JOHANNA NAUKKARINEN: The Anatomical Venus, Yö Galleria 2.-19.9.2021
This exhibition is an exploration of the strict gender roles embedded within historical anatomical imagery through the anatomical Venus, a Venus-like life-size wax figure from the 18th century. Johanna Naukkarinen uses photography, digital drawing, and image montage to examine this phenomenon intersecting the history of art and medicine. To showcase the absurdity of gender roles in the history of anatomy, she brings together various imageries from different contexts in an analytical and playful way.
Body Worlds: The Anatomical Venus (with Tiia Kasurinen), 2021
The series re-imagines the anatomical Venus, an 18th century wax figure, into a Bodyworlds exhibition in active positions.
The anatomical Venus wax figures were first made in Italy during the 18th century. These figures were used for teaching anatomy to the general public and were moulded into the form inspired by the portrayal of Venus in the visual arts. They were beautiful, passive and placed to lie on silk. Their beauty was meant to distract people from thinking about death while learning anatomy.
The series created together with dance artist Tiia Kasurinen imitates the positions of bodies assigned as male presented in the images of the history of art and medicine. As the female characters in the historical images were placed to lie as passive objects, male characters were allowed to represent strength and humanity.
In the series the anatomical Venus performed by Tiia Kasurinen holds her signature embellishments like silk, pearls and long hair, but is also allowed to represent human body and it’s strength.
Photos by Johanna Naukkarinen
Contact the artist: