Riitta Hakkarainen is a multi-disciplinary artist and designer with a background in scenography and cinema art direction. Her work uses the medium of theatricality to create environments that explore aspects of the human condition. The aesthetic is used as a tool to shape a microcosm that suggests new interpretations and stories. She graduated with an MA in Scenography from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (London) and her graduation project, the visual version of N.Gogol’s The Overcoat, was commissioned to tour at High Fest (Armenia) and Sibiu International Theatre Festival (Romania). She regularly manufactures Stephen Jones’ fashion pieces for Dior and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Riitta has exhibited internationally including Miniscule Venice, during the 2019 Venice Biennale and has her sculpture at Palazzo Visocchi (Atina, Italy). Lately Riitta has been working with researchers from UCL, University of Cambridge and Birmingham, creating animations and illustrations. She is living and working in London, UK.
Riitta Hakkarainen’s NFT School is a rigorous and at the same time playful reflection on institutionalisation of crypto art in a more traditional art world. For the past two years NFTs have become the new normal of every fair, large exhibition or a contemporary institution. The latest Art Review’s chart Power100 starts with ERC-721, features MetaKovan and James Murdoch as an NFT-investor. The ‘new normal’ at the same time implies learning about NFT technologies, which not too many contemporary art connoisseurs are fully fluent with. In Hakkarainen’s ironic take on crypto education, artists and NFT enthusiasts are put back behind the school desk. In her edgy, absurdist animation, inspired by both Eugen Ionesku’s anti-plays and Soviet animation, learning becomes a dangerous game (some of the students are consumed by their teacher) and a spiritual practice of cognition. One of the teachers is a nun, who becomes Ethereum, and the new masterpiece is born via the divine touch of an algorithmic teacher and a pupil.