The exhibition is a retrospective review of the extensive production by this forerunner of Finnish media art, and her nearly 50-year career.

The exhibition Fan Academy includes Anneli Nygren’s videos, as well as manuscripts for movies, sketches, portfolios, drawings, and paintings from the early days of her career to this day.

Anneli Nygren lives and works in Turku. She has been making videos and films since the late 1970s, first with a ciné film camera and later with a video camera. Her first actual video work, called Rakkaudesta rocktähteen, In Love with a Rock Star, is from 1982. The massive production of this self-taught media artist includes fiction films, documentaries, animation films and music videos. In her pieces, Nygren reflects on important and serious themes, but they also include plenty of hearty DIY spirit, sharp humour, self-irony and criticism of popular culture.

Camp and public figures

Nygren is not trying to seek approval through technical quality, and the camp spirit is an essential factor in her production. She often uses public figures or figures from popular culture, and her works have featured Cliff Barnes from the TV show Dallas, Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton, Raisa Gorbacheva, Joan Collins, and Renny Harlin, to name a few. Nygren’s own characters can also be seen in the works presented at the exhibition, such as AnneLee, Tytty Tyttelin, Cicca, and Jonne 59.

Nygren’s works have been shown at festivals and exhibitions since 1989, but she became more widely known in 1990, when she was in the Taiteen laita art programme shown on Finnish National Broadcasting Company YLE. Her first retrospective was held soon after that, in Kiasma in 1994. Nygren’s work When Noise and Death Meet (2006) was granted the eurovisio award of the Society of Queer Studies in Finland in 2015. Nygren was awarded the state prize of media art in 2018.

Anneli Nygren: Fan Academy 7 February – 20 September 2020
WAM is open: Tue, Fri–Sun 10am–5pm; Wed–Thu 11am–8pm
Itäinen Rantakatu 38, Turku