Aurora Reinhard

Ars Fennica candidate 2019

Among Aurora Reinhard’s latest works is Martyr (2018) – a white plaster sculpture nearly half a metre high, of a naked woman whose body is pierced by three golden arrows. The work is a kind of self portrait: it is based on a 3D scan of the artist’s own body, and the arrows refer to romantic encounters that have touched her deeply.

Reinhard seeks the subjects for her works in media and advertising imagery, and in the history of western art. She, nevertheless, interprets the images she finds through her own personal experiences, frequently switching a gender or the direction of a gaze. The background to the Martyr sculpture is the Saint Sebastian familiar from Renaissance art – an officer in the Roman army and a Christian, who lived in the 3rd century AD, miraculously survived execution and, judging by some of the paintings, does not even appear to have suffered very much.

In replacing the male saint with her own body, Reinhard brings the almost two millennia old story into the present day. She gives it not only a personal, but also a universally comprehensible significance, associated not with divine relations but with those between human beings. Aurora Reinhard (b. 1975) has been called a “life explorer”. In her art she has long been examining the  power and emotional relationships between women and men. Conversely, she has dealt – often very directly – with various issues involved in the pictorial representation of sexuality and gender identity. In so doing she has also put herself on the line, seeking answers both in front of the camera and behind it. Either disguised or, as in her recent works, without a mask, she herself is the model for her own works.

Recurrent themes include an almost systematic and frequently provocative critique of one dimensional, idealized images of women. The female figures in her photographic works wear excessive amounts of  make up and dress in a manner that evokes the imagery of pornography. This exaggeration is, nevertheless, so obvious and the means of constructing the illusions so transparent that the works’ real message cannot go unrecognized.

One thing that it is impossible to ignore when faced with Reinhard’s photographs and sculptures is how perfect they are. It is as though they are self generated or have fallen from heaven, even when they are cracked, like the plaster sculpture Broken (2017). They are reminiscent of (and occasionally also imitate)  industrially manufactured luxury products. And yet the immaculateness of Reinhard’s works is not an end in itself. It is overdone and serves the same goal as the excessive make up and costumes in her photographs. It brings out the mind’s covert hopes and  desires, while at the same time revealing the mirage like character of the things that fuel them.

Timo Valjakka
Translation Mike Garner

Lives and works in Helsinki Finland

Studies

1995 2003 Masters degree, Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki Finland
2002 International Center For Photography, New York
1998 Gothenburg Univercity, Department of film and photography, Sweden

Awards

2009 Grönqvistska Foundation, Finland
2002 International Media Art Award 2002 ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany

Coming

2018 Solo Show Zetterberg Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
2018 Group Show Considering Finland, Port25, Mannheim, Germany
2020 Group Show, Fantastic Death, Forum Box, Helsinki, Finland

Solo shows

2018 High Rider, Salon Dahlman, Berlin, Germany
2018 High Rider, Kunstverein Ruhr, Essen Germany
2017 Venus, Zetterberg Gallery, Helsinki
2012 Perfect, Zetterberg Gallery, Helsinki (former Showroom Helsinki)
2009 Teaser, Linna Gallery, Tallin Estonia
2008 Kiosk projet in city space of Vilnius, Lithuania, Vilnius Culture Capital 2009
2008 Teaser, Gallery Anhava, Helsinki
2006 Teaser, Gallery Extraspazio Rome
2005 Bait, Kluuvi Gallery, Helsinki
1999 Galleria push firma beige, Helsinki
1997 Terve Nuori Nainen, Gallery of the Academy of Art, Helsinki

Selected Group shows 2010 2018

2018 People in Focus – works from the collection of the Heino Art Foundation, Kuntsi Museum of Modern
Art, Vaasa, Finland
2017 2018 With Seven League Boots – Stop Finland, works from Kiasma Collection, Bourse Museum Riga, Latvia
2017 2018 Bodybuilding, Wäinö Aaltonen Museum, Turku, Finland
2017 Art from Finland, Miettinen Collection, Weserburg Museum, Bremen, Saksa
2017 The Edgy, Museum of Fine Art, Split, Croatia
2017 I: self portrait in Time, Kunsthalle Helsinki
2017 Lehmä pitää viedä jäälle jotta se tanssii, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany
2017 Pleasure of Love, 56th October Salon, Belgrade, Serbia
2016 From Love with Heino, works from the Heino Collection, HAM, Helsinki Art Museum, Finland
2015 2018 Touch, Saastamoinen Foundation, works from the collection, Emma Museum of Modern Art, Espoo, Finland
2015 Face to Face, works from the Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Kiasma
2014 SuperPop, opening exhibition of new Serlachius Museum, Mänttä, Finland
2013 Invisible Lady, Jubileum exhibition, Stiina Krook Foundation, Amos Anderson Art Museum, Helsinki
2013 Desire For Freedom/ Verführung Freiheit, Kumu Museum, Tallin Estonia
2013 Desire For Freedom/ Verführung Freiheit, Palazzo Reale, Milan
2012 2013 Desire For Freedom/ Verführung Freiheit, German Historical Museum DHM, Berlin
2012 Lightness, Maison Particuliere, Brussels
2011 Close Your Eyes And Tell Me What You See, Turku Observatorium, Finland,
2011 Close Your Eyes And Tell Me What You See, Gothenburg Museum of Art Sweden
2010 2011 It’s a Set Up, works from the Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki
2010 Testimony Videoscreening, Tensta konsthall, Stockholm,
2010 Arrivals and Departures Mole Vanvitelliana, Ancona, Italy
2010 Tanssi/Dans – Videoart and Photographs at Vesterås Art Museum, Sweden
2009 Finlandia 200, Helsinki City Arts Museum, Helsinki, Finland
2009 Fyra finska utsnitt, Borås Konstmuseum, Borås, Sweden
2009 Dans Över Gränsen, Dansens Hus, Stockholm, Sweden
2008 Just Different, Cobra Museum, Amstelveen, The Netherlands
2008 La position de la terre, CRAC Alsace, Rhinelander Contemporary Art Center, France
2007 In Search of the Miraculous, Kunsthalle, Helsinki, Finland
2007 Love Addiction, Gallery of Contemporary Art Monfalcone, Italy
2007 Lost & Found, Shedhalle, Zurich, Switzerland
2007 2008 CasZuidas, Public Art Project, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2006 5 Tage bis zum Ende der Kunst Fremd bin ich eingezogen Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel
2006 The Eighth Square Gender, Life and Desire in Art since 1960, Museum Ludwig, Cologne
2006 Art, Life & Confusion, 47th October Salon, Belgrade, curated by Renè Block
2006 Cooling Out – On the Paradox of Feminism, The Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Ireland
2006 Cooling Out – On the Paradox of Feminism, Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel
2006 Suspended e motion, Gallery Vartai, Vilnius, Lithuania
2006 Fantastiskt Finsk, Skulpturens Hus, Stockholm, Sweden
2005 2006 Coolhunters, Kunsthalle Budapest, Künstlerhaus Vienna, Karlsruhe City Gallery
2005 Fractures of Life works from the Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki
2003 Coup de Coeur, a Sentimental Choice, CRAC Alsace, France
2003 Girls Don’t Cry, Parco Museum, Tokyo Japan
2002 Media Art in Dialog 1992 2002, ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany

Filmography

2008 2009 Inhale/Exhale, 29 sek. Cleaning 2 min, Handbag 1:20 min.
2006 2008 Encounters 12 min
2004 Julio & Lupitá 4:35 min
2002 Boygirl, 12 min
2003 Female, 25 min

Public Collections

German Historical Museum, Berlin (Deutsche Historisches Museum, DHM)
Amos Anderson Art Museum, Finland
Contemporary Art Museum Kiasma, Finland
State Art Collection Finland
Helsinki City Art Museum, Finalnd
Oulu City Art Museum, Finland
Saastmoinen Foundation, Finland
Heino Foundation, Finland
Finnish Art Society, Finland
Serlachius Museum, Mänttä, Finland
Swanljung Art Collection/Modern Arts Museum Kuntsi Vaasa, Finland
Jenny & Antti Wihuri Foundation, Finland
Wäinö Aaltonen Museum, Turku, Finland

Selected Grants

2019 2023 5 Year working grant, Arts Council Finland
2016 2018 3 year working grant, Arts Council Finland
2015 Vantaa City Artist grant, Finland
2010 2012 3 year working grant, Finnish Cultural Foundation
Selected Catalogs
2017 With Seven League Boots – Stop Finland, works from Kiasma Collection, Bourse Museum, Riga, Latvia
2017 Dreamaholic, Kunst aus Finnland, Miettinen Collection, Weserburg Museum, Germany
2015 2018 Touch, Saastamoinen Foundation, works from the collection, Emma Museum of Modern Art, Espoo,
Finland
2015 Face to Face/ Elements Contemporary Art Museum, Kiasma
2014 SuperPop, Serlachius Museum
2013 Invisible Lady, Amos Anderson Art Museum, Stiina Krook Foundation
2013 Desire for Freedom, Art in Europe since 1945, Monika Flacke & Deutsche Historishe Museum, Sandstein
Verlag, 2012, (English catalog)
2012 Verführung Freiheit, Kunst in Europa seit 1945. Monika Flacke &Deutsche Historishe Museum, Sandstein
Verlag, 2012, (German catalog)

Marttyyri, 2018, 3d tuloste polyamidi, messinki, naru, 38 x 12 x 8 cm
Martyr, 2018, 3d print, polyamid, mässing, sträng, 38 x 12 x 8 cm
Martyr, 2018, 3d print, polyamide, brass, string, 38 x 12 x 8 cm
photo © Lukas Vogt 2018
Martyr, 2018, 3d print, polyamid, mässing, sträng, 38 x 12 x 8 cm
Martyr, 2018, 3d print, polyamide, brass, string, 38 x 12 x 8 cm
photo © Lukas Vogt 2018

 

Rikki, 2017, valkoinen kipsi, 9, 5 korkeus x 26 x 18 cm
Bruten, 2017, vit gips, 9, 5 höjd x 26 x 18 cm
Broken, 2017, white plaster, 9, 5 height x 26 x 18 cm
photo © Lukas Vogt 2018

 

High Rider, 2018, polyuretaani, 24 karaatin lehtikulta, 24 x 12,5, x 3 cm
High Rider, 2018, polyuretan, 24 karat guldblad, 24 x 12,5, x 3 cm
High Rider, 2018, polyurethane, 24 carat gold leaf, 24 x 12,5, x 3 cm
photo © Lukas Vogt

 

Nimetön (omakuva), 2018, mustesuihkutuloste, 42 x 55 cm
Utan namn (självporträtt), 2018, inkjet-print, 42 x 55 cm
Untitled (self-portrait), 2018, inkjet-print, 42 x 55 cm
photo © Aurora Reinhard

 

Taiteilija & Malli, 2017, 3d värituloste, hartsi, 17 x 70 x 36 cm.
Konstnär & Modell, 2017, 3d color print, harts, 17 x 70 x 36 cm.
Artist & Model, 2017, 3d färgprint, resin, 17 x 70 x 36 cm.
photo © Aurora Reinhard