portfolio

Hanna-Maija Pääkkönen

contemporary artist / choreographer / phd

I am a contemporary artist and choreographer deeply intrigued of the human nature, and how human beings organize their world.

Below you will find my ongoing projects, and my selected works from the past 5 years. Click here to see my curriculum from 2000 to date.

I work as a freelance artist and the artistic director of Textual Motion Company. I currently work with movement, visual arts, performance and text.

Multidiciplinary approaches and social discussions from an essential part of my practise. For me both art and research are ultimately ways of organizing, understanding and reflecting the world around us. Both aim to produce knowledge, express and investigate our surroundings.


Ongoing

Representations of Power

2022

A performance by Hanna-Maija Pääkkönen and Katriina Haikala.

Public space is subject to constant negotiation and articulation between the individual and the collective. As such, it reflects the power structures of society as well as the socio-spatial experiences of individuals. 

The performance seeks answers to questions such as; who gets to be seen in the public space? Who’s life and legacy is celebrated? Who has the privilege to participate?

”Representations of Power” makes the dynamics of power in the urban public space visible through performative art while exploring, and possibly dismantling, the existing power structures. 

Work supported by City of Helsinki.

1 / 24

The only statue in Helsinki in the likeness of an actual woman is Alpo Sailo’s memorial to Larin Paraske. 

20%

Only 20% of Helsinki’s almost 500 public art pieces and monuments are made by a female artist. 

Unsolicited

2020-2022

“Unsolicited” is a visual study and diary about broken boundaries, power and gendered control. The works disassemble and analyze the unsolicited d*ickpicks I received in social media during the working process of a feminist performance. 

My first reaction to the pictures was shame and anxiety. I break this power dynamic through the pieces by creating aesthetic visual studies from the grotesque images I received.


Selected Works

2018-2022

Partita

2022

A partita, traditionally meaning a set of dances, usually written for a solo instrument taking shape on the dancer’s instrument: the body. Partita duet explores the movement and sound created with a single instrument, the moving human bodies with a cappella music. Partita is also a game: an exploration of contact between two dancers with very diverse backgrounds. 

Work supported by TAIKE.

Choreography: Hanna-Maija Pääkkönen

Dance: Alejandro Flores Monroy, Lyylia Koivuniemi

Decent Women

2020-2021

Decent Women is a collaboration of two artists; Hanna-Maija Pääkkönen and Katriina Haikala. Both women, feminists, mothers and entrepreneurs who explore the space allowed for women in the society within the very narrow concept of ‘decency’.

The artists map out the space where women are seen as  ‘decent’ and therefore accepted and valued in society. The interplay of dance and drawing brings to light the rules, contradictions and restrictions imposed on women, underlined by questions of power and agency.

The artists explore the interfaces of motherhood, sexuality, power and corporeality through a multifaceted interactive performance that challenges both the artists and the audience.

The “Decent Women” performance premiered in Gallery Forum Box Helsinki, Finland in 2021 and has been performed also in 2022 at Gallery Pirkko-Liisa Topelius, Helsinki, Finland.

Work supported by Kone Foundation and City of Helsinki.

Kuvat: Martina Näreharju ja Alex Mervereux

Moving Recollections

2021

An exploration of connection and the lack of it, of physical distance and it’s affects on our experiences.

Moving Recollections was premiered May 2021 in an empty store space during a lockdown that closed all Helsinki’s art and cultural spaces. The audience followed the performance through a class window.

Work supported by TAIKE.

Choreography and Concept: Hanna-Maija Pääkkönen

Dance: Hanna-Maija Pääkkönen & Cano Monroy

Pictures: Katriina Haikala

Bitchcraft – the Exhibitionist

2020-2021

A study of the blurred concepts of exhibition, attention, vanity and objectification.

Performance premiered in Helsinki, May 2021.

Textual Motion at the Box

2019

Textual Motion at the Box combined stories told by the audience, algorithm poetry, dance and recitation.

The piece premiered in May 2019 in Galleria Forum Box Helsinki, Finland

Choreoraphy & concept / Hanna-Maija Pääkkönen

Assisting director / Alejandro Flores Monroy

Poetry / Henrik Pathirane

Dance / Elina Valtonen, Meri-Tuuli Hirvonen, Veera Leppänen, Taru Miettinen, Hanna-Maija Pääkkönen

Recitation / Outi Ikonen, Heikki Mäkäräinen

Costumes / MInna Paussu, Minna Paussu Design

Pictures: Martina Näreharju

Womenhood // Humanhood

2018

Solo explored social privileges and the right of women to be seen and heard in society.The work transported the viewer to being a woman through a variety of incarnations. 

The work was built from Pääkkönen’s autobiographical material; the  diaries, poems, and personal notes of moments and situations that define or limit gender.

The artist mirrored his personal experiences in broader social debates, using as a conceptual starting point the anthropologist Roberto DaMatta’s dichotomy of social universes: home vs. street, private vs. public. 

The work placed bodily experiences in these areas, thus drawing a picture of gendered social hierarchies.

The piece premiered in May 2018 in Cultural Center STOA, Helsinki, Finland.

Picture: Martina Näreharju

Choreography, dance, costume desing: Hanna-Maija Pääkkönen

Lighting desing: Milka Salonen

Sound: Juho Pääkkönen

it’s our time to listen

2019-2021

It is our time to listen is an experimental and ongoing duet project of two dance artists, Hanna-Maija Pääkkönen and Alejandro Flores Monroy. The works explored human contact in lived spaces.

The works were built in specific time, place and space. The venue used were: a street, a neighborhood backyard, a public building and virtual connection. The works were based on materials that artists collect from the cities where they have lived and worked.

The duo worked with materials collected from Helsinki, Mexico City, Managua and Los Angeles. Performances have been seen  in Mexico City (2020) and Helsinki (2021).

Pictures: Textual Motion Company & Klaus Elfving

Boxed Up!

2017 – 2018

Boxed up! dismantled and broke the stereotypes and norms of dance – gender, age, size, appearance and sexuality were challenged in the work.

In addition to professionals, the work brought a group of dance enthusiasts from diverse backgrounds, ages and identities to the stage.

Boxed Up! premiered in May 2018 inCultural Centre STOA, Helsinki, Finland

Choreography, costume: Hanna-Maija Pääkkönen

Lighting design: Milka Salonen

Sound technology: Juho Pääkkönen

Kuvat: Martina Näreharju

Partners and Supporters