Indepth Arts News: |
2001-01-31 until 2001-04-29
Helsinki City Art Museum
The Helsinki City Art Museum will open a retrospective exhibition of the works of Andres Serrano (born 1950), a US
photographer of Cuban-Honduran origin, on January 31 at the Tennis Palace. In the 1980s and 1990s, very few
photographers caused as much dispute as Serrano, and his photographic comments on racism, freedom of speech and the
limits of artistic freedom have caused strong reactions everywhere. His art deals with themes that are usually considered
taboo and addresses social issues, including homelessness, violence, sexuality, religion, power and otherness.
The retrospective at the Tennis Palace covers Serrano's work in the 1980s and 1990s, including early abstract
compositions using urine, blood, semen and milk, and religious symbols depicted in these fluids (including Piss Christ,
well-known for the uproar it caused in the United States). More recent works include portraits of homeless people,
hooded Ku Klux Klan members, church workers, women bodybuilders and a series on sexuality portraying people of
various ages and sexualities. The exhibition also includes images from Serrano's dramatic series of dead people
photographed in a morgue.
The exhibition continues the Helsinki City Art Museum's series of Contemporary Art that is political or addresses
sexuality. It is also a continuation of the series of shows on the work of important 20th century photographers. A series
of lectures and discussions will be held at the University of Helsinki in conjunction with the exhibition. The aim is to
analyse and explain - through the perspectives of comparative religion, art history, social sciences and philosophy – the
concepts of thought and debates on social issues to which works of art contribute. The political role of art and the
relationship between aesthetics and ethics will also be discussed.
The exhibition catalogue entitled Andres Serrano, Placing Time and Evil offers an extensive and in-depth presentation of
Serrano's art. It contains articles by Trond Borgen and the curator Malin Barth. The exhibition, Placing Time & Evil –
A Millennium Retrospective was produced by Stiftelsen 3,14 / Hordaland Int. Art Gallery.