Artor Jesus Inkerö
Installation: sound panels, drawings, sculptures, photos, sound, objects
My Hard Core, Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten Artist Residency, Amsterdam, 2021
 GENRE 2021
VIDEO, 15min

Working group of the video includes Teo Ala-Ruona, Valter Tornberg, Kristoffer Ala-Ketola, and the work is co-produced with PALO productions. The production is funded by Kone foundation and AVEK. Video preview uploaded soon.

Still from the video GENRE, 2021

Presented at WAM, Turku 8 Oct 2021 – 9 Jan 2022
SCORE 2019
Performance, 30:00

Credits: Minna Koivisto (music production), Ana Teo Ala-Ruona (performance consulting), Valter Tornberg (DJ), Kristoffer Ala-Ketola (text), Mariliis Rebane (essay commission).
The performance is co-commioned by Beursschouwburg Theatre, Bussels; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Benelux-Institute, Brussels; Finnish Institute, London.
section of the performance script
section of the performance script
section of the performance script
section of the performance script
Performed at Beursschouwburg Theatre, Brussels,2019; Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, 2019; Kiasma Museum Of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, 2020; Finnish Institute, London, 2020. 

Essay by Mariliis Rebane DOWNLOAD
(Work description by Kristoffer Ala-Ketola)
In their new performance titled, Score (2019), Artor Jesus Inkerö examines how language, gestures, and other ways of signaling and communicating between people may deny or allow access to specific groups, and how these physical patterns affect western culture as a whole. Having inserted themselves into unfamiliar situations with people who can be described interculturally as masculine performing, they have learned to mimic and question the affective power of physical appearance and behavior. Within their long-term performative research, Inkerö has started to interrogate their personal history and former appearance as their body has changed from non-passing to passing. In asking you to look closer at structures of power, Inkerö creates space for a fantasy of norm defiance.
Inkerö works in moving image, photography, sculpture, performance, text and installation. In their video works, Inkerö has placed their now dissonant figure in spaces where the character is often quietly observing the surroundings creating a dialogue between the space and the subject that evoke empathy with an adverse read of disconnect and detachment. Inkerö is exploring these ideas further by exhibiting a solo live performance in collaboration with the music producer Minna Koivisto and choreographer Ana Teo Ala-Ruona.
In this performance piece, Inkerö points out that the body language presented in this work, and within their practice at large, is often associated with negative connotations of generic western notions of masculinity. Inkerö aspires to shift the point of view to the violent structures behind these actions. For their work, they are attempting to create a physical language that acts in between specific common gestures and their personal modes of behavior.
Inkerö states that the inherent violence becomes visible in the performance through their individual way of moving. The gesturing of the performer becomes ambiguous and unharmonious when their attempt for masculinity fails. Inkerö is interested in this conflict that happens when a non-binary person is trying to achieve the most generic masculine version of themselves and ends up revealing possibly denied, hidden, and vulnerable feminine characteristics. This remark reflects a broader idea of the imperfections of human communication.

PANELS, 2020; Drawings, texts, prints on sound panels;
Project Space South, Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, 2020

anels 2,7,9,10
Details from PANELS, 2020

Give up Power Trophy Debt Sexuality, 2020, glaze on terracotta

Dark park for apartment, 2020, glaze on terracotta

Huge moral family NB Son, 2020 / A welcomed guest abandoned, 2020
Huge moral family NB Son, 2020 / A welcomed guest abandoned, 2020
Nonbinary protest, 2020
Nonbinary protest, 2020
Tradition I'm home, 2020
Tradition I'm home, 2020
Pot, 2020
Pot, 2020
JAB 2020
4K video, 8 minutes
JAB (2020)
4K video
8 minutes

Jab looks into an aesthetic of violence that is pursued in masculinity through self-inflicted pain or injury. Desired outcomes are created artificially like youtube tutorials to live a simulation of an aesthetic.
4K VIDEO, 11:00, 3 CHANNELs
Credits: Minna Koivisto (music production), G Lucas-Going (filming), Valter Tornberg (filming)

4K video, 3 channels, color, 8 channel sound, music: Minna Koivisto
Installation: rubber floor, gray paint, 3 x 70"screens
Full length: 3 x 11:00 minutes
Excerpt mashup: 8:00 minutes
Installed @ Rijksakademie Open Studios, Amsterdam, 2019

FullHD VIDEO, 18:22

Credits: KOI (music)

BUBBLE on screen
@ "I AM OUR COMMON PRONOUN", Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, 2017

@ "THERE AND BACK AGAIN", Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, 2018

BUBBLE projection
@ "SHOOT BLOCKER", Finlandsinstitutets galleri, Stockholm, 2018

In Inkerö’s work, BUBBLE (2017), the artist inhabits a constructed world, adopting movements and gestures to project the most generic vision of contemporary masculinity and first-world comfort. Inkerö’s works examine the comfort we seek through identification with others and through the stability of generic forms and predictable behaviors. Their work joins the world of appearances with the personal project of self-fashioning, and highlights the conflation of self and other as an omnipresent mode of control in late capitalist society. In short, Inkerö’s videos explore the choices we make—and the limitations we encounter—in order to identify with or feel connected to those around us.
IMAGES: digital print on pvc tarpaulin, 4 x 6 metres

Commissioned by Helga Christoffersen, curator at New Museum, for "I AM OUR COMMON PRONOUN" exhibition , Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, 2017
(Text by Helga Christoffersen)

Artor Jesus Inkerö’s large scale photographs, videos, and performances, are part of a “holistic bodily project:” a series of rigorous, evolving, self-transformations that transgress boundaries between Inkerö’s art and life. Through bodybuilding, dieting, supplements, dress, and digital post-production, Inkerö, whose preferred pronoun is they, establishes an intimate relationship to the material external qualities of the self and how it is projected into the world. Online and at the gym, they are immersed in bodybuilding subcultures and their attendant languages, behaviors, and perceptions. Famous figures from popular culture serve as ideals and models through which to imagine possible new selves, cycling fluidly through a range of genders. Alternatively, in works such as Bubble (2017), the artist adopts movement and gestures within a constructed world to extrapolate the most generic median of contemporary masculinity.

In this exhibition, Justin (2016), Kim (2017), and Caitlyn (2017) are each outcomes of Inkerö’s intense commitment to identify with the smooth surfaces in images of public figures by mimicking their routine and gestures. As in the original images, they stitch together multiple self-portraits to create a composite self in the image of another. Bodybuilding is a process in which muscles are treated separately and specific exercises target specific body parts. As with image editing software, it is a way to split up the self into pieces and stitch together all the perfected surfaces and angles into a whole. The resulting images, printed as public banners, use an advertising format suited for maximum public exposure and consumption, making Inkerö’s new constructed self subject to admiration and judgement. In advertising, identification with an ad’s subject is a tool to manipulate behavior. The work plays with this by considering to what extent do we see ourselves or our possible selves in these ubiquitous images of others?

Inkerö’s works examine the comfort we seek through identification with others and through the stability of generic forms and predictable behaviors; on that level, it is a deeply humanizing project. It is a means of joining the world of appearances and highlighting the conflation of self and other, omnipresent as a form of control in late capitalist society. In essence, these works are about what one may go through, under these conditions, in order to identify with or feel a connection to another person.

SWOLE 2017
FullHD video, 6:50
SWOLE on screen
NO TRUE SELF, Center for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, 2020

(description by D.A. Kerr)
In their video work Swole (2017), Inkerö undertook an intensive bodily transformation. Gaining over 20kg of muscle for the project, Inkerö submerged themselves into the world of intensive bodybuilding, dieting and supplement taking. Swole documents a real-life commitment and long-form engagement with bodybuilding subculture, in particular the way in which online culture reinforces a mainstream concept of masculinity.
Embracing hyper-masculine bodybuilding standards, and using the supplements, gestures, attire and behaviours associated with this subculture, Inkerö (who uses the pronoun “they”) manipulates both the viewer and the external qualities of self-representation. Conflating artist and persona, they use online culture in their work as part of their self-transformation, a performance that is both a physical and social experiment and one that performatively addresses the visual and societal expectations of gender.
In their poster works, Kim (2017), Justin (2016), and Caitlyn (2017), the artist poses themselves as three iconic pop culture figures, restaging three viral images of these “stars”: Kim Kardashian’s Paper Magazine “Break the Internet” cover, Justin Bieber’s photoshoot for Calvin Klein and Vanity Fair’s image of Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner.

4K video, 5:00 or 14:00
Installed @ "INKERÖ, TAKALA, SAIYAR", National Museum, Helsinki, 2019

(Work description by Mariliis Rebane)

For Inkerö, one point of departure has always been popular culture, which has served as a source of behaviours and positions to adopt. Within the work produced for this exhibition Inkerö continues to do so by revisiting scenes from the film Lost in Translation. They travelled to Japan and stayed at the Park Hyatt Tokyo hotel, which is the main location of the original film.
The film Lost in Translation directed by Sofia Coppola relies on the dominant Western ideology that depicts Japan as a place of paradox and contradiction. Even though these characteristics have been thought of as inherent to Japanese culture, in reality the 'paradox' only exists from certain angles of vision. Upholding these stereotypes makes the film discriminatory, because maintaining such oppositions is an important part of what defines Western culture. The city of Tokyo and its citizens are consistently presented as an ‘other’ to the lead characters, which inevitably leads to reductive stereotyping. It is worth emphasising that despite being viewed as the ‘universal human norm’ against which others are distinguished, 'whiteness' itself is also a specific, culturally
created construct.
Within the work Inkerö is turning the focus away from these reductive depictions of Japanese culture, and focusing on the lead characters of the film. The artist spends the same amount of time in the hotel as them, eats the same breakfast, swims in the same swimming-pool and visits the same tourist sites. While revisiting these familiar scenes, they almost make the main protagonist strange: surrounded by material luxury, their life is reduced into perfectly staged posts on Instagram Story. This kind of lifestyle may be presented to us as a norm by the entertainment industry or social media, but in the work of Inkerö it becomes only a fictional pose.

STRAIGHTENER installed @ Alkovi, Helsinki, 2018
(description of the work in the gallery by the artist)
"My aligners are floating in a drinking glass on the counter of my parent's utility room, which has the weirdest light box type walls. Apparently, it is the latest fashion in interior design. The aligners, floating gently, are of a light plastic 3D printed material. Before relaxing in the whirlpool, I remove my South Korean face mask sheet and massage the rest of the formula on my face and on my neck. Dripping in lotion I dip into the water. The whirls are creating air bubbles in my swimwear, and they detach the skin's surface. The tension in my body releases. These liquids absorb and react against my body, they change it and rearrange it, they caress and also become part of me."