Jani Leinonen, Finland



Jani Leinonen (b.1978) plays with the systems of commodity exchange and celebrity, and the marketing strategies through which they operate. Leinonen attacks symbols and marketing strategies, turning them into objects of ridicule, creating clichés about our agreed marketing society and economical everyday. With these strikes, Leinonen unfolds the chain reaction we all are voluntarily involved in and plays up the iconographies of the global brand land. Leinonen’s installations are shops, bars, slot machines but also plain painting exhibitions. What is displayed, though, are not goods but an artistic allegorization that appropriates these marketing strategies only in order to unhinge their underlying assumptions about value and appropriateness. Leinonen graduated from Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki in 2002. His works have been exhibited widely internationally, i.e. at the Nordic Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennial, Galerie Gmurzynska, Wilhelm Hack Museum Ludwigshafen and Frankfurter Kunstverein.

With Public Delivery Exhibition Utopian Days, 2014

Jani Leinonen - Manit Sriwanichpoom

Utopian Days – Freedom was an exhibition at the Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, one of South Korea’s leading art museums, and later was shown at the Nowon Culture and Arts Center, Seoul, South Korea.

Adel Abdessemed
Lida Abdul
Phil America
Ivan Argote
Minerva Cuevas
Chto Delat?
Cyprien Gaillard
Yang-Ah Ham
Andre Hemer
Tehching Hsieh
Zhang Huan
Jani Leinonen
Klara Liden
Armando Lulaj
Matt McCormick
Filippo Minelli
Wang Qingsong
Andres Serrano
Manit Sriwanichpoom
Clemens von Wedemeyer
Kacey Wong
Xijing Men
He Yunchang


Food Liberation Army, 2011


Food Liberation Army, 2011


Food Liberation Army, 2011

Exhibited: Food Liberation Army, 2011

In Jani Leinonen’s Food Liberation Army, four men disguised as repairmen removed a Ronald McDonald statue from a Helsinki restaurant. Later on, McDonald’s received a ransom demand, broadcast on YouTube, asking them to answer several questions about the sourcing of their food and their ethical stance. McDonald’s refusal to negotiate with terrorists (McDonald’s spokesperson) resulted in Ronald’s execution by guillotine. The video has received more than a million hits on YouTube and made international news, with the story being covered on Fox News, Bill O´Reilly, CBS, France24, Channel 4 and the Washington Post, among many others.

From the blog

  • "Hunger King" is Jani Leinonen's fast food reply to social inequality and homelessness

    Jani Leinonen - Hunger King, 2014, Hungary, Budapest 1
    Jani LeinonenHunger King, 2014, Hungary, Budapest

    Located behind a resplendent Opera House in Budapest on the same road as Louis Vuitton, sits Hunger King, a place that seems to be just like any other burger joint, however, it is anything but. Hunger King is a regular fast food outlet that is pushed onto the masses; Hunger King is a critical sociopolitical art installation serving to highlight Hungary’s significant crises of social inequality and homelessness.

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  • Finland's first fair dedicated to homeless people, shown in a museum

    Jani Leinonen - Riiko Sakkinen - Homelessness fair
    Jani Leinonen & Riiko Sakkinen – Homelessness fair, Hyvinkää Art Museum, Finland, 2013

    The Homelessness Fair, curated by Finish artists Jani Leinonen and Riiko Sakkinen, introduced a whole new exhibition concept to the Finnish art scene. Exhibited at Hyvinkää Art Museum, Leinonen and Sakkinen have invited different civic organisations that deal with homelessness, social institutions and other active parties in the field to take part in the exhibition. The context is art, which at its best is a meeting place of different approaches and viewpoints. The exhibition project has documentaries about homelessness, a social comic workshop for the homeless which is instructed by artist Katja Tukiainen, and there is also the Finnish Football Championship of the Homeless on 15 June 2013.

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