Katja Juhola, Art director – Taiteellinen johtaja

Katja Juhola, artist, curator

Art is not just one possible way to change the world – it is already acting as a concept vital to society! Art is research into basic meanings. Art must be given the freedom to make something happen or nothing at all might happen; art must be given the freedom to break things up and leave its mark to modify or build something new.

Katja Juhola is 47 years old, mother to a 20 -year-old Viktor Juhola, and married to the musician Jukka Juhola. They live in Mustio, which is an hour’s drive from Helsinki or Turku. She has studied social and environmental art in Turku University of Applied Sciences, Art Academy (2007) and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2010 and  Master of Art 2017 from the same school. At the moment she is a Doctoral Candidate in the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Lapland

Katja Juhola has been active in the field of art for over 20 years. She has held over a hundred exhibitions both abroad and in Finland. She has completed over ten major social art projects in Finland and five abroad. She has been the chairman of the Raseborg Photograph Center in 2014-2017 and has curated several exhibitions.

In her art, Juhola has moved on to activist activity. She sees through her own actions the possibilities to influence reality. Instead of art objects, it is important for her to process. Her basic aspirations are the principles of equality and ecological lifestyle. Juhola believes in the ability of art to make social change. Touch by art is no longer just touching the art object, but for its part is building it and thus producing something new in which the structures of hegemony can be destabilized.

Katja Juhola has participated in several international symposia and has found intense collaboration between different artists of different cultures to be proud of her own work and understanding. Juhola feels particularly important for artists’ interaction and discussions to create a critical and productive dimension of art. To make the discussions fertile, she invited a mentor to join ISEAS.

Juhola examines social art symposium as activist art. Art is a result of discussions that create the agonistic public space defined by Mouffe, where people’s disparate opinions can face without the need for a complete, broad and shared consensus. Juhola explicitly sees the symposium as an act of personal activism, whose significance is reflected in the freedom of art in the framing of institutions.