The Stroker

Pilvi Takala

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Takeover: VI. Scene Takeover The Stroker
Pilvi Takala

15 Minutes

Repeat: Dec 15-16 ET

The Stroker is a two-channel video installation based on Takala’s two-week-long intervention at Second Home, a trendy East London coworking space for young entrepreneurs and startups. During the intervention Takala posed as a wellness consultant named Nina Nieminen, the founder of cutting-edge company Personnel Touch who were allegedly employed by Second Home to provide touching services in the workplace. Nina strolled around Second Home being friendly to everyone, greeting and lightly touching people as she passed them by. It gets the office talking; workers gossip amongst themselves, visibly bonding over a common confusion; she is nicknamed ”The Stroker.” The responses of the “touchees” varied widely, most were polite, but there were those whose body language registered a visible discomfort. The nuances of movement demonstrate how people negotiate the dilemma of being mediated bodies under social pressure, and how such responses are controlled by the tacit conventions governing what is deemed to be acceptable behavior. In the clear-walled, open-thinking space of The Stroker, we witness a physical negotiation of boundaries where there seemingly are none.

This screening is part of Scene Takeover, the sixth and final chapter of the online program Takeover curated by Julian Ross for e-flux Video & Film, and unfolding in six chapters between September 22 and December 15, 2022, with the films and videos of each chapter streaming for two weeks.

Takeover wraps on Thursday, December 15 with a repeat of all films featured in the six chapters of the program, streaming through Friday, December 16, 11:59 pm ET.

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

Return to VI. Scene Takeover

Pilvi Takala is an artist living and working between Berlin and Helsinki. Her video works are based on performative interventions in which she researches specific communities in order to process social structures and question the normative rules of our behaviour. Her works show that it is often possible to learn about the implicit rules of a social situation only by its disruption. Her work has been shown at Seoul Mediacity Biennale (2021), Moscow Museum of Modern Art (2021), CCA Glasgow (2016), Manifesta 11 (2016), Centre Pompidou (2015), MoMA PS1 (2014), Palais de Tokyo (2013), and New Museum (2012).

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