Martha Rosler, "Point n’ Shoot", 2016 - 2018.

Pioneer of political and feminist art, Martha Rosler, to lecture in Helsinki in May

Internationally distinguished political art pioneer Martha Rosler, who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, will arrive in Helsinki in May 2019, at the invitation of the University of the Arts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts and Saastamoinen Foundation. During her visit she will give the Saastamoinen Keynote Lecture, which is open to the public, and meet students and alumni of the Academy of Fine Arts as well as representatives of the Finnish art community. The Keynote Lecture will take place on Monday 13 May, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Orion cinema on Eerikinkatu 15.

Martha Rosler (born 1943) is an artist and activist who has highlighted social issues through her art since the 1960s. She is particularly well-known for her photographs, photo montages and videos, often with anti-war, feminist or consumer-critical themes. She has used her montages to draw parallels between the advertising materials in magazines and war imagery from both the 1970s and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the 2000s. Nonetheless, Rosler’s production is also full of humour and parody, even satire. She carries on her fight against injustice and, in her latest work, she has singled out for example Donald Trump for criticism. Rosler has also written extensively on photography in art.

Rosler’s visit is part of the fine arts internationalisation programme started by the Academy of Fine Arts and the Saastamoinen Foundation in 2015, which, in addition to lectures, includes international mentoring and residence activities for MA students and alumni of the academy.

“Welcoming Martha Rosler as our guest is a special occasion for us. Her work has influenced numerous politically and feminist-oriented artists, and her oeuvre highlights the opportunities of political art in the world in which we currently live. We are proud to be able to present our students with the chance to discuss their works with an artist of Rosler’s calibre,” says the Dean of the Academy of Fine Arts, Jan Kaila.

The lecture by Martha Rosler is already the fourth Keynote Lecture organised by the Academy of Fine Arts and Saastamoinen Foundation. Speakers at the annual lecture include internationally important actors in the field of art. The series was opened in January 2016 by Okwui Enwezor, Director of Haus der Kunst in Munich and the curator of the 2015 Venice Biennale. In 2017, the lecture was given by the artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, the curators of the 2017 Istanbul Biennale. Last year’s guest lecturer was Adam Szymczyk, who has worked, for example, as the artistic director of Documenta 14.

Saastamoinen Keynote Lecture: Martha Rosler, 13 May 2019, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Orion cinema on Eerikinkatu 15. The lecture is held in English. Admission is free.

The programme of the visit is coordinated by Uniarts Helsinki's Academy of Fine Arts and the Saastamoinen Foundation.