National identity is something that we collectively construct in relation to other cultures. We are repeatedly thinking of Finnish identity, where we come from, who we are and what we want to be.

It is known that throughout history, nearly one hundred year old independent Finland has been part of both Sweden and Russia. These two time periods have left traces in the Finnish culture. Russia’s impact on Finland is however not limited to history. How have the Russian influences shaped our identity and in what ways is Russia present in Finland today? What is Russian?

Inari Lepistö, 2012

Inari Lepistö, 2012

These are questions we asked in our open call for the venäjä@fi exhibition. The sensitive and personal viewpoints to the subject touched us with their sincerity. As so often in creative processes, what we sought for transformed and molded into something else along the way.

Besides exploring Russian influences in Finland, Peri’s summer exhibition works study Russia and its culture through the eyes of a curious friend or as a visiting Finn. The exhibition’s photography and video works deals with issues of history as well as contemporary culture, varying from old slide shots in Saint Petersburg to stories of present day Russian Finns in Turku. The originally submitted work descriptions have been used in the exhibition catalogue. By preserving the artists’ intimate and forward expression we also reveal parts of the exhibition work process to the public.

venäjän koe 1

Riitta Järvelä, 2007

Artists participating in the exhibition are: Heidi Hänninen, Riitta Järvelä, Jan Kaila, Hanna Koikkalainen, Natalia Kopkina, Ville Kumpulainen, Inari Lepistö, Aino Vuokola, Anna-Kaisa Vuonokari and Katri Oksanen. The newly released book An Apartment on the Prospekt by Kimmo Sarje is also at display in the exhibition.

The exhibition is curated by visual artist Saara Ekström and photography artist Sade Kahra. The exhibition theme was designed by the curators and photography artist Juha Allan Ekholm.

More information:
exhibition assistant Taru Tuomisto, phone: 040 350 1954 or email: