Irina Laaja

I R I N A   L A A J A

weave, inner tubes, binding wires, 43x24x19 cm
hand embroidery, linen on thread, 117x114 cm
I wanted to be a monument but I guess I’m just a body
I wanted to be a monument but I guess I’m just a body
fotografi, digitaltryck på ekologisk bomull, polyestervadd, tråd (2020) 
97x95x180 cm,
foto: Heidrun Holzfind
Fourteen parts of me
Fourteen parts of me
Kombucha SCOBY, lintråd, stål (2020) 173x74x43 cm, foto: Heidrun Holzfind

Irina Laaja participated in Domestic Systemic Pandemic with two textile works 'Lump' and 'Untouchable' exhibited in Detroit Stockholm's gallery window 26 Nov 2020, kl 12-17. 

Lumps bodies skin repeating rubber smell repeating research material reactions forms repeating threads wire my hands hands process repeating the traces of my body other bodies other hands sensitive skin reproduce hollowness breathe the flesh is drying out like a piece of meat

-What is a body? How do we relate to our own, and those of others? 

The body is almost always present in my work. It’s complexity and significance fascinates me; how something so concrete and straightforward, can also be so complicated and difficult. How views on, and definitions of, sexuality, normality and obscenity are woven in, between and through, our physique and our subconscious.

With great focus on the process and with my own body as well as the experiences and feelings that stem from it, I work with textiles, sculpture and drawing as my main mediums. By connecting the personal and the political in a contemporary context, I study questions regarding perceptions of bodies, bodily experiences and the relationship between the "body" and ourselves.

I’m interested in slow processes. I like those repetitive, obsessive working processes that puts myself in an almost meditative state. I like how it allows me to spend time with the object, which leads to developing a relationship to it, no matter how ambivalent that relationship might be. These relationships often consist of comfort and protection, but also fear and antipathy.

I strive towards that strange, almost unpleasant place, which consists of both pain and humor. For something insecure and uncomfortable, yet unapologetic.

/I. Laaja, 2020


Irina Laaja (born 1989) is a visual artist from Finland, currently based in Umeå, Sweden. Her background is in Fashion Design, but her work also encompasses drawing, painting and textile art.

Irina Laaja is one of Galleri Majkens represented artists since we presented her solo show [fe]male gaze in 2018 in our first space we had in Midsommarkransen. The work was realised with funding from Ax:sons Stiftelse, Sweden.

Insta: @irina.laaja




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