top of page

Exhibition 'Fears or Fierce?'

in collaboration with Tia Hassinen and working group

Oksasenkatu 11 Gallery, Helsinki, Finland

14.08. - 31.08.2020

Fears or Fierce? is a feministic horror house. 

The exhibition focused on investigating the concept of safety in relation to the gendered experience of fear. Our aim was to approach the painful and difficult theme through our own fears and experiences. Both collective and individual traumas are triggered by fear roused by the media, language, visual culture, and cultural narratives which are often hidden in the subconscious. The subliminal assumptions and seemingly self-evident norms and regulations have been developed by the societies (based on the patriarchy) through-out history to maintain law and order and to create an illusion of safety. 

The feeling of a touch or a physical assault remains in our body sometimes forever. We hoped to raise questions and awareness concerning the personal and public experience of the spaces and how gender affects this experience. Female bodies are still being treated as common property in both public and domestic spaces. Claiming a space safe has a connotation that other spaces are not safe and therefore dangerous and there is a reason for fear. In our horror house of fear, we were approaching the concept of safe space and the non-safe space through discussions, aesthetics and theory. 

The exhibition is a result of a collective effort. We see collectivity as an essential part of our artistic practice and feminism. The Fears or Fierce? - exhibition and related events are based on the aesthetics and structure of a camp horror film. The process of building the exhibition carries the same methods and aspects as in the process of making exploitation films: Playfulness, love for art and cinema, minimum budget, strong effects, shooting footage on public spaces without permission and non-compromising attitude towards our artistic views and narratives that we find important are all essential parts of the process. Combining feministic values to the visual aesthetics of the controversial and problematic genre of exploitation film, we are attempting to claim the genre and to rewrite it’s often gendered and violent narratives. Being free from commercial pressure to make a profit and from public censorship we are using this platform to open up often silenced narratives and experiences. This freedom allows us to dig deeper into the taboos still very present in our culture today in a playful manner using camp and humor to make the subject more approachable.

In collaboration with Jo Hislop, Saku Kämäräinen, Ilona Lehtonen, Ari-Pekka Leinonen, Michelle Orenius, Anna Poleteli, Mariangela Pluchino, Roxana Sadvokassova, Pihla Sudenyö, Ida-Sofia Tuomisto, Victoria Zolotukhina.

Text by Tia Hassinen

The exhibition was supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland.



Works in order of appearance:

  1. Scenography #1 by Helena Aleksandrova & Tia Hassinen

  2.  “Words and gestures’. Text and photography by Jo Hislop

  3. “29th July, 00:27, A reenactment’. Video by Helena Aleksandrova

  4. "Okay one one". Video by Helena Aleksandrova

  5.  Scenography #2 by Helena Aleksandrova

  6.  Scenography #3 by Tia Hassinen

  7.  “Secret Weapon’. Photo-performance by Helena Aleksandrova

  8.  Scenography #4: Helena Aleksandrova, Tia Hassinen

  9. “Good Woman”. Written and acted out by Roxana Sadvokassova

  10. Scenography #5 by Tia Hassinen 

  11. “Urban Legend” Text and sculpture by Roxana Sadvokassova

  12. Scenography #6 by Tia Hassinen

  13. Scenography #7 By Tia Hassinen

  14. Dreams'. Audio and text by Michelle Orenius

  15. "Gracious ones". Video by Ilona Lehtonen

  16.  Soundscapes in the exhibition by Saku Kämäräinen and Ari-Pekka Leinonen and Timo Piikkilä


bottom of page