Artist Sasha Huber presents some of her work and interventions to Janice Cheddie.
Sasha Huber was born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1975, and currently lives and works in Helsinki, Finland with her husband and son. Her background is in graphic design, which she studied in Zurich. In 2000 she received a scholarship to Fabrica, Benetton’s communication research centre in Treviso, Italy. In 2006 she graduated from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki with an MA in Visual Cultures. In her work she examines her roots and their influence on the process of building a personal and artistic identity. Being of European and Haitian heritage she allies herself with the Caribbean Diaspora. She has been unable to visit her mother’s homeland, Haiti, because of continuing security risks. Her work combines political criticism with an aesthetic rendering of the subject matter. Firing an uncountable number of staples into wooden surfaces is just one of the ways she realizes her ideas. In one such project this literally involved shooting portraits of Christopher Columbus and former Haitian Dictators. She also works with video, photographs, drawings, documentary material, and more recently with interactive dialogue in the form of interventions. One of these interventions involved flying to the Agassizhorn, a mountain in the Swiss Alps named after the Swiss naturalist and racist Louis Agassiz, and renaming the mountain Rentyhorn in honour of a slave – called Renty – used by Agassiz in his research. Huber has been showing her work collaboratively and in solo exhibitions in Finland and abroad since 2003.
Janice Cheddie is a writer/researcher and educator who writes about contemporary visual culture, her key areas of investigation are visual culture and difference, cultural democracy and cultural translation. She is currently based in London at the University of Greenwich and has written and worked with artists, whose primary medium is the lens based medium, including film-makers, photographers, installation artists and digital media artists. Janice has a PhD in Cultural Studies, with her doctoral thesis looking at the fashion photography, focusing on the representation of black women in Anglo-American fashion magazines. This work has been been published in Fashion Theory, Berg Publications. During the period, 2009-2010 she was based at the University of the West Indies, Barbados teaching Art History at the Errol Barrow Centre for the Creative Imagination. In 2000-2005, she was Arts Humanities, Research Council, Research Fellow on 'Translating the Image' Cross-Cultural Contemporary Arts', Goldsmiths College, University of London, led by Professor Irit Rogoff.
This video was filmed at Next level Projects, 58 Hanbury Street, London on 29th July 2011.
All images used in this video were either given to Next Level Projects by Sasha Huber for the purpose of illustrating this video or have been taken from books edited by Sasha Huber.
'(T)races of Louis Agassiz: Photography, Body and Science, Yesterday and Today' is also a book edited by Maria Helena P. T. Machado and Sasha Huber. The book draws together collaborators who approach the subject from different perspectives, addressing both the past and the present. It includes scholarly texts and art criticism, along with the personal manifestoes of activists and artists. In examining a series of nineteenth-century racial photographs, the book reflects upon how images associated to thoroughly outdated beliefs and scientific knowledge continue to haunt not only visual culture but also the politics of memory and forgetting in the twenty-first century.
Editors: Maria Helena P. T. Machado and Sasha Huber
Collaborators: Flávio dos Santos Gomes, Hans Fassler, John Monteiro, Maria Helena P. T. Machado, Sasha Huber & Petri Saarikko and Suzana Milevska
Publisher: Capacete Entretenimentos on the occasion of the 29th São Paulo Biennial, 2010
Printed: São Paulo, Brazil
Supporters: Frame-Fund, Finnish Arts Council, Capacete, São Paulo Biennial.
'Rentyhorn' is a book that has been produced to document the Rentyhorn artistic project by Sasha Huber. The process culminated in an installation that was first exhibited in autumn 2008. The whole or parts of the installation has since been shown in several national and international exhibitions and events. In 2010, the Rentyhorn installation became part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki. This ongoing journey of discovery began in the summer of 2008, when Hans Fässler invited Huber to join the Transatlantic committee “Demounting Louis Agassiz”. The book includes texts from Europe and the Americas, by curators, historians, a philosopher, a social scientist, a journalist and an artist.
Editor: Sasha Huber
Texts: Pirkko Siitari, Hans Fässler, Hans Barth, Suzana Milevska, Maria Helena P. T. Machado,
Mikael Wahlström, Johanna Sarjas, Patty Colman, Petri Saarikko.
112 Pages, b/w and color Offset,
Hardcover with foiling and embossing,
17 x 24 cm, First Edition.
ISBN 978-951-53-3267-7, ISSN 0789-0338
A Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma Publication 126 / 2010
Supported by: Arts Council of Finland