New non-fiction works in AV-arkki’s archive / Autumn ’23

Featured image: Helka Heinonen: Heartbeats (2023)

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

Maija Blåfield: Scenic View (2023, 15:45)

Maija Blåfield: Scenic View (2023)

Finland has the most forest in Europe, but primeval forest has become so rare that it feels fictional. Is it now the enchanted forest? Is a commercial forest real? As nature documentaries are staged, are they fiction? Scenic View is a film about how we look at a forest landscape and the reality.

Paola Fernanda Guzmán Figueroa: Mommy say something to the camera, mom! (2021, 14:45)

Paola Fernanda Guzmán Figueroa: Mommy say something to the camera, mom! (2021)

Paola reconstructs her past and reflects on the reasons why she is away from her homeland and family. She uses archive material showcasing memories including the graduation of her mother, a family journey to Margarita Island in Venezuela in search of a new life, and the birth of a new member in the family.

Helka Heinonen: Heartbeats (2023, 20:55)

Helka Heinonen: Heartbeats (2023)

A poem about heartbeats, blood, whales and birds. Heartbeats is a fragmentary story of growing up, which moves from feelings of dread by a seemingly empty basin of water to imagining and listening to non-human animals, breathing with them.

Laura Horelli & Philemon Sheya Kaluwapa: Philemon’s Photographs or Through an African Lens (2023, 29:22)

Laura Horelli & Philemon Sheya Kaluwapa: Philemon’s Photographs or Through an African Lens (2023)

The Namibian exiler Philemon Kaluwapa studied photography in East Berlin in the 1980s. The film consists of several narrative strands, including Kaluwapa’s interest in how he could best use the photographic medium to portray Blacks and his experiences in the Cold War—particularly his pivotal decision to flee from East- to West Berlin.

Jani Ijäs: Two Wars (2023, 26:51)

Jan Ijäs: Two Wars (2023)

Two Wars is a work of thought, imagination, presentation and narrative divided across two chapters, World War I and World War II. The first chapter is set in Monte Cassino in Central Italy and the second ten kilometres to the south in the village of San Pietro Infine.

Panu Johansson: Water Tower Symphony (2023, 19:53)

Water Tower Symphony is a tribute to Finnish water towers and the memories associated with them in the form of an experimental film. These slowly disappearing surreal eye-catchers of the local constructed environment deserve to be depicted through art – they deserve a visual symphony of their own.

Lea Kantonen & Pekka Kantonen: The Maiden of Finland (1988, 11:54)

Lea Kantonen & Pekka Kantonen: The Maiden of Finland (1988)

The video tells the story of man’s destructive and protective relationship with nature. On the shores of a wilderness pond, a performer dressed as a Maiden Finland threatens her temple with an ax, and with the other hand, she protects her head. Mother, father, and little child do everyday chores in a wilderness where trees have been allowed to rot in peace. The video was shot in the Kessi wilderness area in Inari at the same time as Metsähallitus, the state-owned forestry enterprise, was planning to cut down the trees, and a popular movement was protecting the trees of Kessi.

Ville Koskinen: teeth (2023, 09:45)

Ville Koskinen: teeth (2023)

In popular culture, the escalator has been depicted as a path to the afterlife. teeth portrays the metro station’s escalators as an intermediate space and peeks to the other side of the conveyor – to the engine room where the workers who maintain the machinery are having lunch.

Iona Roisin: An Uncountable Number of Threads (2023, 21:09)

Iona Roisin: An Uncountable Number of Threads (2023)

Travel films have an established format with their own conventions, history and baggage. It is a medium that has all too often sought to control, define and dictate perceptions of ”other” places. Comprised of footage shot while travelling on group excursions across Russia in 2019, An Uncountable Number of Threads is an attempt to draw out the ethical restrictions of a travelogue, while questioning how (and why) to make one. At times there is an awkward tourist-gaze, aware of its outsider position. But as a self-reflexive work that considers its own creation, it ultimately unravels, as the artist rationalises themselves out of a particular way of working, inviting the viewer into their uncertainty.

Shubhangi Singh: Birth of a Grenade (2024, 07:28)

Shubhangi Singh: Birth of a Grenade (2024)

For over a hundred years, when the ships belonging to the East India Company brought barrels of saltpetre to the shores of England, they also brought with them a force that determines how we exist in the world today. Saltpetre, also known by its chemical name, Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) was a coveted global commodity that was mined, traded and fought over for its role in the production of gunpowder by competing colonial powers. The film has been hand processed solely in bananas, dates and cocoa powder— that is, materials that would otherwise not be available for use in Helsinki had they not once been carried in the bellies of ships across the heaving seas and into Europe. The hazy, somewhat ghostly images of the film are made possible from the flesh of the fruits thus inherently carrying within them traces of their history and the violence.

Milja Viita & Veli Granö: The King (2023, 07:30)

Milja Viita & Veli Granö: The King (2023)

The King is about a miraculous incident in Somero, Finland. Local musician Rauli Badding Somerjoki sent his song “Lights” to Elvis in 1975. He hoped an artist he admired would perform it. Badding’s song could have lifted Elvis’ career to a new height, even revolutionized the history of music. Badding believed and waited, but got no answer from the USA. Elvis passed two years later, in 1977. It is told that peculiar potatoes were found in a field in Somero the same fall.

Maria Ångerman: Last Breath of Snow (2023, 08:28)

Maria Ångerman: Last Breath of Snow (2023)

What happens in a deer’s mind when it encounters a human? The film is an immersive imaginative journey into the perception of the deer as well as the ecosystem it is part of.

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!