SEX AND WORK / SEKSI JA TYÖ

An installation by TEEMU MÄKI.
 
What is work? What is whoredom? When and what work is exploitation? What should one be wiling to sell and buy – and what not?

overview

Its core is an hour long video in which prostitutes I've interviewed tell about their work. The installation also includes photographs,
an essay, a poem, a drawing, a sculpture, another video and a lounge for thinking about and talking about sex and work.

OVERVIEWS



DETAILS
                      

LIST OF CONTENTS:


1.
Sex and Work – an Essay about Whoredom (Teemu Mäki, 2007–2008)
2.
What Is Whoredom? – Sex Workers Tell, parts 1 & 2: Annika's Interview & Saara's Interview (video, 2008, 57min)
3.
Unabridged version of Annika's Interview, as a photocopied text leaflet for the audience to take.
4.
Unabridged version of Saara's Interview, as a photocopied text leaflet for the audience to take.
5.
Olli and Hanna of Pizzeria Mare Chiaro (A photo of small-scale enterprisers / workers, 2008)
6.

Office Worker and Strip-Tease Artist (A photo of a worker and of an erotic worker, 2006)
7.
Erotic Work (Two photos of the strip-tease artist Pauliina, 2008.) 
8.
Sex as Work (Three photos of a Finnish sex worker at work, 2007)
     
9.
Whore and Exploit (An old video work of mine, 1995, 62 minutes, which also dealt with sex and work. Usually shown looped on a flat-panel monitor, with two pairs of headphones and two armchairs.
10.
Desperate Disco (A drawing of sex work in Africa, 16.5.2005)
11.
He ovat katkeria, mutta juuri nyt heillä on kaikki (They Are Bitter, but Right Now They Have Everything, a poem – in Finnish – about sex work in Africa, 7 pages, from my poetry collection Kuolevainen (Mortal, WSOY 2008.)
12.
Kuka / Who (A sculpture/collage, 2008.)
13.
A lounge for thinking and talking about sex and work.
14.
Thaimaalainen (A piece of music, composed by Max Savikangas, lyrics by Juha-Pekka Hotinen. From the Badminton-Opera by Hotinen, Savikangas and myself. Not shown in gallery Peri 2008.)
15.
Kaliki, a video work, 2006. (Not shown in gallery Peri 2008.)



About 62 pages of text is included, yet I believe that the visual and other visceral elements are at least as important as the texts in this piece. However, here on the web I do not show the videos and do not publish the texts of this work either – thus this preview is quite one-sided.



This installation is a work in progress. The starting point was a philosophical/political article about prostitution that I wrote for my next book of essays. I wanted to juxtapose this text with the experiences and opinions of prostitutes themselves. In the installation I present my theoretical view – the essay – as pure text, but allow the prostitute's view to take various forms: the interview-video, photos of a prostitute at work and the detached run-down of the video dialogue on paper.

The upcoming versions of the installation will hopefully be even more extensive. To the interviews of Finnish prostitutes I will interviews of Estonian, Russian and German sex-workers. I will also add more photos of prostitutes, not just "at work" but also at home, as subjects of portrait photography or painting. However, the work will remain flexible and smaller versions will still be available if there is no room or need for the bigger ones.


I'm the copyright holder of all the parts of the installation, but many people have helped me to make it, as the list of credits reveals:

VIDEO – the interviewed: Annika & Saara. Interviewer: Teemu. Camerawork and sound: Ville Hyvönen. Post-production of image and sound: Heikki Kotsalo. Editing: Heikki Kotsalo & Teemu. Director: Teemu Mäki. PHOTOS – Teemu. The models: Arja, Hanna, Kati, Olli, Pauliina and the anonymous. Assistant photographers: Kenneth Bamberg, Kimmo Koskela, Paula Lehto. Post-production of the photos: Kalle Kataila, Kenneth Bamberg, Teemu. Printing of the photos: Jarkko Sopanen / Printlab (TAIK).

The first version of the work was exhibited in the Kehaturg / Sex Market exhibition in Tallinn Art Hall, 2007. The name of the work was then What Is Whoredom? / Mitä huoruus on?. Since then I've modified and continued the work and changed its title. The 2. version's premiere was a solo exhibition of mine in the Photo Galleri Peri, Turku, Finland (18.9.–12.10.2008, www.peri.fi). Elina Bäckman, Minna Havukainen and Mirka Muukkonen helped me to put up that show. Thanks.


A bit of this work's history: overviews of the first version, then called What Is Whoredom?, exhibited 2007 in Tallinn Art Hall's Sex Market / Kehaturg -exhibition, curated by Reet Varblane:


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