By Lisa Erdman
Finnexia® is a multimedia advertisement campaign for a new (fictitious) medication that helps people learn the Finnish language. Using the framework of a satirical medical advertising pitch, Finnexia® presents an opportunity for public dialogue about acquisition of the Finnish language and its role in the experience of foreigners in Finland.
The artwork consists of a product website, a medical animation and a live sales performance/intervention. The target audience for this project is primarily foreigners living in Finland. The presentation is meant to evoke an alternate reality that promotes conversation about issues surrounding cultural integration in Finland.
The pharmaceutical parody of Finnexia® presents a satirical critique of medicalization and the increasingly popular pill-popping approaches for treating a widening array of physical and mental ailments. The Finnexia® project involves investigating people’s experiences and thoughts relating to their own cultural experience, not out of an urgent desire for answers, but rather as a means to generate more questions that may lead to new perspectives on the issues at hand.
In September of 2012, Finnexia® was presented as a live commercial performance at the Helsinki Railway Station as Lisa Erdman’s final doctoral thesis production. This May 2015, the Aalto Media Factory’s AMF Gallery presents video documentation from the 2012 Finnexia® performance, along with other multimedia components of the project.
About the artist:
Lisa Erdman (U.S.A) is an artist and doctoral candidate at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design, and Architecture in Helsinki. Using corporate parody and satirical humor, her multimedia work explores the politics of gender, race, and cultural identity. Erdman is interested in examining the internal and external mechanisms that shape our personal identities and sense of cultural reality. Her work borrows from surrealism, political satire, science fiction, and absurdist performative strategies reminiscent of Dada, Adbusters, and the Situationist International group. Lisa Erdman’s holds a Bachelor of Science in Dance, Interarts & Technology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She earned a Master of Fine Arts in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. For more information on Erdman’s earlier works, see www.lisaerdman.com.