AnnaLeena Prykäri is a queer interdisciplinary artist using tools as text, sculpture, installations and performance. Research based practice takes place both locally as well internationally where she use performance as a form for primary research.
Her research is focused on interconnections between mental illnesses and BDSM (where BDSM is not viewed as a medical state). From the ongoing research she currently is lifting up topics such as power relations, control, emotional and physical pain, structure and happiness, (among others). How does the radical sexual behaviours and mental illnesses meet on the emotional, mental and psychological levels?
THE NEAR PAST TO PRESENT:
2012–2014 AnnaLeena Prykäri started to focus mainly on exploring mental illnesses in society and the person behind a diagnosis. Silenced, ignored and marginalized topics are yet today discussed from personal and emotional viewpoints.
Through her work Prykäri intended to embody the person behind a label in order to displace and highlight the stigmas, taboos and shame associated with mental illness; from the pharmacy shelves to the daily discussions. She aimed to reveal the positive and negative sides of a diagnosis.
She references pain, sorrow and shame, as well as the complexity of diagnostics, the control of chaos and a personal archive – 365 days, 52 weeks of the year.
After few years working focused on mental illnesses raised upp the possibilities of interconnections between her, at that time, main topic and BDSM (umbrella term for often sexual practices involving bondage, discipline, dominance and submission, sadomasochism). Since summer/fall 2017 she has focused only researching these topics together, yet placing higher focus on BDSM and topics around it. Her primary research use performance as a tool and has taken place internationally in cities such as New York, London and Berlin, as well she uses online methods.
Prykäri often utilizes opposites in her work which are developed through her concepts, materials and even in her long working process, this enabling her to create works that are complex.
She also interlaces personal and political aspects of a diagnosis of mental illnesses with the duality in theme. Prykäri utilizes the interconnections between these themes collectively with the material`s anatomy, poetry and emotional foundation.
(Prykäri uses pronoun she, yet because of her fluid gender identity as well Finnish linguistic background that is gender neutral, she can also be called as they.)