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Jaana Laakkonen: Seepy Stretches

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Jaana Laakkonen’s solo exhibition at HAM gallery continues her experimental artistic practice of recent years. Her work tangles everyday life, feminist posthumanist theories and feminist philosophies of science, linens, polyesters, acrylic inks, text, digital prints, holders, and many more.

Jaana Laakkonen: Seepy Stretches, 2023 (detail) © Jaana Laakkonen

“A very warm welcome to my solo exhibition at HAM gallery! A very warm welcome to my not at all alone done thickening, knotting, accumulation, untying, … – at HAM gallery, that is a space surrounded, among other, by chipboard walls and sliding doors, in the Tennis Palace, near the smell of popcorn, just inside the museum.

While working towards the exhibition, I was struck by the experience of a droplet falling on my head in a limestone cave. It made me read up on stalactites and stalagmites, which are names for mineraly forms that have seeped to the ceiling and floor and not yet assembled into pillars – I suppose I could say, shape. Also-a-guided-tour, among-other-a-fenced-route, also-a-narrative, a-former-riverbed-and-else, a-space-that-was-an-artspace-among-other, prehistoric-too, and thousands-of-years-and-such between adjacent-patterns-and-others started to connect… to link times, places and involvements – to mess the settings that are here and there.

Well before the exhibition, my mind went to the 30s garage that had been in the building. I thought about the tennis-sweat in the pores of some and the air that the balls had travelled through. I moved on to the museum air where not much but oxygen is wanted to exist, I suppose. …except for the certain amount of a certain light and humidity (and in between some artworks, people and sprinklers…which already implies quite a lot of in/animate matter-meaning.) As the outdoor air changed over the spring, I checked what the air quality map showed around the HAM. (Orange, but red and light green in some corners.) I viewed photos of Tove Jansson’s frescoes, as I was keen to see what kinds of light slices hit them. (They are more visible in the photos.)

I am interested in co-doing, where while doing something intended, the presence and agency of non/human ‘others’ (..that were not presumed, known about, recognised, acknowledged, linked…) become more or less evident. My not-alone practice – and this exhibition – tangles everyday life, feminist posthumanist theories and feminist philosophies of science, linens, polyesters, acrylic inks, text, digital prints, holders, and many more.“ 

Jaana Laakkonen (b.1985 in Joensuu, Finland) is an artist currently living and working in Helsinki, Finland. Jaana’s artistic practice is a continuous experimental process of studio work and writing in which different materials, feminist-posthumanist critical thinking and feminist philosophy of science intertwine with everyday situations. After all, the artworks – and the associated texts – take shape on terms of the exhibition spaces and the exhibition situations. Jaana’s recent exhibitions and events have been hosted in Temple Bar Gallery + Studios in Dublin (2023), Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center in Ohio (2022), K17 Space for Art and Ecology in Sipoo (2022), Oksasenkatu 11 and Maa-Tila Project Space, Helsinki (2021) and Treignac Projet in France (2020). In 2021 her written work was published as a book called They Inhabit While Working by Archive Books.

The practice that led to this exhibition was kindly supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Finnish Cultural Foundation and TBG+S/HIAP International Residency Exchange.

The exhibition will be opened on Friday 17 November at 5-7pm. On the opening night, in HAM hall at 5.30pm, Jaana Laakkonen will present her latest essay, which ties relations between the practice, the everyday and encountering and communicating around the (art)works. The presentation is in English.