Camp spirit, cheesy B-grade movie stars and urban consumerism critique is what Tero Puha’s work is all about. He has delved in these topics for 15 years in photographs, videos and installations. In his works even the everyday life of a desperate housewife waiting for her husband to come home is inspiring.
Almost Human – Works 1995–2010 (Inky Robot Media, 2011) is a compact publication that packages together the core aspects of Puha’s art by showing his work and featuring five articles by Finnish experts of contemporary art. The themes include the life of the modern individual, representation of gender, body image, socio-cultural constructions, identity, consumer behaviour and popular culture. If pop is your art, identity and religion, you have to take a closer look at this book.
Leevi Haapala focuses on gender and identity in Puha’s art. He plays with the concepts in ways that are hilarious yet serious as well as a mixture of femininity/ masculinity/drag. Annamari Vänskä points out the cruel fact that nowadays you can shop even for emotions, body and identity, and logically asks: is nothing not for sale? Leena-Maija Rossi focuses on one of the most interesting and bold projects of Puha’s career: the composite work Love and Lust Museum that he created together with visual artist-journalist Jussi Sorvari. The book includes a conversation between Tero Puha and Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger, which spans the artist’s entire career and ends with him saying: “Surely everyone wants to succeed at the things they are passionate about.”
FOR BODY IMAGE BUILDERS
PÄIVI MUSTOLA / FRAMER MAGAZINE 1/2011