Born 1975 in Helsinki, Finland
Lives and works in Helsinki
Venus #1 – #3, 2016
Courtesy Zetterberg Gallery, Helsinki
In Venus Series (2014 – 2016), Reinhard poses with commercially-produced props for faking femininity – prosthetic breast-plates, full face masks and glossy wigs – products aimed largely at drag queens, transvestite men and transsexuals. Jarring with my perhaps normative understanding of such dressing-up practices, in these photographs the wearer of these accoutrements is clearly female (though it’s not clear if she is also the artist). Through the process of the photo-shoot Reinhard queers these products created largely for men to appear as women, working out how she wants to be seen and how this might arouse or empower her own desire. Taking on characters like the pole- dancer, she appears with bared or thinly-veiled large silicone breasts and in one of the most surprising compositions, pulls open her legs to reveal a prosthetic penis – in her words ‘the best of both worlds’. The Venus Series isn’t so much a critique of how gender is constructed and reproduced, but a complication of the ways in which desire is (self) directed and finds form. In these bold, large-format studio photographs I sense, rather than see, a complex system of desire in the process of becoming, sheathed in smooth silicone and striking a defiant, sexually provocative pose.