'Bertolt Brecht claimed that Finns are silent in two languages. The Finnish Landscape exhibition at Seurasaari suggests that whispers are starting to be heard. And sometimes whispering is more effective than shouting.'
Terike Haapoja, Finnish Landscape
The Seurasaari Open-Air Museum was created in 1909 by the ethnographer Axel Olai Heikel out of a desire to represent “Little Finland”. The exhibition Finnish Landscape was a response to the past present and future of Seurasaari featuring the contemporary artists Ahmed Al-Nawas and Minna Henriksson, Kader Attia, Annika Eriksson, Natascha Sadr Haghighian with Haig Aivazian and Jumana Manna, Ilya Orlov and Liisa Roberts. The commissions dealt with conservation and destruction, nature and culture, ethnography and post-ethnography, historical use and misuse, identity-building and branding of current cultural and political landscapes in Finland.
The publication includes a series of interviews conducted by Hanna Ohtonen with the artists about their interventions as well as with curator Clémentine Deliss, who speaks about the need to remediate ethnographic museums. Artist and former chair of Checkpoint Helsinki board Terike Haapoja writes on the 'we' of Finns and Seaurasaari's Chief Curator, Mikko Teräsvirta responds to the contemporary art in the museum. Architect Tuomas Toivonen traces the ideological history of Seurasaari and anthropologist Michael Taussig, whose subjects usually involve the sun and light, contributes a piece on the the darkness in Finland. Erik Bruun's design work for the exhibition poster is reprinted in the book and media theorist Jussi Parikka closes the publication with his thoughts on the future of the museum.
Publisher: Garret Publications
Co-publisher: Checkpoint Helsinki
Editors: Inkeri Suutari and Joanna Warsza
Contributors: Ahmed Al-Nawas, Annika Eriksson, Clémentine Deliss, Erik Bruun, Haig Aivazian, Hanna Ohtonen, Ilya Orlov, Jumana Manna, Jussi Parikka, Kader Attia, Liisa Roberts, Michael Taussig, Mikko Teräsvirta, Minna Henriksson, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Terike Haapoja, Tuomas Toivonen
Copy Editor: Michele Faguet
Photography: Noora Geagea
Designer: Johanna Lundberg
Printing: Cassochrome, Belgium
Dimensions: 220 x 133 mm
Finnish Landscape is the inaugural volume from Garret Publications, a Helsinki-based publishing house established in 2016 and dedicated to art, modern design and architecture with a focus on post-war Europe, particularly Finland and Scandinavia.