UNTITLED (a portrait)

Terike Haapoja

In ‘Untitled (a portrait)’ we see a chimpanzee with a lively expression gazing towards us. But as the only movement we see in the image comes from reflections on glass, we realise the chimpanzee is inside a case in a museum, and the movement is that of the visitors who are actually looking at him. As is well known, chimpanzees are one of the closest kin among species for us humans, sharing more than 94% of identical DNA. It has been said that the cognitive skills of an adult chimpanzee resemble those of a 4-year old child, undoubtedly with other species-specific skills which remain outside our understanding. Still, none of us are seen in the cases of natural history museums – the difference, however small, seems crucial. As the chimpanzee is portrayed as an example of its species, we are portrayed as individuals in the art history museum next door. The difference between ‘it’ and ‘him’ becomes more visible. 

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UNTITLED (a portrait)
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UNTITLED (a portrait)
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UNTITLED (a portrait)
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Terike Haapoja (Author)
Press Photos
Terike Haapoja is a visual artist based in Helsinki, Finland. She has a MA degree both from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts and Theatre Academy. Her work consists of videos, installations and stage projects, characterized by the innovative use of new media and new technology. Her work has been show widely in solo and group exhibitions and festivals both nationally and internationally. Haapoja represented Finland at Venice Biennale in 2013 with a solo show in the Nordic Pavilion. She has received awards and grants in Finland since 2001 and she was nominated as candidate for Ars Fennica Award in 2011.