Midsummer Rose is an exhibition put together by artist duo Lukas Malte Hoffmann and Susan Kooi. The exhibition is centered around a juhannusruusu rosebush (Rosa pimpinellifolia) whose cream-white flowers appear commonly around midsummer in Finland. Greenhouse lights installed in the gallery recreate the day-night rhythm of the midsummer period and shine light through the window onto the winter street. This setting allows us to travel back to the summer of 2020 on a small and safe scale, protected like a rose inside a dome. At the end of the exhibition, when the last petal falls, the spell will be broken. Midsummer Rose is exercise, meditation, protest, and exodus.
For this occasion, Lukas and Susan have invited a group of artists and arts workers to present their work. Man Yau will show a new ceramic work Fairfarren that will, as if by magic, let the rosebush thrive and prosper. Composer Malibu has put together an exclusive ambience mix for the exhibition, which can be heard from outside the gallery and online here. The booklet accompanying the exhibition features Feminist Culture House’s contribution, a cocktail recipe that was conceptualised for those foraging and making infusions during midsummer 2020. Susan Ploetz’s work Skinship: Touching Intelligence is a LARP in which participants play alien, sensing creatures exploring their surroundings, objects and beings in a strange new land. The LARP will take place online on Sunday the 14th of February and it’s open for participation; more information and instructions for signing up can be found here.
Malibu is a French electronic composer whose work sails between ambient and ethereal music. Forever inspired by soft reverbed vocals and melodious chord progressions, Malibu’s music is a sea of synthetic strings, cello and choirs.
Susan Ploetz (US/DE) is an artist-researcher working with somatics, theory, writing, performance, simulation, and live action role plays (larping) in different configurations. Her work deals with the overlapping spaces of soma and technos; she uses imagination, magical materiality, and protocol to induce emancipatory emotive dissonances, incommensurability, and perceptual expansion.
Man Yau is an artist living and working in Helsinki. She graduated with a Master’s degree from Aalto University of Art and Design specialising in ceramics and glass art. Currently she is working on her second Master’s in sculpture at the The Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts in Helsinki. Yau’s works thread a balance between traditional methods and craftsmanship and industrial, detailed form and quality. Yau’s work is supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland.
Feminist Culture House (FCH) is an intersectional feminist organisation based in Helsinki, Finland, working with and for underrepresented artists and arts workers. Its co-founders are Katie Lenanton, Neicia Marsh, Orlan Ohtonen, and Selina Väliheikki. FCH is funded by Kone Foundation.
Lukas Malte Hoffmann (DE/FI) and Susan Kooi (NL) have previously worked together both as an artist duo and as part of a four-piece art collective Samet Yilmaz (formerly k.i.beyoncé), formed in Amsterdam from the working group running the art space kunstenaarsinitiatief beyoncé between 2013–2014. Lukas’ work is supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland and Pro Artibus Foundation. Susan’s work is supported by the Mondriaan Fund and travel and accommodation by Pro Artibus Foundation and Finnish Cultural Foundation.
The exhibition is produced with the generous support of VALOYA Oy and assistance by Reetta Koskinen. Also thanks to Sara Milazzo, Katie Lenanton, and Mika Palonen.