Skin-Deep is an exhibition that showcases two art projects that explore sexuality, sensuality and identity: Toni Kitti’s The Persistence Of Plastic and Sensuous by Jaana Pirskanen and Vilma Rimpelä. The exhibition is a part of Pride in London 2019.
The Persistence Of Plastic is artist Toni Kitti’s autobiographical photo exhibition about the marks and traces of life and death. Kitti fell ill with AIDS and Kaposi’s Sarcoma in 2012, not even knowing he was HIV positive. After barely surviving the disease, AIDS, HIV and the feelings of shame and acceptance have been major themes in his work.
Kitti is fascinated with plastic because it never dies and nor disappears.
“The central message of my exhibition is that we can overcome shame. Plastic waste and what it does to nature is shocking, even shameful. However, at the same time, I love plastic”, he says. (Read Toni Kitti’s interview here.)
Sensuous is a collaborative art project that aims to increase the visibility of over sixty-year-old people. It celebrates body positivity, gender fluidity and sexual plurality. Photographs and videos in this exhibition result from drag workshops, where 60+ participants were encouraged to create and explore their own drag and burlesque personas. The workshops were led in London and Helsinki last autumn by drag artist Theodora Rex/Magnus Love aka psychologist Jaana Pirskanen and were documented by photographer Vilma Rimpelä.
“The way of performing sensuality and sexuality is different for everyone. Sensuality doesn’t necessarily mean that you to show some skin. The portraits can be daring or pornographic, but they can be sensual in a more delicate way”, says Jaana Pirskanen. (Read Jaana Pirskanen’s interview here.)
Skin-Deep, Copeland Gallery, Unit 9I, Copeland Park, 133, Copeland Rd, London SE15 3SN, https://www.copelandpark.com/events/8381/skin-deep/?t=8387, 28.6.–1.7.2019, 12pm–8pm, 2.7. 12pm–5pm. Free admission.
Text: Ninni Lehtniemi, Jaakko Nousiainen Photo: Vilma Rimpelä, Toni Kitti