The Experience

Is this for me?

  • you must be 18 or older. 
  • The art piece is about homosexuality and includes erotic scenes and heavy themes like fear, shame and oppression.
  • Tom of Finland’s homosexual pornography will be shown during the event.
  • You have to actively take part in the artwork. There is no audience.
  • Participants will touch each other. We will take care of hygiene and safety during the event. 
  • You do not need previous experience on participatory art works or live action roleplaying.

Sexual violence in any form is not part of the story being told. The event is body positive and discrimination is not tolerated.

What is the artwork like and what will happen?

In a participatory artwork the participants take an active role instead of simply observing. Every participant will immerse themself into being a homosexual man in Helsinki during Touko Laaksonen’s time. Tom of Finland himself will not be present as a character in the story, but his art and influence will be.

Every participant will receive a prewritten character that is based on research and the real experiences of homosexual men in Helsinki between the 40’s and 70’s. The participants will live the story as the main characters and create intimate, personal experiences around the artwork’s core themes.

During the experience the participants will be guided through a series of scenes that depict the life of Tom of Finland and the homosexual men of his time: the hidden meetings in parks during aerial attacks, secret home parties that get raided by the police and first contact with Tom of Finland’s art and the feeling of acceptance it gives.

The participants will not be thrown into the story without preparation, they will be gently guided into it through a series of exercises. When the story has been played through, the characters are left behind and there will be a debrief.

To help immerse every participant into the story, they will get two symbolic elements to wear during the experience: a leather harness and a long coat. The harness is a symbol of sexuality that has to be hidden. At the start of the story the harnesses are hidden tightly under the jackets, during the journey the jackets open and in the end will be taken off completely.

Does the art work have sex?

There is simulated sex in the experience. Depending on the scene, sex will be simulated either by touching hands and arms or with balloons. Clothes will stay on during the whole piece.

Accessibility

It is very dark at times during the experience. Accessibility varies depending on the space we are using. If you have special needs, please contact us! findingtom2020@gmail.com

Food

We will offer coffee, tea, oat milk and a sandwich buffet during the run. If you have a special diet, please contact us. You can also bring your own snacks.

How do I need to prepare?

Before the event you need to read the short article on Finnish homosexual history from our website. Dress in comfortable clothes that you can move in. Bring your own water bottle. If you have your own leather harness, you can bring that along. If you don’t, we will give you one for the experience. On site you will get a short description of your character int the story and all other needed material and props.

Please only come to the event if you are healthy!

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