May 8, 2014 - IHME Helsinki - Yael Bartana’s IHME Project online now
May 8, 2014

Yael Bartana’s IHME Project online now

Yael Bartana, True Finn – Tosi suomalainen (production photo), 2014. Art film. IHME Project 2014. Photo: Veikko Somerpuro.

Yael Bartana
True Finn – Tosi suomalainen

Until 31 July 2014

Available globally on YLE Areena TV-on-demand service (English subtitles):

Yael Bartana’s new film asks: What is true Finnishness? 
“By giving a face to outsiderness the work reminds us that what is at stake in questions of national identity is not just a theoretical definition, but a chance for different people to come together, and a promise that they will feel at home.” 
–Harri Mäcklin/Helsingin Sanomat, April 25

“The film left me with a powerful need to see more of the discussions between this highly diverse group of people. Especially once they have spent some time together, a questioning discussion begins to open up.  […] The end result is a candid peek into a building site for a non-violent community.” 
–Sakari Laurila/Mustekala, April 3

The IHME Contemporary Art Festival’s sixth commissioned art project is the Israeli Yael Bartana‘s new film True Finn – Tosi suomalainen. In her IHME Project Bartana asks topical questions: How does national identity operate as a means of inclusion and exclusion? What mechanisms exist for this in Finland? What are we talking about when we talk about Finnish identity right now? Can an immigrant become a true Finn? 

Bartana’s IHME Project is a participatory artwork. The artist wanted to invite people living in Finland, with different ethnic, religious and political backgrounds, to take part in creating a utopian moment. As a result of an open call, eight Finnish-resident individuals came to live together for seven days in a house in the countryside. Life, discussions and specifically designed assignments were filmed, with the edited material now forming the core of this artwork. What happens when these people live together for a week and re-define Finnishness, and themselves in relation to others? 

The IHME project can be viewed on Yle Areena’s on-demand service until July 31.

Interpretations of the film at the IHME Days
This year’s IHME Contemporary Art Festival took place April 4–6, in Helsinki. A group of Finnish and international artists, curators and researchers got together to discuss the topics of national identity, multiculturalism and the status of minorities. 

Yael Bartana was present at the IHME Days, and discussed film with Maria Lind, curator, critic and Director of Tensta Konsthall, and with the public. 

Postdoctoral researcher Kati Mikkola interpreted in her talk the film True Finn as being, above all, a protest against a monist conception of nationalism and, at the same time, a speech on behalf of a multivalent, pluralist concept of nationality. 

Mika Myllyaho, Director of the National Theatre, found that the film invites one to reflect instead of analysing it. According to Myllyaho, the film touches on the important question of trying to find out what “Finnishness” is today and its visual signifiers. 

IHME Contemporary Art Festival’s annual talks and discussions are available on the Festival’s YouTube channel as video documentation since 2009. 

IHME Contemporary Art Festival 2014 is funded by Pro Arte Foundation Finland in collaboration with Yle Areena. 

IHME Contemporary Art Festival
Pro Arte Foundation Finland
Kalevankatu 4, 2nd floor
00100 Helsinki Finland
T +358 45 1240096 / info [​at​]


Yael Bartana’s IHME Project online now
IHME Helsinki
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