Internet enables an artist of the 21st century to reach out to an extensive group of individuals around the world. Vääriskoski’s stage is Instagram. Her style and approach are distinctive. Vääriskoski is constantly working, feeding her viewers with impulses. Every post adds to the story, taking the viewer a step deeper, until they are hooked. Both sides become part of the play, power issues are on display.
The method of publishing each project deteriorates the value of the performance act itself, and turns the focus to the documentation of the event. Vääriskoski avoids categorizing her art, and objects to limitations of self-expression. By placing herself to the spotlight and posting her bold and provocative works in social media, she raises questions about the subject-object distinction in a constructed image.
Gender and identity are much more fluid nowadays. In your opinion, why is the topic of sexuality so much in fashion in visual arts?
Sexuality is ever present in our lives, be it as an action, reaction, commentary, identity, stigma etc. It is logical then that visual arts should also take a stance on it.
The stage for your creative work is Instagram. What are your thoughts on copyright?
Remixing, copying and even stealing have always been part of art; there is nothing new there. Although copyright is important, it should be constantly tested re-evaluated. For me, I enjoy playing around with my own and others’ works, and I don’t mind if my work influences or is part of a new artwork, especially if it’s better that what I did in the first place!
For whom do you make art? Who is your audience? Or does it matter?
No, it doesn’t matter. But I make art for everyone. I am my own audience, and so are you.
Photography is no longer the medium of truth but it is still a considerable method for storytelling. What is the message in your pictures? What do you want to tell your audience?
The message in my works is what you see, feel and create from them. In a sense, I don’t really bother too much with what people should or shouldn’t think of my works. I make what I feel, and you may or may not get a glimpse of what I was thinking about.
It seems like you are contributing to the discussion about the conventions of female nudity in art? Do you have any thoughts on this subject?
It’s not so much about how female nudity is shown in art, but more how the female body is seen and how it is shown. Who controls the gaze, who controls what can be shown and what not?
Do you see yourself as expanding the limits of what is appropriate and not?
To some extent, yes I do. In the end, each one of us has to expand those limits by ourselves, but art may sometimes help with this process.
Why do you think there are still so few famous women photographers?
Well, it’s to do with the same structures which hold women down in our society in general, be it art, politics, business or whatever. So sisters, it’s time to stand up and take what is ours!
How would you categorize yourself as an artist?
I let others do the categorization but yes, maybe I’m sort of an image-maker foremost. I guess all art is image making, whatever the medium is.
What is a perfect image for you? Is there an art piece that you would like to own?
Perfect is not something that I would be interested in; faults, blemishes, cracks, scratches and bruises are what make us, life and art interesting.
Liisa Vääriskoski on Instagram @munalissu