The Don Quixote Complex, an attempt to disrupt nationalist narratives
Andrea Meinin Bück & Lena Séraphin
13.4.-20.5.2018, MUU Studio
The Don Quixote Complex is an installation utilising wartime images that investigates the relationship between historical photographs and nationalist narratives. The images are from the photographic archive of the Finnish Defence Forces. The artists Andrea Meinin Bück and Lena Séraphin hope that the artwork opens up perspectives of the present atmosphere of xenophobia.
In The Don Quixote Complex, Andrea Meinin Bück and Lena Séraphin explore the presentation of archival wartime photographs. Their aim is to avoid repeating the ideological message of the images, and instead find ways to deconstruct nationalist narratives. The exhibition contains a photo of a march-past by the voluntary Finnish SS battalion in Hanko on 2 June 1943. The large-format print is displayed on the floor, which means that viewers will perceive the military ritual by walking on it. Another ritual is presented in a photograph of a coffee drinking etiquette taken on 22 September 1941. The other photographs in the exhibition are on display facing the wall and visitors can turn them around to view them.
The Don Quixote Complex is an ongoing, incomplete artwork that changes with each new venue. The installation at MUU Studio has been shown in varying forms in Helsinki in 2002, 2011 and 2017, in London in 2013, and in Gävle in 2015. The exhibition is generously supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland.
A discussion will be held at MUU Studio on 21 April 2018, followed by a walking tour with docent André Swanström, artist Minna L. Henriksson and Lena Séraphin. The event will last from 13:00 to 15:00. Programme: André Swanström, docent in church history, will talk about the political views of Finnish volunteer SS men and the fascist nature of their project. Artist Lena Séraphin will present the Don Quijote Complex installation and talk about how the artists explore the display of photos from the Finnish Defence Forces photographic archive. Artist Minna L. Henriksson will serve as the guide on a walking tour that looks at the ideologies of Helsinki streetscapes. The walking tour will start at about 14:00. Approx. 10 persons can take part in the event, which requires advance enrolling via online registration form at MUU website. You are most welcome to join us!
More information: MUU Gallery / email@example.com, +358-9-625 972, www.muu.fi