11-12.30 Artist talk
Pilvi Takala’s video works are based on performative interventions, in which she researches specific communities to process social structures and question the normative rules of our behavior. Her works show that it is often possible to learn about the implicit rules of a social situation only by its disruption. She quotes and stretches the limits of different genres, including documentary making and performance. Takala won the Dutch Prix de Rome in 2011 and the Emdash Award in 2013. The winning work was presented at the Frieze Art Fair in London. In 2013, she also won the Finnish State Prize for visual arts and was nominated for the Ars Fennica.
Awkwardness is a guiding principle in Pilvi Takala’s process and artistic practice. She uses her own body and feelings as a research tool, relating it to adjacent topics like emotional labor, consent, peer pressure and group mentality. It has served as a tool for discussion, as a way to mark the thresholds of social boundaries, and as a guide for the places that might be worth going. Awkwardness can be a way to identify not only what is interesting, but also what is necessary.
In this workshop, we regard awkwardness as a generative site that sheds light on convention and gauges intolerances. We will ask what awkwardness might signal, and what kind of insight it could provide on both an individual and wider societal level. We will touch upon how awkwardness functions in humor and entertainment (the place it’s most commonly employed), when it might veer too far into discomfort, and discuss the risks associated with awkward working. Furthermore, you will be engaged in an exercise, and we will study a range of materials by artists who often deliberately employ awkwardness as a tactic, and some for whom the awkwardness is a byproduct of something else.