HAIHATUS25 Exhibition Catalogue 2024

HAIHATUS25 Exhibition Catalogue 2024

HAIHATUS25 -exhibition | Co-curator Ali Akbar Mehta

Ali Akbar Mehta portait

Photographer: Aman Askarizad

HAIHATUS25 -exhibition

Co-curator Ali Akbar Mehta

Navigating many worlds (with a compass designed to break) or How to come together in an unstable state


A celebration of Haihatus completing 25 years – operating as a residency, an exhibition space, and an organisation that has worked through multiple changing iterations in flux to consistently remain at the heart of a culture-producing praxis – is a relevant marker of ideas brought forward from spaces traditionally left on the margins in Finnish contemporary art’s national and international contexts. To celebrate such an occasion is significant not only in the simultaneous crises of climate, capital, and culture but also locally prompted by the state of affairs within the Finnish art and cultural scene.

Finland is known as the ‘Land of Associations’, yet most art and culture-related associations are often on the brink of extinction or are walking the precarious edge of eking out their labour and funding to squeeze out ‘just one more’ exhibition, seminar, or festival before an imminent shutdown. This just-about-surviving condition of the art and cultural workers is caused due to an undue emphasis on newness and the trending next-big-thing, rather than continuity and slow meaningful work. It is reflected and even compounded by the Finnish socio-political environment where the past decade has seen an accelerated tilt towards far-right governance, the opposition to climate policies, the popularisation of Finnish ethnonationalism, and the ever-increasing restrictions on immigration, the rights of women and LGBTQI+ minorities. The new cuts in government budgets in social welfare funding and the growing job precarity of the working class are aimed neither at paying debts nor managing other public expenses, but towards ‘contemporary borderisation’ – a process that causes reinforcement, reproduction and intensification of the vulnerability of the financially weaker and structurally marginalized members of its society, and as such are aimed at adversely affecting them. We are living in a time where we are witnessing struggles over openness and enclosure, sovereignty and nationalism, citizenship and identity, or for that matter security and freedom.

What can a shift in focus from surviving to celebrating look like? How do you navigate a space, a community, a city, or a country that can seem unwelcoming, hostile, or indifferent? What does it mean to occupy spaces that are not designed for you? What are the new ways of seeing and experiencing the world being shaped in our name, or that we are shaping for ourselves and others?

The 18 artists and collectives of the Haihatus 25 exhibition respond to these questions by showcasing a variety of works in multiple media, including painting, sculpture, VR, photography, printmaking, and film – each representing perhaps a differing set of values, yet are representative of the fact that today, artistic practice and research are increasingly enmeshed in systems and ecologies. Collaboration and transdisciplinarity are key themes. What’s more, we now recognize that the major issues the world faces – the issues that really matter – are all systems issues.

Systems that are reshaping the world order, which today is based on disenfranchisement, necropolitical governments prioritising security and ‘management of risk’ over welfare, socio-political-legal architectures of control, technology-driven speed regimes, and borderization as processes of containment and regulation. One such system issue is the ways in which these techno-political regimes affect our knowing and interfacing with the world around us, and how we experience, understand, and learn from it.

We are allegedly living in a ‘knowledge-based’ society, where immaterial labour has a dominant form, where the ability to communicate, to act autonomously and to produce knowledge are the requirements for being creative, for creating and consuming knowledge. Knowledge has to be produced somewhere, once produced, it has to be transmitted… this transmission, by necessity, implies a pedagogical element. It is a process of teaching and (un)learning, of re-evaluating whose knowledges, histories and stories are heard, deemed acceptable, and considered valuable. This is not limited to the art or cultural field but is symptomatic across multiple genres, disciplines and fields, ranging from the entanglements of globalisation, transnationalism, cosmopolitanism, and technisation.

Even within mainstream contexts, one may assume that if knowledge is of increasing importance today and across multiple fields, both institutions of creating and transmitting knowledge must be important – but reality disproves this assumption as we witness a deterioration due to lack of funding, ruining academies and universities; and defunding and cuts in culture sector reducing the effectiveness of artistic endeavours. If we stay in this course, we will reach a knowledge society without knowledge. Worse, society will transform into a society interested only in very specific kinds of knowledge – those that have immediate relevance in the job markets. The role of pedagogy in imparting knowledge based on economic gain is a crucial statement of fact indicating the state of government policy, the dominating corporate sectors and the diminishing role of knowledge itself.

A micronarrative within the exhibition, a trajectory formed through works by Joss Allen, Sheung Yiu, Adnan Mirza, Bruno Moreschi and Bernado Fontes, seeks to subvert these effects by creating relevant and meaningful knowledge production that goes against the grain of neocolonial and neoliberal capitalism and the prescriptive definitions of progress.

Joss Allen’s A rye becoming is a sound piece and publication delving into the evolution of cultural relationships between human beings and rye, first as a weed and later as an irreplaceable food grain of historic significance. Styled as an auto-ethnographic and poetic narrative from the perspective of Rye, the sound/text may be experienced while atop a watchtower, gazing across a field of wheat, a field that rye was historically borne out of, or even while walking among the golden stalks during the heart of summer.

Sheung Yiu’s Everything is a projection contemplates the authenticity of (virtual) reality. The work invites its audiences into an installation comprising two videos and wax sculptures, deploying the viewers’ sense of smell to subvert notions of digital space and memory; while Adnan Mirza’s Memoryscape utilises digital space to elaborate on ‘memory’ through an interactive Virtual Reality (VR) experience that complicates notions of home and belonging. By claiming that multiple modalities of belonging-ness are possible, Mirza presents a fragmented layering of two places Mirza calls home – Lahore and Helsinki – as viewers experience the tapestries of contaminated realities, these overlaps are further multiplied and made hybrid by the witnessing gaze of the viewer. In another room, these hybridities are consolidated and concretised as drawings in ink.

The works of Bruno Moreschi and Bernado Fontera, titled Decanonization, present reverse-engineered photo images from Google’s Open Images dataset. By recreating those parts not used and discarded in training Computer Vision systems, their work not only foregrounds questions of commodified value, extractivist capitalism, and ‘strategy of domination’, but also shatters popular conceptions of AI as being ‘an independent automated entity that functions without human support’. This is highlighted by the accompanying video that provides a first-person account of the exploitation of out-sourced and underpaid ‘Turkers’ (crowd workers) by the ‘AI Industry’, who perform millions of Human Intensive Tasks (HITs) to enable simple algorithms to process big data.

Together these four works present systems-critical techno-political narratives that seek to expand ways of collaborative and transdisciplinarity knowing. Here, the artist is simultaneously an archivist/ artist/ curator/ author/ researcher/ participant/ audience. Their works exemplify that in times where institutional pedagogies are linked to commodification and are failing, it is possible to resist and generate relevant and meaningful knowledge(s) that carry with them the potential to affect change.


Jaakko Aution installaatiosta kuva. Kuvassa valkoiset kaiuttimet Haihatuksen Voimametsässä.


Sound Installation by Jaakko Autio

Harmony in Displacement is an sound installation by Jaakko Autio, premiering at the Haihatus Summer Exhibition from June 15th to August 28th, 2024. The piece is produced in collaboration between Ukrainians, Finns, Russians and Estonians from Joutsa.

Harmony in Displacement is a communal sound art piece addressing human belonging in the world. The work gently challenges assumptions about otherness and aims to dismantle invisible barriers between us. Harmony in Displacement creates space for diverse geopolitical backgrounds and stories. At its core is the simultaneity of diverse and shared humanity.

Harmony in Displacement is a 20-channel outdoor sound installation featuring a new choir arrangement, based on a 180-year-old Ukrainian folk song where a mother lulls her child to sleep. The arranged piece is by Anna Voutilainen, who also conducted the choir during the recordings at Haihatus in May 2024. The installation includes singing, talking, and interview material. The work has no fixed time duration; it opens from the moment when the visitor enters the installation space at Haihatus amphitheater. Visitors are invited to rest and linger by the installation.

Jaakko Aution installaatiosta kuva. Kuvassa valkoiset kaiuttimet Haihatuksen Voimametsässä.

Art Center Haihatus – Haihatus Summer Program 2024

Haihatus25 kesänäyttely 15.6.-25.8.2024

The Summer at Haihatus is a Celebration

– Contemporary art and indie music in the idyllic summer landscapes of Lake Finland

Haihatus Art Center celebrates a richly programmed 25th anniversary summer in Joutsa, Central Finland. Our locations are conveniently situated right by Highway 4 (E75), making it easy to reach us. The summer art offerings consist of four different exhibitions, three of which are located within Haihatus’ charming courtyard, its galleries, and sculpture park. The fourth exhibition is located a couple of kilometers away from Haihatus: at Finland’s only gallery specialized in kinetic, or moving, art, the KITA Gallery.

Photo: Minna Kuitunen (Anders Bergsman's artwork "Mirror House").

In the exhibitions of the celebratory summer, current and engaging themes are addressed through contemporary art. The exhibition sections not only present unprecedented discoveries but also works by artists who have been at Haihatus over the years, as well as ITE (outsider) art, which traces back to Haihatus’ roots, representing contemporary folk art.

The summer exhibitions bring together a unique collection of different artistic approaches and works from artists with diverse backgrounds. Haihatus aims to celebrate everyone’s right to art by making visible perspectives and realities that we are not accustomed to experiencing in the mainstream.

Haihatus is a summer paradise for contemporary art. Photo: Timo Anttila
Haihatus25 kesänäyttely 15.6.-25.8.2024

The summer exhibitions offer plenty to see and experience

HAIHATUS25, @ Haihatus from June 15th to August 25th, 2024

In the 25th anniversary HAIHATUS25 art summer exhibition at Haihatus, there is a wide range of works by Finnish and international contemporary artists.

The HAIHATUS25 group exhibition in the gallery house showcases new contemporary art featuring diverse forms of artwork: paintings, sculptures, photographs, short films, graphics, and works realized in virtual reality. The summer exhibition offers a unique view into various aspects of contemporary art, curated by Elham Rahmati, Ali Akbar Mehta, Jenna Jauhiainen, and Julius Valve. The group exhibition opening will take place on Friday, July 15, 2024  (featuring performances by the MYÖS collective).

The artists in this exhibition seek to confront and challenge the tendencies and trajectories shaping the world today. Through this exhibition, they provoke and facilitate critical, timely conversations centred on the intersections of identity, self-image, equality, systemic, structural racial injustice, and discrimination based on ethnicity, class, religion, sexual orientation, and gender, among other things. More broadly, the lasting events that have shaped the past few years and beyond—from the pandemic to the reckoning around anti-coloniality and racial justice—make this exhibition’s conversations and voices more salient now than ever.

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Taidelaitos Haihatus, the HAIHATUS25 -exhibition is a relevant marker of conversations brought forward from spaces traditionally left on the margins in contemporary art’s national and international contexts. What constitutes the ‘margins’? And who gets to calculate, measure or communicate, with any precise method, the marginality of any lived experience? The centre-margins relationship cannot be understood as a fixed, in a straight line, or as binary, but as hierarchies and power dynamics rooted in geopolitics and social relations, and must be articulated as such.


Sheung Yiu

Bogna Luiza Wisniewska

Sakari Vinko

Minni Välipakka 

Alma Tuuva (@pikakahvimemegirl)

Lada Suomenrinne

Juliana Irene Smith

Azar Saiyar

Samra Šabanovic

Golrokh Nafisi

Bruno Moreschi

Adnan Mirza

Jade Lönnqvist

Jenni Laiti

Gülbeden Kulbay

Minjee Hwang Kim

Anna Karima

August Joensalo

Nayab Noor Ikram

Gabrielė Gervickaitė

Paola Fernanda Guzmán Figueroa

Piergiorgio Colone

Camille Auer

Uzair Amjad

Joss Allen

Read more about the exhibition from this link.

The Jubilee – 25 Years of Haihatus celebrates Haihatus' history and sense of community

In the Jubilee – 25 Years of Haihatus exhibition section, there is an independent exhibition space built within the Haihatus courtyard and Fantasia House, bringing together previous Haihatus artists, new creators, and community art. The courtyard art collection is a surprising and inspiring blend of contemporary art and self-taught ITE (outsider) art amidst the beautiful countryside scenery.

Voimametsä is a low-threshold community art concept developed at Haihatus. It is a developing entity within Haihatus’s courtyard aimed at creating well-being in the everyday lives of people at risk of social exclusion, those in vulnerable social situations, individuals in institutional care, and people living as refugees, through participatory art-making.

The Jubilee exhibition is curated by Risto Puurunen and Panu Ollikainen, along with the artistic director of the community art project Voimametsä, Kaisa Vigman.

“In the Jubilee exhibition, we’ll see artists from throughout Haihatus’s 25-year history. The ITE art field donated by Vesa Väänänen will be restored to its former glory. In Voimametsä, Jaakko Autio‘s community art piece will feature local residents of Joutsa and Ukrainian refugees living in Joutsa singing together,” Puurunen describes.


Raimo Auvinen & Merja Metsänen

Martina Buck

Veli Gränö

Hilma Harju

Heikki “Morgan” Hämäläinen

Johanna Juvonen & Biagio Rosa

Tero Jartti

Marko Kaiponen & Katja Öhrnberg

Ella Keihäsniemi

Mauri Korhonen

Virpi Lehto

Tia Matikainen

Kari Mutenia

Pasi Mälkiä

Ben Nozrachev

Lempi Peltonen

Markku Pennanen

Kalle Turakka Purhonen

Pauliina Turakka Purhonen

Vesa Väänänen


Jaakko Autio 

Santiago Delgado 

Anna Miller 

Eija Peltola

Daniela dos Reis 

Aino Säävälä 



Joutsa Comprehensive School 

"Invisibility" at the KITA Gallery from June 14th to August 25th, 2024

Haihatus’s offerings also include the Kinetic Art House KITA, established in 2022, located right next to Highway 4. The specialized gallery in kinetic art presents a summer exhibition this year with the theme “Invisibility.” The artworks spread from the gallery’s roof all the way to the waterfront. The two-story house continuously adapts to the needs of kinetic contemporary art and artists. The artists invited to the summer 2024 exhibition are Elisa Hillgen, Mari Hokkanen, Marianne Kurki, Antti Kytömäki, Mimosa Pale, Marloes Van Son, Kestutis Svirnelis, and KITA Gallery’s artistic director and exhibition curator, Tuomo Vuoteenoma.

The opening of the KITA Gallery will take place on Friday, June 14, 2024.

Read more about the “Invisibility” exhibition at the KITA Gallery from this link.

KITA-galleria ulkopuolelta kuvattuna. Seinät ovat värikkäät ja portaat kirkkaan keltaiset.
KITA Gallery. Photo: Mimosa Pale
Musasunnuntai are laid-back music event in the courtyard of Haihatus. Photo: Timo Anttila

Indie music and performing arts amidst an idyllic countryside setting

Haihatus organizes the already iconic MusaSunnuntai concerts, perfect for the whole family, bringing the most intriguing names in Finnish indie music to “the Haiha stage”. Enjoy the picnic-like atmosphere of the concerts under the large oak tree in Haihatus’s courtyard, and experience the most relaxed MusaSunnuntai conserts of the summer in great company!

During the Joutopäivä Weekend, the hayrack alley next to Haihatus leads to a pink tent, where you’ll find the new rotating SLURPS stage. SLURPS mini-festivals, offering contemporary art, will take place in four cities during the summer of 2024: Kajaani, Joutsa, Kuopio, and Pori. SLURPS builds light production methods for the art field and creates alternative economies using their own currency, called “nanna.”

Haihatus’s multidisciplinary summer offers something to see and experience all day long. Stop by for a day or spend an entire cultural weekend in this unique art environment, taking advantage of nearby accommodation services. Did you know that buses coming from the south and north stop right next to the KITA Gallery? So, you can easily arrive for an art trip directly from Helsinki, for example, without your own car. You can also borrow a bicycle from us for the journey between the KITA Gallery and Haihatus, making your trip even smoother.

Upcoming Events:
  • FRI 14.6. Opening of the summer exhibition at KITA Gallery (free admission)
  • SAT 15.6. Opening of the summer exhibition at Haihatus (free admission)


  • June 15th to August 25th, 2024: Jubilee Summer Exhibitions at Haihatus & KITA, open Wed-Sun from 11 am to 6 pm (Tickets 15/10/5)


  • FRI-SAT July 5th-6th: Slurps – A new contemporary art stage visits the field next to Haihatus

(Payment method: “Kansankeittiö”)

*Slurps FRI July 5th, from 5 pm to 10 pm

*Slurps SAT July 6th, from 12 pm to 7 pm


  • SUN July 7th: MusaSunnuntai: Jukka Nousiainen trio, Rütmi-Sepot, DJ Muovisorvaamo

From 6 pm to 10 pm

(Pre-sale tickets 20/15, at the gate 22/17)

Afterparty @Kellari: APROX. (Free admission)


  • SUN July 14th: MusaSunnuntai: Lyyti, Hehewuti, DJ Muovisorvaamo

From 6 pm to 10 pm

(Pre-sale tickets 20/15, at the gate 22/17)

Afterparty @Kellari: Varpuset (Free admission)


  • SAT July 20th: Kylän Juuret visits Haihatus: Gallows Dance, Hirvikoira Hirvonen, and Uncle Wormwood

(Pre-sale tickets 20/15, at the gate 22/17)

Afterparty @Kellari: Faarao Pirttikangas


  • SUN July 28th: MusaSunnuntai: Eläkeläiset, Muovipussi, DJ Muovisorvaamo

(Pre-sale tickets 25/20, at the gate 27/22)

From 6 pm to 10 pm

Afterparty @Kellari: Rokki-Mari (Free admission)

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