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Published: 10 Feb, 2014

Marja Helander / Silence

NEWS Snow-bedecked terrain, distant mountains on the horizon, vast expanses of bare ground, and natural and cultural landscapes. As part of a series of solo exhibitions by Scandinavian contemporary artists with a sami background, Bildmuseet presents photography and video by the Finnish artist Marja Helander.

Marja Helander’s evocative photographs focus on northern European landscapes and their special living conditions. At first glance, these scenes seem deserted, but people do live and work behind lit windows, artificially formed mining landscapes and smoking chimneys.

The  shifting nuances of light, the depth of darkness, and the solitary factory buildings convey a bewitching stillness, but also a sense of unease. There is a dystopic dimension in Helander’s beautiful but melancholic pictures. What will happen to these polluted environments, and how will their people fit in? The photographs are from Vardø, Norway, Kiruna, Sweden, Helsinki, Finland, and Murmansk, Nikel and Zapolyarny, Russia.

The exhibition also features Marja Helander’s first video work, Trambo (2014). This video presents a performance that portrays the artist struggling through her snow-covered land.

Marja Helander (born in 1965) lives and woks in Helsinki, Finland.
The accent of her work is on her own identity in the borderland between Finnish and Sami culture and on the encounter between contemporary and traditional culture.

The exhibition is produced by Bildmuseet with funding support from Umeå2014 and Kulturkontakt Nord.

Editor: Helena Vejbrink