“Lemperk Odesa 05.01.24”
Pre-opening durational performance for the “If I Can Not Cry in the Subway” exhibition on grieving practices.
Location: Oksasenkatu11 gallery, Helsinki
If I Can Not Cry in the Subway is a collective story about loss and grief where individual experiences are allowed to exist together. Elaborating on the curated publication Grieve with Me, which was launched in October 2023, the exhibition gives stage to different stories of loss to reclaim a place for grief and grieving in our society and everyday life. In a world that is filled with death and loss, the normative thought caused by capitalist thinking and the privatization of grief due to neoliberalism, make us lose the instruments we have to cope with feelings of grief. The exhibition explores shared grieving rituals and communal mourning as an attempt to oppose both normative ideas and privatization in grief.
In times of grief we can feel overwhelmed by emotions that might be new or unfamiliar to us, making us bystanders to our own feelings. Rituals, even in its most limited form, hold the potential to share grief, allowing ourselves and others to hold space with it, despite the harsh circumstances that are presented to us by society. Allowing grief to be present in communal ways of living and in the public space, can help us understand it as a normal part of life that doesn’t need to be hidden behind closed curtains or dealt with alone. Being able to practice grief through shared grieving rituals can help us feel less alone, can make us feel seen and strengtheneth. 
The works in the exhibition open up this deeper potential of grief through shared grieving rituals. By representing a multitude of experienced losses, they allow an expansion of the understanding of grief that is prescribed to us by contemporary society. Contributing artists propose grief for the undead, grief for a deceased pet, grief for a lost home, grief for the current state of the world - exemplifying how in today’s world, we are dealing with crises that can entail more than the deaths of lost loved ones. 
If I Can Not Cry in the Subway offers a narrative of coexistence with grief, it is an example of how we can try to destigmatize and share our grief, in order to heal and to be taken care of by others if needed. By allowing grief to exist outside of the private sphere and within our relationships, communities and societies, we can create room for grieving. This can generate support while simultaneously resisting time-pressure, efficiency, norms and stigma that deprive us from grief. If I can not cry in the subway… we have to find different ways to grieve, together. 
Contributing artists:
Sara Blosseville, Nadine Byrne, mariia Lemperk (Mariia Mytrofanova), Mallaury Scala & Grégoire Schaller, Mourning School, Juliana Irene Smith and Jeroen van Wijk. 

Curated by Julia Fidder. 
Visual identity by Emese Veszely
The exhibition is generously supported by the Swedish Arts Grants Committee and the Nordic-Baltic 
Mobility Programme for Culture.