ARoS Focus/New Nordic: Jani Leinonen
In the exhibition School of Disobedience, the Finnish artist Jani Leinonen (b. 1978) will be addressing the issue of how art can become a catalyst for political activism. Leinonen uses a classroom as the backdrop for a performance which questions the passivity that Leinonen believes to be a distinguishing factor of education. In another series of works, Leinonen uses increasingly recognisable elements such as popular slogans and brands, and he subjects mascots from global companies (e.g. Ronald McDonald) to kidnapping and beheading. Leinonen is formed by the ironic distance characterising the 90s. He is an activist acknowledging his own consumption. By making use of familiar visual expressions, Jani Leinonen is able to short-circuit the language of money.