New artists’ moving image in our online archive / April ’21 pt II / documentaries & installations

Discover these recent acquisitions in our online archive! For professional preview, please register to see the full-length versions.

Documentary form

Diego Bruno: Cut (2021, 51:10)

Diego Bruno: Cut (2021)

The video departs from a peoples uprising in the cities of Cutral-Có and Plaza Huíncul, in Argentine Patagonia in 1996. It investigates the relevance of the moving image to re-present and account for a popular uprising. The work suggests that the formal capacity of video and image-movement makes it possible to update and relocate past and geographically distant events. Documents, archive materials, sounds, voices, filmed locations and filmed scenes, all the elements in the film are organised by montage and cuts in the material. Those elements exist inside the work without respecting the logic of belonging that they may or may not have outside the film itself. The work is articulated in episodic fragments that leave empty spaces between groups of images. Fundamental aspects of the events referred to in this video are the systematization of road blockade and the interruption of circulation of goods, as a method of protest and collective organization.

Kaisu Koski: Rehearsals for Empathy (2019, 13:09)

Kaisu Koski: Rehearsals for Empathy (2019)

Rehearsals for Empathy demonstrates concepts and exercises used in clinical empathy education. The film introduces us to methods such as “Rainman exercise” and “bird’s eye view”, through which medical students learn about emotional alignment with the patient. The film brings to surface questions about how the patient should be encountered in times of suffering, and what the role of a modern physician might be. Should the physician “feel” what the patient is feeling, or rather stay detached to be able to function without emotional overwhelm? How to help medical students to be more attuned to what the patient is going through, while following clinical protocols under time pressure? The film is based on clinical teacher interviews at the Section of General Practice in Copenhagen medical school.

Soile Mottisenkangas: They Go Gentle Into that Night Work (2020, 11:02)

Soile Mottisenkangas: They Go Gentle Into that Night Work (2020)

In this creative short documentary about rhythm of work, a mail carrier, a plate rolling operator and a train driver arrive at the scene of their night shifts. This portrait depicts how they embrace the sphere of their posts. Common to these main characters is that they have discovered a peaceful, flowing, own space out of the night shift.

Sepideh Rahaa: Entangled – ME & HAIR (2018, 07:15)

Sepideh Rahaa: Entangled – ME & HAIR (2018)

Entangled – ME & HAIR is produced around the subject of hair as part of an ongoing project where Rahaa narrates a story of hair, childhood and life: How we connect or disconnect based on our appearances in society, the way we look and the way our hair is. How much one may control their hair and conform to the norms to be accepted. Ask a person about their hair, and they just might tell you the story of their life. In this piece artist uses series of life memories and experiences conveying the core concept through performance, poetry and video. The video has been produce as part of a multi-year ongoing dialogue between four women as part of the Mechanics of Conformity Collective (MOC). 

Pinja Valja: The Bystander (2013, 07:48)

Pinja Valja: The Bystander (2013)

Topi is a retiree living on the island of Utö. He used to work at Utö, and also met his Swedish-speaking wife on the island. During the years Topi also learned Swedish, but lost the language due to a stroke. Via Topi’s story, the film deals with the relationship of man and language with nature. What remains after language disappears?


Aino Aksenja: Flowers, those that fall (2018, 10:10, in featured image)

Aino Aksenja: Flowers, those that fall (2018)

This piece has three parts: Vernal equinox, where the protagonist plays ‘Loves me, loves me not’; Autumnal equinox, where she has given up the game and is burning lantern flowers with a lighter; and Solstice, a flowing collection of moving images where flowers, water and death play a part. Flowers, those that fall is a two-channel video work that can be shown in different ways on two screens or as two projections side by side.

Aino Aksenja: Procession (2016, 07:20)

Aino Aksenja: Procession (2016)

Procession speaks about the loss of a loved one and the change that it brings about. The work shows two scenes side by side: a ritual recorded at my grandmother’s sickbed, where I’m trying to turn back time, and a stop motion animation of a room in a dollhouse, slowly emptying. In the installation, the videos are projected in large scale next to each other in the corner of a room, so that there is no space between them and they start from the floor up. The projections are as large, almost life-size, which is meant to create an illusion about the rooms being the same size in reality too.

Mia Mäkelä: Looking for Mr. Blue (2020, 06:35)

Mia Mäkelä: Looking for Mr. Blue (2020)

Looking for Mr. Blue is an experimental documentary-animation that reflects on the sensorial and cultural experiences of a GPS-tracked Fennoscandian lesser White-fronted goose on his migration route across Europe. What landmarks might Mr. Blue recognize and remember? What might the world look and taste like from a goose’s point of view?

Nastja Säde Rönkkö: A Seal Story (2019, 12:56)

Nastja Säde Rönkkö: A Seal Story (2019)

Filmed in barren and remote fishing community off the Icelandic coast, as well as in a trendy hotel in Helsinki, A Seal Story is a queer take on a contemporary love triangle. It takes its inspiration from The legend of Kópakonan (the Seal Woman), which is one of the best-known folktales in the Faroe Islands. In the legend seals were believed to be former human beings who voluntarily sought death in the ocean. Once a year they were allowed to come on land, strip off their skins and amuse themselves as human beings. A Seal Story explores the ever-fascinating human-animal relationship through its three main characters: Eleanor – Lost Seal in the Pigeon Bay, Hydra – Daughter of the Fisherman and Marcos – a travel writer.

Nastja Säde Rönkkö: Above Our Horizon (2019, 03:11)

Nastja Säde Rönkkö: Above Our Horizon (2019)

In ‘Above Our Horizon’, we see the artist don a carnival mask of a bird’s head, whose exaggerated size and features hint at an uncanny reality being portrayed on screen: a hybrid of our known and shared world, and a dream world. The work, presented as an installation comprising a projection, a monitor, a photograph and small watercolour paintings, touches on the elemental. It encompasses the sea, the air, which is criss-crossed by the flight of birds and bats and dotted with stars, a “sea salt whirlwind”, fire and a burned hill, as well as fish, which is grilled alive to provide sustenance. The voiceover mentions “our letters resting on her wooden bedroom soil”. Running through it all is the metallic, earthy aroma of blood.

Rönkkö: how to skin a polar bear (2019, 10:45)

Nastja Säde Rönkkö: how to skin a polar bear (2019)

In ‘How to Skin a Polar Bear’, Rönkkö provides instructions for dissecting one of the most endangered species on our planet, one whose pelt and meat can provide the means for human survival in the harshest of environments. Set to images of Arctic glaciers and melting ice floes, a voiceover offers a detailed graphic account of how to carry out the task: ‘oh yes, you heard me, each toe on each paw’ of this animal, the last polar bear on earth, must be skinned. Yet these instructions are not illustrated, and we are left to imagine the process, while gazing at sublime views of snow caps, volcanic rock coated in ice; and rushing seas. The landscape is noticeably devoid of life; it is as though the ‘event’ had already happened. As the bear is skinned, it becomes impossible to avoid identifying with the animal: ‘did you know that her facial expressions are like yours, yes and she cries tears, bear tears.’ As she is transformed from a living creature into a set of commodities, an uncomfortable feeling creeps into the viewer’s consciousness: could it be that we are no longer endangered, because all species are already extinct? – Ellen Mara de Wacther

AV-arkki is a non-profit artists’ association. It was founded in 1989 and now has over 250 Finnish or Finland-based artists as its members. AV-arkki’s main purpose is to distribute Finnish media art to festivals, events, museums and galleries within Finland and internationally.