© Henriikka Kontimo 2020

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I'm a Finnish visual artist working mostly with mediums of text, installation, and performance.

My practice is more gestural than object- or material-oriented. My works are often context-specific and participatory. I place my work in the field of visual arts but my main tools are self-written texts and words. Over the last years, I've shown my works primarily in other contexts than the white wall context.

Themes in my practice are language, communication, identity, and the human mind: in short, how to exist as a human being in relation to oneself, others, and the world. I'm interested in the nature and use of language: how language and culture are formed in connection to each other, how language is adopted, used, and interpreted, and what kind of possibilities for connectedness, understanding, misunderstanding, and power the use of language entails. I define language to include, in addition to spoken and written language, all other ways of communication, such as silence. I'm especially interested in the inherent and often unnoticeable norms, opinions, and perceptions that the everyday, non-creative wordings in signs, instructions, guides, and questionnaires contain.

My works are often visually quite minimal because visuality is not the primary element in my practice. Often the visuality of my works is largely contained within the textual part of the works. Instead of aiming for aesthetically pleasing, I have lately been interested in the power structures behind aesthetic definitions, such as the aesthetics of 'impersonal', 'neutral', 'random', 'unpleasant', and the 'aesthetics of 'everyday'. I like making works that are easily approachable and seemingly simple, but that at the same time consists of many layers that take time to open up. In a sense, my works could often be considered 'slow art', because they don't offer instant or passive visual gratification but require time and an active approach that enable the work to slowly unfold.

One of my main values as an artist is to try do my best to use ethical and ecological methods and materials in my working processes and finished works. Whenever I can, I use renewable, reusable, and recyclable materials or borrowed objects. I find it important to make works that won't accumulate to an unnecessary material burden.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions about my works, ideas of us working together, or if you for example want to ask about my experiences regarding the artist residencies I have been in.