New non-fiction films in AV-arkki’s archive / Summer ’23

Featured image from Hanna Hovitie: Square the Circle (2023)

Discover AV-arkki’s latest acquisitions for our online archive below. For professional preview, please register to see the full-length versions.

Saara Ekström: Amnion (2023, 06:50)

Saara Ekström: Amnion (2023)

Landfills on the fringes of cities reveal all about our culture, habits, fears and desires. Here treasures turn into trash and the excess of our discarded welfare and cheap labor dances in the wind. Shot in 8mm film, Amnion (innermost membrane enclosing an embryo) is a dark and melancholy vision, where the organic merges with the synthetic, polymer molecules imitate the DNA helix, and new life begins to take shape under transparent folds of plastic wrapping.

Noora Geagea: Competition (2021, 04:15)

Noora Geagea: Competition (2021)

Competition is a video re-edited and sampled from old VHS tapes from the 90s, of the artist as a young highly competitive rhythmic gymnast. The work highlights the beauty in the movements, but also the destructive regime to reach this level of perfection. In this work, the artist recalls the army-like methods of the sport.

Ewa Gorzna: Surround (2023, 10:24)

Ewa Gorzna: Surround (2023)

Surround is a short film reflecting on the relationship between human and nature and our coexistence with other species. The video is an artistic attempt to challenge the typically anthropocentric relation between human and wildlife by reconstructing more animal-centric storytelling and emphasising the animal presence and point of view. Nature and wildlife are the protagonists of the video, while the human presence is referred only indirectly in the off-screen soundscape.

Hanna Hovitie: Square the Circle (2023, 17:26)

Hanna Hovitie: Square the Circle (2023)

How to be a circle in a square world? In a two-dimensional space, out of time, a person seeks their belonging to the world through a journey to infinity.

Jan Ijäs: House of the Wickedest Man in the World (2023, 24:53)

Jan Ijäs: House of the Wickedest Man in the World (2023)

House of the Wickedest Man in the World is the story of a ruined building near the city of Cefalú in Sicily. In the early 1920s, Aleister Crowley, the most famous occultist of his time, lived in the building, practicing magical rituals, and using hard drugs to heighten their intensity. Crowley also painted frescoes on the rituals of the Abbey of Thelema in his temple in the style of Paul Gauguin, whom he admired. Benito Mussolini expelled Crowley from the country in 1923. The frescoes were whitewashed, and the house was sealed. In the summer of 1955, experimental filmmaker Kenneth Anger found the building, got permission to open the seals, and turned it into a residence as a researcher. Anger cleaned a large part of the house’s walls from the whitewash and was planning to shoot a film about Crowley’s frescoes and time in Cefalú. The Thelema Abbey film was never released. Nowadays, the building is deserted and is located next to the city’s football stadium. The building has been allowed to disrepair because it is still believed that “evil forces” stayed in it.

August Joensalo: The Rootless (2023, 12:00)

August Joensalo: The Rootless (2023)

A desire to awaken the heritage of a sleeping culture and language their Karelian heritage between a grandfather and grandchild is interrupted by the grandfather’s sudden passing.

Jonna Kina: Four Sculptures in Fifteen Pieces (2022, 05:39)

Jonna Kina: Four Sculptures in Fifteen Pieces (2022)

Four Sculptures in Fifteen Pieces reflects on issues relating to creation and destruction. The sculptures seen in the film are excavated fragments from the ruins of an Art Museum of Estonia destroyed during the bombing of Tallinn in the spring of 1944. The fifteen pieces are originally from four different classical marble sculptures sculpted by Amandus Adamson (1855-1929) and August Weizenberg (1837-1921). The work provides a montage of destruction and creation as it makes a connection to the role of museums preserving more than just the objects and artifacts. The institutional element of the museum is embodied in the actor of an actual professional art conservator operating the sculptures in the staged space of a film.

Juhani Koivumäki: Hope (2023, 16:34)

Juhani Koivumäki: Hope (2023)

Three-part short documentary film Hope explores the kind of dreams different people have, whilst also considering how the tone of these wishes changes according to varying life circumstance. After experiencing all of these wishes together, the spectator is urged to reflect upon their own personal hopes and desires.

Kaisu Koski: City Reindeer (2022, 09:27)

Kaisu Koski: City Reindeer (2022)

Rather than a matter of carbon reduction, City Reindeer considers the climate crisis a relationship problem. This series of interspecies vegan picnics aims to begin restoring relationships with the nonhuman, starting with our relative, the Reindeer. The film considers the picnic an interface between culture and nature, and food as our closest connection to the land and other beings. Knowledge of the elements is a key to survival in Northern Latitudes. In search of contact with the Reindeer, one should thus also learn about the elements such as wind. Both the preparation and the actual proximity to the Reindeer are here considered embodied and contemplative practices. The film portrays the Reindeer as a mirror and a teacher who invites the humans to tune into their animal senses as a connection to the animate Earth.

Johanna Lecklin: Her Subjects (2022 03:11)

Johanna Lecklin: Her Subjects (2022)

The stop motion animation Her Subjects draws attention to the power of the royals on their subjects, such as the colonies. It consists of three parts. The piece discusses questions of power in a time, when the thought of some peoples’ inherent privilege seems outdated. It considers traditions of the monarchy, which seem absurd in Europe after Brexit. Her Subjects is based on animated found footage and it can be shown as a single channel work of on three monitors next to each other.

Leena Lehti: Existence (2023, 04:08)

Leena Lehti: Existence (2023)

An abstract and poetic film dedicated to pollinators. The film’s title refers to the alarming decline in insect populations. Existence is a camera-less and chemistry-free film that combines film with pollen, flowers and bee wings.

Leena Lehti: The Scream (2020, 01:17)

Leena Lehti: The Scream (2020)

Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, scream!

Reija Meriläinen: Snugglesafe (2022, 30:00)

Reija Meriläinen: Snugglesafe (2022)

Snugglesafe is a story about a kitten’s fight for survival in the care of a human. The care shown in the video is not tender or pampering but forceful, agonizing and full of repetitive routines. The story is told backwards, ending with the kitten being born.

Ilkka Pitkänen: Static (2022, 14:45)

Ilkka Pitkänen: Static (2022)

Static is a collaborative art work by visual artist Ilkka Pitkänen and composer, musician Ilari Edelmann. Static depicts the constant state of change in natural phenomena. The name of the work means immobile and unchanging as well as disturbance – especially in a radio or television signal – i.e. the so-called “snow screen”. Both the soundscape and the video shot in one take are static on a macro level, but on a micro level, the movement is never the same. The music is built around the repeating pulse of one note and the Phrygian mode. Like the visual imagery, the soundtrack does not repeat itself, but rather consists of subtle rhythmic and compositional changes.

Azar Saiyar: Solar Book (2023, 09:25)

Azar Saiyar: Solar Book (2023)

What remains and what gets lost, when a thing becomes a museum object? Solar Book is made in collaboration with Satakunta Museum, a historical museum of Satakunta region. In its collection, there is a strong presence of river and sea: things they have carried, things that were born, that live and once lived because of them or beside them.

AV-arkki has promoted and distributed Finnish media art since 1989. AV-arkki’s promotional efforts have made the artists’ participation in this event possible. If you want to hear the latest news from our distribution, subscribe to our newsletter!