Known for their performative bodily project, Artor Jesus Inkerö has worked with multiple art forms: video art, performances, installations, drawing and text work. The active artist is constantly trying new things and producing new material. We talk about linguistics, sense of connection and their current work-in-progress.
Artor Jesus Inkerö (b. 1989) has gained wide recognition for their ‘holistic bodily project’. They has attempted to transform their appearance to match the most generic version of contemporary masculinity through bodybuilding and behavioral therapy. The artist says that the project is not by any means over, but in fact they has recently changed their personal trainer and just might be delving deeper into the project with a more performative approach.
In Swole (2017), Inkerö documents their physically transformative project and the new gym and diet routine for the project. The video also examines the new vocabulary the artist is adopting in their transformation.
The material behind the scenes
For the past couple of years the artist has focused more on other topics, introducing and reintroducing themself to other mediums. Inkerö points out that their works have always contained multimedia related methods although usually behind the scenes, not visible in the final product. For their solo exhibition My Hard Core (2021) in Amsterdam Inkerö started making a video which ended up being an installation with drawings, paintings, ceramics, texts, sound and plants, among other things. Eventually the exhibition became the video without video; The soundtrack that was supposed to be featured on the video became the soundtrack played in the exhibition.
“In Amsterdam I became more interested in the groundwork than the video itself: I wanted to show a completely new side of my work to the audience. Although I am better known for my video and performance works, there is still a lot of material behind making them. I had just not found a way to bring it forward before.”
The artist has recently explored topics such as architecture, porn, domestic life and linguistics which are in a broader sense all linked to the feeling of connection to each other. The feeling of connection is a theme that Inkerö often finds themself examining in their artistic work and that is important to them. “It is intertwined with the construction and the division of societies and cultures. I believe that is why I often explore masculine subcultures as these masculine subcultures function as sources for what often becomes mainstream culture.
Inkerö has also researched language from a queer culture perspective; Finland being a gender neutral language has led to the use of English language in the Finnish queer communities. “I find it very intriguing that Finnish queer communities have started to utilize English to clarify their nonbinary gender. It raises questions about internationality being a part of one’s identity and queerness: What does it provide and exclude by an identity being international, is the utilization of English vocabulary a threat to local queer subcultures forming new ways of being queer?” The artist points out that language is also a key factor in feeling connection to each other and in many Western cases provides safety, visibility and a sense of belonging.
Inkerö is currently working on a performance called “SLIT” with Teo Ala-Ruona, which will premiere at Centrale Fies Live Works Summit in Dro, Italy in July 2023. The Finnish premiere of their collaboration production will be at ANTI – Contemporary Festival in Kuopio, which is held on September 12-17 2023.
For more information and requests on Artos Jesus Inkerö’s works, please contact AV-arkki’s program coordinator Tytti Rantanen, firstname.lastname@example.org
“Meet the artist” is AV-arkki’s monthly series of interviews with our artists. The interviews are conducted by Vanessa Uhlbäck who was doing an internship in AV-arkki from August to December 2022. Vanessa is completing her Master’s degree in art history at University of Helsinki.