Clothes make the man - but what about the child? Visual artist Heidi Lunabba's (b. 1977) series of pictures investigates how clothes and other visual emblems are used to accentuate and define a child's gender. Each child at a workshop has been photographed as both a girl and a boy, and the two pictures have been digitally merged into a single image to make "twins".
The starting points for the work are fashion shots from the children's fashion magazine Vogue Bambini, which the exhibition's curator, Annamari Vänskä, PhD, analyses in a non-fiction work to be published this year Kuviteltu lapsuus. Näkökulmia lapsuuteen visualisoituneessa kulutuskulttuurissa (Imagined childhood. Viewpoints on childhood in visualized consumer culture). The fashion photos accentuate the way that children are often dressed as little adults. When a child's gender is not yet clearly visible in its face and manner, it is "announced" via clothing choices.
In the photo shootings 1-12-year-old children were able to take on the roles of a girl and a boy with the aid of a professional make-up artist. Thus, in the pictures we also see their own conceptions of the differences in the presentation of the genders. Part of the pictures were taken in bilingual workshops (Finnish and Swedish) at the Finnish Museum of Photography in collaboration with the Blaue Frau theatre group. The workshop pictures are in the exhibition in the form of a memory card game, which the visitors are welcome to play.
Artist and Curator Talk on Wednesday 6.4 at 17.30. The artist Heidi Lunabba, chief curator Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger and curator Anders Jansson, the director of Museum Anna Nordlander, talk about the exhibition. Free entry.
Meet the Artist and Curator on Friday 29.4 at 17.30. The Artist Heidi Lunabba and curator Annamari Vänskä, Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Fashion Studies, University of Stockholm, will talk about the exhibition. Free entry.
Meet the Artist on Sunday 22.5 at 14:00. The artist Heidi Lunabba will talk about the exhibition. Free entry.
The exhibition is accompanied by Finnish and Swedish-language workshops for school children and adults. Further details: www.valokuvataiteenmuseo.fi
Exhibition blog, where you can send your own twin photo: inartproject.info>Do
The exhibition will also be shown at Museum Anna Nordlander (Skellefteå, Sweden) in summer 2011.