Sanne Katainen Peace Dance 1.–24.3.2019

Photographic Gallery Hippolyte

Based on her book of the same title, Sanne Katainen’s exhibition is a glorification of transient everyday encounters. Katainen has documented her daily life for 25 years and returned to her archives later on. In her book, compiled from the vast footage taken during those years, individual images gain new meaning through unexpected juxtaposition. The photographs communicate through a language of their own, without giving conclusive answers. Absent is descriptive text, leaving the photos entirely reliant on the viewer’s various and unfettered interpretations.

The name Peace Dance derives from a photograph Katainen took at age 13 which depicts a performance called Piis Dance, that she and her classmates created at that time. The dance, simple in its choreography, could be executed by anyone: with one’s fingers, a peace sign is waved up and down, legs are astride in a wide open stance, while providing rhythm to the arms and culminating with the collective shout “Piis!”. The silly playfulness emerging from these movements shakes off any pompous seriousness—a working philosophy behind the artist’s intention to situate the whimsical in the realm of thoughtfulness.

The body of work displayed at Photographic Gallery Hippolyte blends childhood perspectives with that of an adolescent and an adult. It is easy to identify with the phenomena of passing time, feelings of communality, and the physical self-expression related to youth that Katainen has documented. The exhibition portrays moods ranging from mundane to mystic, airy to profound, and from happiness to melancholy. Itself an embodyment of the same spirit as in Piis dance from 1993—entertaining, absurd, and easy to approach. The exhibition, which can also be interpreted as a specifically generational experience, contains a simple message: peace!

Sanne Katainen (b. 1980) is an artist who resides and works in Helsinki. She has graduated as Master of Fine Arts in Photography from Aalto University, Helsinki. Her book Peace Dance was published at the end of 2018 and is available at Hippolyte’s bookstore.

In media
Helsingin Sanomat
Maaseudun tulevaisuus


Flashes from the turn of the Millennium
Discussion with artist Sanne Kataisen and sociologist Mikko Piispa
Thursday 21.3.2019 at 17.30–18.30
Photographic Gallery Hippolyte

Welcome to join the conversation when children of the 1980s photographer and artist Sanne Katainen (b. 1980) and sociologist Mikko Piispa (b. 1983) exchange their multidisciplinary thoughts about childhood and youth in Finland during the 1990s and 2000s. They will tackle the questions of individual liberties and responsibilities, shared experiences of travelling and globalization, as well as one’s position when facing the uncertain future. The discussion will be held in relation to Sanne Katainen’s photographic book Peace Dance and the exhibition of the same title displayed at Photographic Gallery Hippolyte.

The event will be held in Finnish. The talk will be moderated by director Henna Harri from Photographic Gallery Hippolyte together with exhibition coordinator Darja Zaitsev. Sanne Katainen’s exhibition Peace Dance is on display at Photographic Gallery Hippolyte on 1.–24.3.2019. Mikko Piispa’s latest book Yhdeksän sanaa Y-sukupolvesta was published in August 2018 (Teos).


Sanne Katainen
Peace Dance
Photographic Gallery Hippolyte
Open: Tue-Fri 12-17, Sat-Sun 12-16

image: Sanne Katainen, Untitled from series Peace Dance, 2018