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The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis Presents a New Exhibition in the Front Room
Helsinki Complaint Choir. Photo courtesy of Heidi Piiroinen.

ST. LOUIS, MO.- The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis presents a new exhibition to the Front Room: Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta‐Kalleinen’s The St. Louis Complaint Choir. Running parallel to the exhibitions in CAM’s Main Galleries, this series of smaller presentations operates at a different speed, lasting only a few weeks. The programming for the Front Room places a particular emphasis on the work of artists at an emergent stage of their career, or on more experimental curatorial ideas and practices.

The Complaint Choir is a project initiated by the Finnish artists Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta‐Kalleinen based on a phenomenon in Finland of a “Valituskuoro"—literally, “complaints choir”— in which people vent their frustrations about their city through song. The artists created the first choir in 2005 at an artists’ residency in Birmingham, England, and since then the project has been performed worldwide from St. Petersburg, Russia, Chicago, and Florence, Italy, among others. The Complaint Choir is formed by the collection of complaints from people around a host city, which is then translated into a musical score by a local composer and performed by a choir comprised of city residents. The project is intended to suggest a sense of communal endeavor through the cathartic process of airing of negative thoughts and feelings about the city one lives in, while engaging a comic tension between the “serious” expressive form of choral music and the often frivolous nature of the complaints.

From April 7‐17, CAM and The Saint Louis Complaint Choir welcomes St. Louisans to submit their complaints. Those complaints will be translated into music and performed live by The Saint Louis Complaint Choir on June 16, 2011 at CAM, conducted by Merry Keller. The performance is free and open to the public.

There are two ways for the public to lodge their grievances:

1. Email complaints to (Subject Line “Complaints”). If they wish to participate as a singer, enter “Singer” in the subject line with their inquiry and contact information.

2. Stop by CAM’s Front Room and drop complaints in the complaints box.

Tellervo Kalleinen (born 1975) and Oliver Kochta‐Kalleinen (born 1971) live and work in Helsinki. Their work has been featured in exhibitions at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Artspace, Sydney; and KIASMA, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki.

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