Sasha Huber

Visual artist, art-based researcher 

Kuva: Jussi Virkkumaa

Visual artist and art-based researcher Sasha Huber is a Swiss-Haitian resident of Helsinki who has been working at the Saari Residence in September and October 2019 in a different way than ever before. ”This is the first time for me at an artist residency where I am focusing entirely on reading and writing, instead of developing and producing new work. I will be reflecting on and writing about the work I have done as part of my practice-based PhD project, which is about my artistic engagement in the Swiss cultural-activist campaign Demounting Louis Agassiz. I will also be working on co-authored chapters for publications about visual activism in the 21st century together with Dr. Temi Odumosu, and on rethinking the visual landscape in Finland together with Dr. Faith Mkwesha.”

She expects the residency to give here the opportunity to concentrate fully on herself and her work.  The remote location of the Saari Residence and its peaceful nature close to the sea has meant detachment from her everyday habits.

”It allows me to focus on myself once again and on getting my writing work moving forward, which can be challenging at times when I am in the city and have work and the family. It is also a place where I expect to be able to recharge and recalibrate in peace,” she says.

Although Saari represents breaking away from the everyday, Sasha has already created new routines for herself at the residence. ”I have been starting my days early as usual, but here I do yoga routines daily before breakfast. Then my working day of writing and reading starts with daily walks in nature, watching the birds gathering in the bay as they are getting ready to head south again now that autumn has arrived. This, combined with the weekly gatherings with fellow residents, is inspiring and gives me some social life, but not too much, which is perfect.

Sasha Huber (1975, Zurich) is a visual artist and art-based researcher of Swiss-Haitian heritage. She lives and works in Helsinki. Her multidisciplinary work is primarily concerned with the politics of memory and belonging, particularly in relation to the remnants of colonialism in the environment. Sensitive to the subtle threads connecting history and the present, she uses and responds to archival material in a layered creative practice that spans video, photography, collaborations and performance-based interventions. She has also laid claim to the compressed-air staple gun, being aware of its symbolic significance as a weapon, while it offers the potential to renegotiate unequal power dynamics. She is known for her artistic-research contribution to the Demounting Louis Agassiz campaign aimed at dismantling the glaciologist’s lesser-known, but contentious racist heritage. She holds an MA from the University of Art and Design Helsinki and is presently pursuing practice-based PhD studies at the Department of Art and Media at Zurich University of the Arts. Huber also works in a creative partnership with artist Petri Saarikko. Together they have initiated the long-term project Remedies Universe (since 2011), which explores methods of self-help and medical healing in different geographical and cultural contexts, and has led to invitations to artist’s residencies around the world. Huber shows her work solo and collaboratively in Finland and internationally (29th São Paulo Biennial 2010; 19th Sydney Biennial 20141st Riga Biennial 2018, with Remedies Universe) and is represented in various public and private collections in Finland, Sweden and Switzerland.  In 2018 Arts Promotion Centre Finland awarded her Finland’s State Art Award in the visual arts category.