XX Mänttä Art Festival – Finland

  • Sarah Surgey
  • Tagged , , , ,
  • 10th July 2015
  • manatta

    New Present To Open Up The Senses And Provoke Thought

    Since starting Nordophile we have been overwhelmed by the quality of art exhibitions, festivals and groups of people who are promoting and showcasing not only Nordic artists but the support these Nordic countries gives when welcoming international artists.

    We have come across XX Mänttä Art Festival – Finland and are excited by the 2015 offering. 14th July- 31st August.




    The curators of this summer’s Mänttä Art Festival, Kalle Hamm and Dzamil Kamanger, have invited to the exhibition an impressive sample of international artists working in Finland. At the festival, spatial, audio and video installations, as well as community art projects, take centre stage. The works of 43 artists and artist groups create a phenomenal whole that offers new perspectives on the world today.

    Sight is not the only sense required to enjoy this exhibition. Contemporary art is multisensory, multidisciplinary and thought-provoking. In this exhibition, artists also become commentators via the intervention of the Third Space collective.




    Many of the artworks create new spaces, lounges and miniature worlds inside the Pekilo Exhibition Hall. Karolina Kucia lets the exhibition guest take the place of a cockroach, shining a spotlight on the small and ignored. Carolina Sandell’s installation Collage of Time and Space is a glimpse into the life stages of a young person in different cities, apartments and time periods. The guests can immerse themselves in the world of senses, for example in Hilda Kozári’s fragrant room and inside Meri Linna’s installation, where the sense of sight is excluded altogether.

    The Library of Influential Books by Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen is comprised of books that have made an impact in the thinking of the hundred people representing a statistical sample of the entire population of Finland. The installation is based on their project, 101 For All, that will be reported in full next autumn at Kunsthalle Helsinki. Edwina Goldstone has transferred inside the exhibition space an entire barn that bears on its walls human faces and Karelian landscapes from old glass plate negatives.

    Ray Langenbach and David A.R. Ross invite the audience into a combined lounge and study, where they can listen to the amazing life story of Ross unwinding like a veritable thriller. Their work, Habeas Corpus, poses questions: Whose word is taken to be the truth and how is reality being manipulated? At the same time, the installation offers perspectives into the relations between Finland and the US, international crime and child trafficking.

    Politics and scrutiny of the past are also heavily present in the NÆS group’s installation The Trace (Exercise no. 3), examining the emergence of the Finnish welfare state, and in Diego Bruno’s video installation, Galindez, tackling Argentina’s history and different forms of torture.




    The exhibition takes us from the countryside into the city and from the nature and the earth all the way into outer space. The artist group Ore.e Refineries has brought bales of hay indoors and compiled the Trans-Horse Anthology, a critical review of modern Finnish equestrian culture. On June 5th, the group rode their horses from Keuruu to Mänttä, travelling the 50-kilometre journey in 10-plus hours. During the summer, the group will organize events such as carriage rides and assisted riding.

    The focus of Egle Oddo’s installation performance, Word for Freedom, is a towering sculpture of a bud holding seeds of various plants within. During the Mänttä Music Festival, an event combining theatre, performance art and music will take place around the sculpture. Shinji Kanki’s solar-powered sound installation Music for Flowers in a White Round Tea House captures the hearing with white noise, establishing a connection with the universe.

    This summer, Taavetinsaari Island next to the Joenniemi Manor is transformed into Isle of the Dead. The guests can reflect on the cycles of nature and life by the sculptures of William Dennisuk and the wind chimes of Mark Mitchell. Hill of Crosses by Pira Cousin is a memorial grove in the form of an installation. The audience is invited to participate in building and expanding it by making memorial crosses for their loved ones.


    mantta3Ahsan Masood: Lori (Lullaby), still from video, 2013


    In the Mänttä town centre, various communities are given a voice. During the summer, the Town Hall of Mänttä- Vilppula is taken over by cleaners who, via Martta Tuomaala’s video documentation, speak of the harsh treatment of their profession in Finland. Social Landscapes by Jyri Pitkänen spreads out into the cafés and restaurants of the centre, presenting the values of the surrounding businesses. The Mänttä Library will also present Pitkänen’s video art made together with the Omapolku group. The townscape also includes Kölnsinki by Yvapurü Samaniego, a series of tape art commenting on advertising imagery.

    The artworks of XX Mänttä Art Festival come together to create a network of friendship, where different cultures and eras, seriousness, lightheartedness and outspokenness meet, enter into fluent dialogues and intertwine with each other.



    2015 Artist Harrie Liveart  harrieliveart.com

    XX Mänttä Art Festival
    14 June – 31 August, 2015
    Open Every Day, including Midsummer, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. www.mantankuvataideviikot.fi

    Further Details:
    Kalle Hamm and Dzamil Kamanger, Curators hamm.kamanger@gmail.com

    Elissa Määttänen, Press and Exhibition Secretary 044 023 4587, kuvataideviikot.tiedottaja@gmail.com

    Tiina Nyrhinen, Executive Director
    044 259 9194, kuvataideviikot@gmail.com


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