The result is something like Balaclava cap beauty treatment (2023), a photograph featuring Susiraja as she stands nude in her kitchen with balaclavas wrapping each breast and cucumbers adorning her torso between. A fabulist of daily ritual, Susiraja extracts the strangeness and contingency of the quotidian objects and habits we take for granted.
In each photograph and video, Susiraja stares blankly at the viewer. As curator Jody Graf has noted, the deadpan quality of Susiraja’s works “emerges in tandem with an unnerving elegance that recalls the exacting attention to material particularities displayed in Northern Renaissance paintings […] Geographical distance and more than five hundred years separate these portraits, but they share what art historian Svetlana Alpers calls a ‘descriptive’ impulse that, as distinguished from the narrative temperament of the Italian Renaissance, relishes detail and carefully charts the act of looking itself.”
Susiraja will also bring the world of her videos and photographs into the exhibition space, presenting a series of sculptures 3D printed in plastic. Sculptures represent hybrid forms such as a lipstick in a hot dog bun, a sausage on a revolver, and a globe on an ice cream cone. The commodities featured in her videos would, in her plastic sculptures, be rendered “things” that suggest utility but are ultimately unusable. A new centerpiece of the artist’s practice, the sculptures are a manifestation of her unique perspective on the surrealism of commodity culture and consumption.
Iiu Susiraja (b.1975, Turku, Finland; lives and works in Turku, Finland) earned an MFA from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. Her recent solo exhibitions include MoMA PS1, New York, NY, US; Makasiini Contemporary, Turku FI; Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, US; Ramiken Gallery, New York, NY, US; SKMU Museum, Kristiansand, NO; KIASMA, Helsinki, FI; Kadel Willborn Gallery, Düsseldorf, DE; François Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, US; PS2 Gallery, Belfas, IE; VB Photographic Centre, Kuppio, FI; and Fotogalleriet Format, Malmö, SE among others. Her work can be found in public and private collections worldwide, including at the Adam Lindenmann Collection, the University of Chicago, the Rubell Family Collection, the Finnish Museum of Photography collection, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, the Finnish National Gallery, and the Odunpazari Modern Museum, among others.