Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen, How Great is Your darkness, 2024, still from 2-channel video installation, 5min 22sec. Image: Rasoul Khorram. Courtesy the artist.

Pavilion of Finland presents ‘The pleasures we choose’ at the 60th La Biennale di Venezia

‘The pleasures we choose’ is a multifaceted collaboration by artists Pia LindmanVidha SaumyaJenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen, curators Yvonne Billimore and Jussi Koitela, and architectural designer Kaisa Sööt. Commissioned and produced by Frame Contemporary Art Finland, it premieres at the Pavilion of Finland at the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

Blurring the boundaries between art, architecture, and social commentary, the Pavilion of Finland brings together three artists for whom art, life, and activism are intertwined. Embraced as a collective project, The pleasures we choose evolved through the exchange of shared and individual experiences to create areas of diverse ‘occupancies’ where visitors are encouraged to reassess and (re)consider societal expectations.

LindmanSaumya and Wallinheimo-Heimonen’s practices are acutely informed by their embodied experiences of structural, environmental and social imbalances. Articulated through a wide range of materials and processes – including drawing, needlework, sculpture and healing – their works celebrate the pleasure of the personal as a powerful means of reimagining the world as we know it.

Following mercury poisoning, artist and healer Pia Lindman experiences heightened sensitivity of the nervous system and awareness of the micro-signals within her body. She translates these signals into visual images, melodies, words, and colours and incorporates them into artworks that enable her to explore the nuances of different environments and social situations.

Often engaging with the intricate relationship between human presence and the environment, Vidha Saumya’s work challenges the norms of aesthetics, gender, academia and nation-state. In her work, viewers encounter an interplay of desire, intimacy, and (home)land, offset by the heteronormative demands of utility, time and (dis)placement.

Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen’s artwork brings to light the variety of forms of discrimination and violence that people with disabilities are subjected to. Her intricately fabricated realities celebrate a world in which a diversity of human bodies have won the right to choose a pleasurable life over mere existence.

The pleasures we choose refuses the exceptionalism of art and the myth that the artist is separate from the world, on the contrary it is precisely the experiences that draw attention to co-existence—getting in line, taking to the streets, receiving medical care, breathing the same toxic air— that drive us towards drawing new collective futurities into existence. ”, explain the curators Yvonne Billimore and Jussi Koitela.

Presented in Finland’s Aalto Pavilion, the artists’ works are connected conceptually and materially through architectural interventions designed by Kaisa Sööt. Reimagining the pavilion and the kind of art, bodies and experiences it can support, the exhibition introduces “access architecture” which considers access and bodily needs across registers whilst encouraging multi-sensorial experiences.

“The artists’ and curators’ collaborative and joyful process has been wonderful to witness”, says Raija Koli, Director of Frame and commissioner of the exhibition. “We’re happy to share this meaningful project with the audience in the upcoming exhibition.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication published by K. Verlag.