Uudenmaankatu
Essi Ojanperä, Linda Söderholm,
Helsinki Freezing
23.6. - 10.7.2011

Essi Ojanperä, Linda Söderholm
Helsinki Freezing
23.6. – 10.7.2011
Galleria Huuto Uudenmaankatu

Helsinki, winter 2011. The punching bag in the Töölö sports hall gym smells of hardened leather. Someone has forgotten a towel in the corner. Funk blasts from the training rooms upstairs. The dark brown plywood squeaks and creaks under the rhythmically moving brand sneakers. The sweat marks on the floor are a sign of a successful windmill. The low winter sun shines through the windows. Outside the Töölönlahti bay is covered in snow and the cold weather has taken over the city. B-girl A-Eagle and B-girl L-Monkey are battling in deep snow whilst their breath turns to mist in the cold air. The dancing of the two girls is accompanied by the deep voice of the “Godfather of Soul”. B-girl L-Monkey begins and challenges A-Eagle with her Toprock. Her rocking is followed by a set of footwork and L-Monkey’s trademark, a smoothly rolling Worm. She ends her run in an inverted handstand freeze. B-girl A-Eagle accepts the challenge. Intensely looking L-Monkey in the eyes, she shows off her Indian Steps, then moves on through an immaculate knee drop to footwork and ends her run in a Chair Freeze. Helsinki Freezing.

Breakdance – a very essential part of the hip hop culture – was born on the streets of New York in the 1970s. Over the years, the dance form has gained worldwide popularity and moved from the streets to dance studios. The Helsinki Freezing project takes us back to where it all began – the streets. The B-girls have been documented in urban landscapes of Helsinki during the coldest and snowiest winter period.

The exhibition consists of photographs, videos and an interactive installation. The videos show the dance as a whole, while the still images make it possible to introduce the moves and their versatility, even to those viewers who are not familiar with the dance. Stills and freeze frames are logical ways of presenting breakdance because the stop motion poses, “freezes”, are an important part of the dance. The purpose of the interactive installation is to “take the viewer inside the dancer’s head”, in others words to see through the eyes of the dancer. The aim of having a theme strongly associated with youth culture is to reach an audience that is usually not among the regular gallery-goers. The intention is to create a multidisciplinary space where a traditional gallery transforms into an urban culture scene.

Helsinki Freezing is a project by two Finnish Helsinki-based artists, Essi Ojanperä (MA) & Linda Söderholm (MA).

The Helsinki Freezing project has been supported by the Majaoja Foundation.

Further information: Essi Ojanperä, tel. +358 40 574 1854 & Linda Söderholm, tel. +358 50 540 2594, info(at)helsinkifreezing.fi, www.helsinkifreezing.fi.