Jon Irigoyen


For Mänttä 2015 Art Festival, Jon Irigoyen will implement an art installation format. The artist will work with ceramics, more specifically with the idea of tableware and its other more powerful and symbolic meanings where different social, political, and class values inextricably merge.

Finland and its current situation and specific tensions and struggles will be researched through the project. The artist believes these issues to be of extreme importance as Finnish society tends to hide and avoid facing them; he aims to highlight and create public discussion.

Irigoyen will then intervene by subverting the values associated with traditional tableware, including its class, political, and traditional weight. In our postmodern epoch, few things play as influential a role in our lives as consumerism. Consumption is intimately tied to the creation and production of a sense of self. All objects we consume serve as sign vehicles for social class, the creation of our own objects, in this case a dishware, confronts these dynamics through a “Do It Yourself” production process.

Jon Irigoyen: There Is Always Room for One More, 2015, detail from installation
(photo: Timo Nieminen).

The images and messages of the tableware created by Irigoyen are different from traditional ones. They highlight the different struggles created by the current capitalist crisis. How austerity politics and the current assault on civil rights only further entrench economic and social exclusion and their accompanying consequences: poverty, displacement, and anomy.

Another important topic in the project are the power relations between North and South. Contrasting the apparent well-being, abundance and ease of northern Europe with the economic and social crisis premised on the exploitation of Southern European countries.

By focusing on these struggles we can begin to insinuate a prefigurative form of post-capitalist society that begins to emerge from everyday social practices.

Jon Irigoyen is an artist, independent curator, organizer and cultural agitator born in Bilbao, Spain, and currently based in Helsinki. He was a founding member of the experimental contemporary dance collective Liikë in Barcelona. He has been on the Board of Helsinki’s Pixelache Festival Since 2009

Jon Irigoyen grew up in the dirty, punk, post-industrial city of Bilbao. In the last 14 years has lived in different European cities: Madrid, Bristol, Barcelona, being currently based between Helsinki and Barcelona.

His research interests and projects span the intersecting relationships between artist and spectator; the interaction between public and urban space; the perception of reality; as well as concepts such as autonomy, resistance and memory.

Irigoyen has devised and implemented projects, exhibitions and workshops in Finland, Spain, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Colombia, Russia, Berlin, Peru, USA and elsewhere.

Nowdays he is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Art in Aalto University with the supervision of Finnish philosopher Juha Varto.


Jon Irigoyen: There Is Always Room for One More, 2015, installation. (Photo: Timo Nieminen.)

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