The Finnish Art Society has selected Finnish artist Iiu Susiraja as the recipient of its $15,500 William Thuring Foundation Prize, which was established to award midcareer artists between the ages of thirty-five and forty-five. Susiraja, who was born in 1975 and lives in Turku, Finland, works primarily in photographic and video-based self-portraiture to make art that relates to feminine performance, psychoanalysis, and body humor.
“It’s funny that people think that my purpose is to criticize beauty ideals or social issues,” the artist has said. “I have no such intentions. These things come afterwards. My starting point is purely the object [props including pantyhose, high-heels, cushions, whipped cream] and how it relates to me. I also think about what would be an interesting object.”
Susiraja has exhibited her work at Ramiken Crucible, New York, the Rubell Family Collection, Miami, and the Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki. Her work is in several collections including the Heino Art Foundation, Helsinki Art Museum, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, National Museum of Finland, and Gothenburg Museum of Art.
“Susiraja’s indoor self-portraits critique gender roles with a mordant humor that puts housekeeping magazines—and men—to shame,” wrote Ratik Asokan in a 2016 review on artforum.com. “In Training, 2008, Susiraja rides a treadmill wearing a knitted hat with loaves of bread protruding from it like pigtails. Exercise and cooking: How liberated the modern multitasking woman is!”