Visible invisibility, 2018 Photo: Patrik Rastenberger

Visible Invisibility

Young people’s hybrid realities in Helsinki and St Petersburg

Visible Invisibility invites visitors to dive into vivid and hidden forms of urban youth subcultures in Saint Petersburg and in Helsinki. The exhibition foregrounds the creative struggles for the right to belong to urban space and asks who has the right to the space. The exhibition asks the question: on which terms is it possible for art and research to depict subcultural meanings? Through photographs, sound, video and field notes the display makes different and undisclosed subcultural dimensions visible.

Urban youth cultures and subcultures create invisible, unknown layers which are often revealed only for the members of these cultures: those who have knowledge of the practices, conventions, styles and communities – for those ones who understand the language. The exhibition focuses on encounters in urban circus, on active communities of Pokémon Go, on redefinition of the city by sticker artists and on gender in graffiti subculture. All four portrayals of subcultural phenomena are result of collaboration between photographic gaze and urban ethnographic research.

The exhibition is part of the research project Digital Youth in the Media City (2016-18), which has produced interdisciplinary knowledge on struggles, control and belongings of young people’s digital cultures in Helsinki and St Petersburg. Open workshops and other events will be organized during the exhibition.

Visible Invisibility has been created by: Finnish Youth Research Network, Finland, National Research University, St Petersburg, Russia, Higher School of Economics, St Petersburg, Russia, University of Helsinki, Finland, University of Tampere, Finland

Researchers: Malin Fransberg, Margarita Kuleva, Yana Krupets, Heta Mulari, Arseniy Svynarenko, Anastasia Sablina, Nadezhda Vasileva
Photographer: Patrik Rastenberger
Curator: Terhi Tuomi
Graphic designer: Jaakko Pietiläinen
Members of the subcultures in Helsinki and St Petersburg