30.6.2022 - 10.12.2022
Noelia Mora Solvez: Farming
Noelia Mora Solvez’s first exhibition in Finland invites viewers to enter a strange world. Farming is an energetic, sonic and performative exhibition composed of video installations. All six works are based on and inspired by farm-raised animals. The exhibition invites viewers to ask questions and reflect on human social behaviour by shifting the boundaries of the human/animal dichotomy. In this way, the artist equates and entangles humans with other non-human animal beings and creates a humorous zoomorphic-centred planet in an effort to broaden the definition of the human-animal. The visual catalogue of the exhibition consists of spatial video installations in which human-sheep, fish-people, small birds, and a giant worm, imitate the characteristic movements of non-human animals. The sounds from the videos wrap one in the woven voices of different species adding to the totality of the art experience.
In her work, Noelia Mora Solvez examines society and its various strata, such as family structures and social norms. She studies, observes, and compares the behaviour of humans and non-human animals, imagining herself to be like an anthropologist from another planet. The works raise questions concerning the “good life”, identity construction, gender roles, and the human/animal relationship.
The familiar way of depicting non-human animals in family movies and children’s books has always interested the artist. In cultural products, we create a fiction where animals speak, act, think, and live as humans. The artist wonders what these fictions construct, and through which moral issues, the treatment of emotions, or the structures of a society, are tacitly passed down from one generation to the next. In certain cultures, the relationship with the non-human animal is very extractive. In her art, Solvez reconstructs the image of livestock and presents people like farm animals. The artist seeks to evoke questions on compassion, solidarity, and freedom through the use of humour, poetic images, and visual metaphors.
The relationship of humans to other animal subjects and dismantling the human-centred world image has become an important area of topicality in contemporary art. In the first years of the Kalevan Navetta Art and Culture Center, Kunsthalle Seinäjoki presented several exhibitions that tackled animal issues and anthropocentrism. Thanks to these endeavours the historic house—originally built as a barn but never functioning as one—continues to host live animals under its roof.
Noelia Mora Solvez (b. 1975) is a Catalan-born video and performance artist who has been living and working in Aarhus, Denmark, for a long time. Her practice focuses on her interest in societies and their structures, norms, and regulations. She graduated from the Aarhus Art Academy and has held solo exhibitions in Denmark and Norway. Her works have been acquired for the collections of ARoS Aarhus Art Museum and KØN Gender Museum. The exhibition in Kunsthalle Seinäjoki is her debut in Finland.
Photo. Mika Rinta-Porkkunen
The ‘Farming’ exhibition has previously been on display at Gallery Snerk, Hå gamle prestegard, Kunsthal ULYS and Frontløbernes Black Box as part of the GENDERhouse festival.
During the first years in Kalevan Navetta, the Kunsthalle Seinäjoki explored the roles and relevance of animals in contemporary art and society inspired by the urban-rural context and the surrounding countryside. The ‘Farming’ exhibition is the third and final part of this animal trilogy. The previous exhibitions were ‘What’s it like to be an animal?’, a group exhibition based on Helena Telkänranta’s book in autumn 2020, and Gustafsson & Haapoja Siat – Pigs at the end of 2021.
Picture: Video still from the video work WORM, 2021, Christoffer Brekne