Serlachius museot

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+358 (0)3 488 6800 | Gustaf, R. Erik. Serlachiuksen katu 2 | Gösta, Joenniementie 47 | Mänttä

Open summertime 1 June–31 August daily 10am–6pm.


+358 (0)3 488 6800 | Gustaf, R. Erik. Serlachiuksen katu 2 | Gösta, Joenniementie 47 | Mänttä

summertime 1 June–31 August daily 10am–6pm
wintertime 1 September–31 May Tue–Sun 11am–6pm
Closed 6 Dec, 24–25 Dec, 31 Dec, 25 Mar and 30 Apr

Feel free to
come farther

Friday 18. May 2018

Serlachius Museums presents Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen’s first solo exhibition in the Nordic countries

Koen Vanmechelen is an internationally acclaimed conceptual artist, whose practice ranges across all media from paintings, sculpture and video to large bio-installations, social events and public engagement projects. The extensive exhibition It’s About Time presents 31 works in different media both in the museum building and its surrounding park, including large expressionist paintings and sculptures made of bronze, marble and taxidermic animals.

The exhibition also introduces the Mechelse Maatiaiskana, the 22nd generation of Vanmechelen’s world-famous chicken breeding program, the Cosmopolitan Chicken Project. The resulting art work has been shown in exhibitions all over the world. It has also attracted growing interest amongst scientists. Each successive generation of the CCP has proven to be more resilient, longer living, less susceptible to disease, and less aggressive than the previous one. Lucy, on the other hand, is a Cosmopolitan Pig, a cross breeding of a Hungarian Mangalica and a Finland-born Duroc.

Vanmechelen works at the intersection of art, nature and science. Key concepts of his art include evolution, diversity, domestication, and cross-breeding. A profoundly ethical artist, he is concerned about the state of the Earth and a sustainable future for all species. In his work, he seeks both symbolically and concretely to open perspectives into a future where people and other species live in a state of balance. He also underlines the importance of the mobility of people and ideas and sees mental and physical barriers as threats to the development of culture and society.

“An artist is motivated by the desire to change the world, not by the power to possess it,” says Vanmechelen. He sees that the time of silence and contemplation has ended, and people have to act. “We need to start taking diversity seriously. There is no ‘in between’ anymore. We have to break the cage of monoculture, and this breathtaking museum in Mänttä seems to be the right place for that switch.”

The exhibition is curated by Timo Valjakka in cooperation with JSVCProjects/London. It is accompanied by a fully illustrated 144-page book with essays by Rod Mengham and Hanna Johansson and an interview with the artist by Jill Silverman van Coenegrachts. The book is published by Serlachius Museums and Parvs Publishing in two language versions, English and Finnish.

Serlachius Museums

The Serlachius Museums are located in the small town of Mänttä in Central Finland. Mänttä, which developed around the paper industry in the late 19th century, has undergone industrial restructuring, but in recent years has risen to become one of Finland’s best known art towns.

The image of the art town is enhanced by the Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation, which has operated for over 80 years and maintains two museums in Mänttä. The Serlachius Museums are known for their important collection of works from the Finland’s Golden Age of art. Through the art museum’s extension, which opened in summer 2014, the Serlachius Museums have also become a strong player in the field of contemporary art.

Read more:

Serlachius Museums are open:
10:00–18:00, Monday to Sunday during summer season, 1 June– 31 August.
11:00–18:00 Tuesday to Sunday during winter season, 1 September–31 May.

For further information, please contact:
Timo Valjakka, Curator, +358 (0) 40 548 4450,
Susanna Yläjärvi, Information Officer, Serlachius Museums, +358 (0) 50 560 0156,
Goele Scoofs, Process Manager, Studio Koen Vanmechelen, 0032 495 666 771,

Friday 2. February 2018

Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s artwork Potentiality for Love to be premiered at the Serlachius Museums in Finland

Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s new work Potentiality for Love will have its premiere 2 February at Serlachius Museums in Finland. The exhibition opens for the public on 3 February. Ahtila’s three-part artwork is a hybrid piece that combines sculpture with moving image. After its premiere in Mänttä, the artwork commissioned by the Serlachius Museums embarks on a world tour.

Moving image sculpture in three parts
#1 – Angular video sculpture of 22 DIP LED modules (4K/HD; 8 min loop; sculpture size 614 x 384 x 15 cm)
#2 – Two research tables with attached ‘monitor mirrors’ (4K/HD; 4 min loops; size 100 x 72 x 54 cm)
#3 – Sound landscape with 3 directional loudspeakers and spot lights (3 discrete audio channels; 6 min loop)

Potentiality for Love (2018) deals with the potential for empathy and love towards other living beings. It turns attention to those human emotions that could serve as a foundation for dismantling the hierarchical structures between living things, thereby engendering a turn towards non-humans and the recognition of others. The work reflects the origins of these emotions, how we define them and how we conceive of their function as part of a larger continuum of living beings.

The first element of the installation is a hybrid work that combines sculpture with moving image technology to focus attention on the point where love is born. Using outdated LED modules, it recreates an image of a distant memory, of mother and the primal unity. It also touches upon the memory of loss and distance, the moment when the possibility for love that rests as potentiality, first emerges.

The second element asks whether our love and empathy is reserved only for our own kind, or whether we are capable of holding them towards other living beings as well. This question is approached by addressing the historical divide between humans and non-humans. This is achieved by creating a situation that questions what it is to be a human being and how the other, the stranger, is constructed in our culture. The medium for this is a modified situation featuring a setup similar to that used to treat phantom limb aches. In these two works, however, the mirror is replaced by a thin LED monitor showing the arms of another primate.

The third element of the installation approaches the theme by creating a sound landscape with dialogue.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila says that her new work differs from her earlier pieces so that the work isn’t a story that has a specific duration, but rather uses different elements from moving pictures and their characteristics, as tools to approach the motif.  They range from things such as the creating of illusions, the ability of sounds to create emotions and the relationship of what is presented by moving pictures to experienced reality, and so on.

– The previous pieces and the process of making them led me to the question I could not avoid: what is it that gives us human beings the potentiality to turn our attention to others, to respect and appreciate other ways of living and other living beings.

Potentiality for Love
Cast Jenny & Matleena Kuusniemi
Written & directed by Eija-Liisa Ahtila
Key crew:
Cinematography Jussi Eerola – Edit Heikki Kotsalo – Wire FX Reijo Kontio - 3d VFX Jari Hakala – Audio Olli Pärnänen – Music Ville Ahonen – Animal supervisor Roger Farr
Commissioned by Serlachius Museums
With support from Avek, Biennale of Sydney, Frame, Finnish Cultural Foundation, Finnish Film Foundation, Kordelin Foundation, Museum M
Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, Paris, London
Produced by Ilppo Pohjola
© 2018 - Crystal Eye,

Potentiality for Love -exhibition is open 3 February 2018 – 6 January 2019

Serlachius Museums are open 11:00–18:00, Tuesday to Sunday during the winter season 1 September–31 May, and 10:00–18:00, Monday to Sunday during the summer season, 1 June–31 August.

For further information, please contact:
Susanna Yläjärvi, Information Officer, Serlachius Museums, +358 (0) 50 560 0156,

Friday 27. October 2017

Jiri Geller’s exhibition FUCK THE WORLD! at the Serlachius Museums

Sculptor Jiri Geller finds his subjects in popular culture and combines them with new themes. At the Serlachius Museums on 28 October 2017 opens his exhibition FUCK THE WORLD!, whose works can be characterised as punk objects with their everlasting beauty.

Jiri Geller is interested in well-known, recognisable and visually tested images and symbols. Chosen figures, however, receive new roles in events that are coloured by unusual coincidences and comical encounters. At the same time, these frozen events momentarily hint at the transitory nature of everything.

An important feature of Geller’s art is US-derived customisation, which he applies in his unique way. Geller customises the familiar, recognisable popular visual catalogue and, based on it, makes new objects and images. By varying these elements, he dramatises new situations and encounters.

An astronaut’s greeting

Jiri Geller’s new subjects of interest are smileys and astronauts. Smileys he sees even as a new global form of folk art. Space, on the other hand, has been part of Geller’s catalogue from the very beginning. It is a spiritual space of escape or a possible alternative to this planet and its growing problems. The exhibition's title work FUCK THE WORLD! shows a natural-size astronaut waving his hand in greeting, but who leaves the viewer wondering whether it is about entering or exiting.

Rock music, related attitudes and philosophy are subjects that interest Geller. As a performer of rock music himself, he is deeply familiar with the comic strips, graphic art and underground publications associated with it.

“He experiences something of the immediacy and seductiveness of rock music in neon colours, which he has been using in recent years. According to Geller, neon colours create a distinctive, anarchist state of mind and make the works look better than reality,” explains the curator of the exhibition, Maaretta Jaukkuri.

A moment of bliss that lasts forever

Jiri Geller (b. 1970) is a silversmith by education, but he combines in his works both craftsmanship and digital techniques and production methods. Central to Geller’s art is making objects so beautiful that they, in his own words, produce “a moment of bliss that lasts forever”.

Geller was one of the founder members of the ROR (Revolutions on Request) group of artists, and he belonged to the group from 1997 to 2008. The group brought a whole new kind of energy and edge into the field of art in Finland, and they also exhibited internationally, for example at Manifesta in Frankfurt am Main 2002, the Venice Biennale 2003 and the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo 2005.

FUCK THE WORLD! is open from 28 October 2017 to 22 April 2018.

The Serlachius Museums are open in the winter season, 1 September–31 May, from Tuesday to Sunday 11 am–6 pm, Mondays closed.

For further information please contact:
Susanna Yläjärvi, Information Officer of Serlachius Museums, +358 (0)50 560 0156,


Tuesday 26. September 2017

Elina Brotherus at the Serlachius Museums

Exhibition Playground from June 15th 2018 to January 6th 2019.

Serlachius Museums has announced today a major contemporary photography exhibition for their season 2018: Playground by Elina Brotherus.

Playground focuses on Brotherus’ newest works since 2016. It includes both photographs and short videos. The exhibition is a larger version of her solo show currently displayed at The Centre national d’art et de culture Georges Pompidou in Paris. The Pompidou Centre exhibition as well as the accompanying book, Règle du jeu, are the result of her winning the prestigious Carte blanche PMU 2017 prize.

As a starting point for her new works, Brotherus uses Fluxus event scores from the 1960’s and other instructions that artists have written to explain how a piece can be made. After 20 years of self-representation, with these performative, absurd and playful works Brotherus turns a new page in her production. The works presented in Playground have not been previously shown in Finland. The exhibition is curated by Dr Susan Bright.

– Elina Brotherus is a well-known and much-liked artist at the Serlachius Museums. Her works were exhibited here in summer 2015 to a great success. We are enthusiastic to see Elina’s work again here in Mänttä, and hope to attract new audiences in addition to the large number of existing fans. Our wish is also to see this exhibition travel the world, Pauli Sivonen, Director of Serlachius Museums says.

– Serlachius museums is known in Finland for their exceptional and ambitious program. They have attracted several international super-star artists, and they regularly work with top Finnish contemporary artists such as the inspiring and influencial video-artist Eija-Liisa Ahtila. I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to continue my ongoing research around event scores, first introduced in Paris with Règle du jeu, and now shown in Mänttä on an even larger scope, Elina Brotherus says.

The exhibition Playground will take place from June 15th 2018 to January 6th 2019 at the Serlachius Museums in Mänttä, Finland.

Serlachius Museums

The Serlachius Museums wishes to be at the forefront of contemporary exhibitions, dealing with current themes and phenomena in innovative and unconventional ways. The Serlachius Foundation benefits from a diverse range of works from its own collection, such as a large private collection of Nordic masterpieces, international Old Masters and accomplished newcomers. The foundation’s team of experts actively monitor the field of international contemporary art and draw parallels between their own collection and the contemporary art of today.

Located in the heart of the beautiful lakeside and forest Finland, the Serlachius Museums enjoy a setting of pure authentic nature and thought-provoking art. The visitors are invited to discover an exciting piece of Northern culture.

To find out more about the Serlachius Museums please visit 

Contact : Susanna Yläjärvi, Information Officer, Serlachius Museums
+358 (0) 50 560 0156,

Elina Brotherus

Born in 1972 in Helsinki, Finland, Elina Brotherus works in photography, video and film. Her work has been alternating between autobiographical and art-historical approaches. Elina Brotherus lives and works in Helsinki, Finland and Avallon, France. She has an MA degree in Photography from the University of Art and Design Helsinki (2000). She started exhibiting internationally in 1997 and her works are in major collections including Centre Pompidou, Paris, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, to name a few.

For more information:

Susan Bright

Dr. Susan Bright curates exhibitions internationally at institutions including: Tate Britain, The National Portrait Gallery in London and The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago amongst others. The exhibition How We Are: Photographing Britain was the first major exhibition of British photography at Tate. The exhibition of Home Truths (Photographers’ Gallery and the Foundling Museum and traveling to MoCP, Chicago and Belfast Exposed) was named one of the top exhibitions of 2013/2014 by The Guardian and The Chicago Tribune. 

Her published books include: Feast for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography (2017), Home Truths: Photography and Motherhood (2013), Auto Focus: The Self Portrait in Contemporary Photography (2010), How We Are: Photographing Britain (2007: co-­‐authored with Val Williams), Face of Fashion (2007), and Art Photography Now (2005). She regularly writes for museums and monographic books, and contributes to numerous magazines and journals. She lives and works in Paris.

Friday 19. May 2017

Northern summer and eternal longing in the Serlachius Museums’ Summer Days exhibition in Finland

From 20 May, Serlachius Museums’ Summer Days exhibition presents eight prominent Nordic artists, who represent different generations and different approaches to making art. They are united by a landscape saturated with Northern colour and light, presented either directly or referentially.

The exhibition’s artists are Päivikki Alaräihä, Tor Arne, Einar Garibaldi Eiríksson, Andreas Eriksson, Peter Frie, Olav Christopher Jenssen, Anna Retulainen and Troels Wörsel.

Little has been seen of the painting of Nordic artists in Finland in recent years. Curator Timo Valjakka selected landscape as the theme of the exhibition, because Nordic art is, in essence, natural romantic. “Here in the North, urbanisation is still fairly recent, and the relationship to nature is always present, even if the artist does not particularly emphasise it,” he says.

Valjakka chose for the exhibition at least one artist from each Nordic country. They are among the leading artists of their own countries, but in Finland some of them are relatively unknown. They are united by references to landscape or natural perception, but always filtered by memory. Visual motifs of summer are highlighted in the works selected for the exhibition.

“Summer has mythical significance for us residents of the North. We dream about it and long for it, sometimes even when it’s summer. I was attracted to make an exhibition on a subject that is such an essential part of our identity that we generally are not even aware of it,” says Valjakka.

According to the curator, the bright and airy exhibition encourages one to look at art as one would read poetry. He hopes that it will convey the variety of summer’s day moods that the people of the North recognise. Nearly all of the works of the exhibition are the artists’ new production, many being presented for the first time.

Landscape as building material

“Landscape is food for works of art, not their subject matter,” says Finnish artist Tor Arne (b. 1934). Underlying Arne’s paintings are perceptions of nature, but he develops them into a holistic experience in which memory of the light of the landscape is only one element present in the works.

Swedish artist Andreas Eriksson (b. 1975) is inspired by the surrounding natural environment. Observations of everyday life are the basis of his works, which are situated somewhere between abstract and representational art.

For Danish artist Troels Wörsel (b. 1950), who lives in Italy, painting is simultaneously the focus and the instrument of inspection. He transfers the visual theme to the canvas in a manner that shifts the focus to the painting itself.

Memories of the past

Swedish artist Peter Frie (b. 1947) is a colourist who pursues half-forgotten memories. His works appeal to all the senses and in a manner that enables everyone to easily recognise their own memories and experiences.

Norwegian artist Olav Christopher Jenssen (b. 1954), who lives in Germany and Sweden, says memories of the landscapes of his childhood in Norway are continually present in his works as a kind of yardstick, although very indirectly and referentially.

The themes of Finnish artist Anna Retulainen’s (b. 1969) new works are from her own garden. Even so, she does not paint from models but from motoric memory, where visual perceptions and physical experiences of a beloved location are interwoven.

Mind games in landscape

Finnish artist Päivikki Alaräihä (b. 1981) extends the concept of painting in the direction of architecture. Simple shapes such as rectangles do not as such represent anything, but refer to architectural openings, doors and windows and further to the light that follows the seasons of the year.

Icelandic artist Einar Garibaldi Eiríksson’s (b. 1964) eight-part work turns the idea of landscape painting on its head and tells concretely about the painting of a landscape. The work consists of traffic signs found by the artist in different parts of Italy, which warn about road markings being painted.

Read more about the artists:

Summer Days is open at Serlachius Museum Gösta 20 May–1 October 2017.

The Serlachius Museums are open:
in summer 1 June–31 August, every day 10 am–6 pm (also at Midsummer)
in winter 1 September–31 May, Tuesday to Sunday 11 am–6 pm

For further information, please contact Timo Valjakka, tel. +358 40 548 4450,