What is the difference between self portraiture and photographing oneself? The artist as a model or an image of the artist?
In photographing nudes, portraying the male body at times masculine and at times with more feminine traits, Kari Soinio plays with gender roles, often showing femininity in masculinity. In his long term artistic practise Soinio has addressed masculine myths through the guise or the trope of the hero. This character has served as a proxy to show the man in the wilderness or in the safety of home, being himself or trying to be something (s)he doesn't quite know. The naked hero can be, at times, seen as a caricature of self-sufficient male identity. In Soinio's series it's imperative and critical to strip the hero out of his clothing to show his vulnerability, bluster and comical nature.
Using himself as a model, Soinio positions himself somewhere between self-portrait and storytelling, into a sphere where he can direct actions and play roles and characters. It's central to the ideas in Soinio's work to exist in his images as a character and to a lesser extent as himself.
In this show Soinio has included self-portraiture and documentary by incorporating close-ups of his face, hair and eyes. By creating a fragmentary self-portrait and by adding poses printed in natural and essential colors Soinio challenges differences between these image types and between his own positions within the gender spectrum of male and female.