Photo by: Venla Helenius

Teo Ala-Ruona is a performance and visual artist and educator. Their work focuses on queer speculative fiction (=SF) in forms of speech performances, texts, sound installations, video and community organizing. They explore topics of sex, queer ecology, toxicity and gender, and hold space for people, who are marginalized due to their gender and/or sexuality, to re-define language and narratives telling about pleasure and intimacy on a toxic Earth.

By often using their own body as a site for the various speculative stories to take place, they are experimenting on how through fiction they can transform themselves, as well as the perspectives from which the audience looks at their body. They approach the trans corporeality as an arena, where various normative processes of naturalization become infeasible, and address queer ecological topics from explicitly sexual perspective to revoke the heteronormative biases that influence the research done on biology and ecology, gender and sexuality.

In their work they are committed to generating more complex ways of understanding the complicated intertwinement of environmental toxicities, transbodies and queer sexuality as well as forming collectivity where there’s space for non-normative narratives and experiences. This manifests in practice both through them hosting workshops and creating SF-worlds with language – written, spoken or sung.

Ala-Ruona’s work has recently been shown in Titanik-gallery (Turku), Mad House (Helsinki), Bangkok Biennial (Bangkok) and NAVEL, Gas-gallery and Human Resources (Los Angeles). Ala-Ruona has graduated from Master’s Programme in Art Education at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in 2016 and from Master’s Programme in Ecology and Contemporary Performance, at Helsinki Theatre Academy in 2018. Ala-Ruona was born in Kuopio, Finland. They live and work in Helsinki, Finland.

Ala-Ruona’s theatre and drama master’s thesis available as PDF  (in Finnish)

Ala-Ruona’s art education master’s thesis available as PDF  (in Finnish)