Artist Talk with Lisa Erdman

Torstai, kesäkuu 13, 2019 - 10:00 - 12:00
Musiikkitalo, Auditorium 1

Artist Talk with Lisa Erdman

Performing false hope:  Ethical outcomes of fictitious pharmaceutical advertising as a performance art intervention 

What is the relationship between artistic decisions and ethical outcomes in public performance? What is the responsibility of the artist in public art interventions, and in artistic research?


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Lisa Erdman’s doctoral thesis Performing false hope, examines the dialogical outcomes and ethical issues that emerged from Finnexia®, the primary artistic production in Erdman’s artistic research. Finnexia was presented as a three-day performance intervention in the Helsinki Railway Station in 2012. The performance consisted of a multimedia advertisement campaign for a fictitious medication that helps people learn the Finnish language:

The intention of the Finnexia performance was to generate a public space for dialogue about foreigners and their experiences of learning the Finnish language. As a secondary goal, Finnexia aimed to present a satirical critique of overmedicalization and the common trust in the medical industry. Erdman’s doctoral thesis problematizes the approach of framing public performance art as fictitious, satirical pharmaceutical advertising. It describes and analyzes the unexpected emotional, ethical, and legal issues that arose from the response of audience members, performers, and governmental organisations.

Lisa Erdman (US) is an artist and educator, who is interested in examining the mechanisms that shape personal identity and one’s relationship to pharmaceuticals and medical authority. Her work borrows from traditions of conceptual art, speculative design, science fiction, and absurdist performative strategies. Erdman’s dissertation was approved in the department of art education at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design, and Architecture in May 2019.

The Artist Talk is produced in collaboration with University of Arts CERADA and the Arts Promotion Centre Development Program for Artistic Expertise and Intermediation. The event is hosted by Krista Petäjäjärvi (TAIKE) and Satu-Mari Jansson (CERADA). The event will be documented.

Performing false hope (pdf file):