Kristoffer Ala-Ketola

Kristoffer Ala-Ketola anchors his art practice in the dark milieu of uncertain forms of existence. His interest in the formation of identity merges with the genre of portraiture and gives way to a slew of new and unknown characters. Ala-Ketola marks these personas with camp, queerness, and absurdist humor, and the grotesque, fixating on the boundary between the fantastical and human. Kristoffer Ala-Ketola is a multidisciplinary artist from Oulu, Finland who graduated from Yale School of Art with a Master of Fine Arts in 2019. His works have been exhibited in 4th Ward Project Space in Chicago, Shin Gallery in New York, and Kunsthalle Helsinki, and he has also participated in video screenings at the Helsinki International Film Festival and Video Art Festival Turku. Ala-Ketola’s work engages in various psychological phenomena, structures of identity, and queer theory with recurring themes of longing, coping, and dreaming.

Ala-Ketola describes the work done for Post Bar:

“I chose the image from my personal archive and re-edited it to suit the new context. The photo was originally part of my installation TBH, which I think captures something special at the core of my practice. I often use my own archival material when producing new work, and I love to switch the context of an image in order to play with the emotional and affective values it has, or potentially will have.

The image is a self-portrait dealing with bodily exhaustion in reference to the hormonal changes the body endures during heartbreak. When I got this commission I was looking at hundreds of images and felt like this could be the one that changes the most when taken out from its original context and transformed into a club poster. The heartbreak suddenly gives way to a different kind of bodily exhaustion–the aftermath of dancing really hard. Metaphorically speaking, I feel like I remixed the image from a melancholic beat into a joyous one.”