A finnish-austrian art project by Katrin Huber, Maria Juen and Annu Kapulainen

Myymälä2 gallery 5.8. – 15.8.2010

This common artistic project between Finland and Austria includes sociological and feministic aspects. That project is based on questionnaires which concern men�s sexual identity, their self-assessement and behavior.

The artists together constructed a questionnaire, which is concerned with the male genital. Apart from the first few questions dedicated to age, nationality of the participant, the name (if existent) of the genital and its origin (mother, friends, girlfriend…) the questions are asked using multiple-choice and deal with exact form and constitution of the participant�s genital. The questionnaire is verbalized from a female (austrian and finnish) perspective, including some female exaggeration and understatement.

In order to prevent misunderstanding and to illustrate the provenance of the respondents the questionnaire is composed in three different languages (german, finnish, english). The artists attempt making the questioning appear as a serious survey � the aim of the action stays blurry for the participants.

The target group was set to 150 men between 20 and 60 years in each country. The participants are chosen arbitrarily. The artist asked the question by using the questionnaire (without showing it to the contestant), so that men had to react immediately without having time to think about the questions. The act of questioning challenges not only the male over-estimation/exaggeration and reaction to the particular situation but also the reliability of representational surveys. Accordingly the final result doesn�t allow any conclusion if there actually are differences between austrian and finnish men in respect of their self-assessment (over-estimation). The action satirizes itself. The artists felted an erect penis for every participant, which symbolises every man. The interview-process and the felting-process were filmed for a video. Felting can look back on a long tradition in both countries, whereas it is primarily associated with the female. Moreover it is a �mobile� activity, which can be carried out � independent from locality � almost everywhere. This refers to the artists� different origin. In forming and dispersing men�s favourite part of the male body, the activity and the result of the project gets an additional symbolic account.

In Exhibition

The installation – a field of 300 penises on the floor and 300 questionnaires on the wall, is in the big room of the gallery. In the smaller room there are the video work, some results and anatomical drawings of penises. The results (4 questions of the questonnaire) of the surveys are written on the walls by hand � to compare finnish ones to austrian ones. The viewers can make their own conclutions.

This exhibition will be shown also in Gallery 5020 in Salzburg 13.9. � 30.10.2010.