A nice review in KMV-Lehti of our works "How Everything Turns Away" and "Invisible Evidence" at Mänttä.
There's an in-depth interview with Minna Rainio & Mark Roberts in the latest VideoFocus edition of Stigmart.
You can also read the whole magazine online for free:
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Kiasma curator Kati Kivinen's PhD thesis, Toisin Kertoen, includes a long chapter on Minna Rainio & Mark Roberts' moving image installations, as well as article on other contemporary artists working in the same field, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Heli Rekula, and Pekka Niskanen.Read More
The following text by Mark Roberts originally appeared as the introductory essay in a book of photographs by Tuukka Kaila.Read More
KUNSTforum (Norway) published a joint review of Anne Sirtola's Song of a Hungry Land, and Rainio & Roberts's Maamme / Vårt Land, on 30.1.2013 (http://www.kunstforum.as/2013/01/bilder-av-mangfold/)
Minna Rainio and Mark Roberts [ ... ] material is Finland's national anthem. The video installation which premiered in Finland photographic museum before Christmas, can now be seen in the exhibition Bodies, Borders, Crossings at Preus Museum until 26 May.
Across six screens, Finnish citizens from other countries appear. Each sings the Finnish national anthem separately, in both national languages, Finnish and Swedish, together forming a choir. The work also draws attention to the song itself: it was originally written in Swedish to music by a German immigrant. The same tune is used, for example, in the Estonian national anthem.
The national anthem has a strong role - especially in sports where it brings tears to the eyes of people. And investigating its background and origin do not undermine it. On the contrary - when the new citizens who participate in the video sing their new country's national anthem, it creates a picture of a place bigger, more complex and richer than a right wing populist idea, with its narrow cultural strategy, could ever imagine.
[ . . . ]
Rainio & Roberts [ ... ] want to question simplistic notions of national identities and work with the picture of a multi-cultural Finland. The participants role is small, but as it is also about what we project onto the national anthem. Their direct gaze into the camera, and their position at the centre encourages presence and contemplation. A group photo could never achieve the same effect. The work makes a strong impression when it is presented as a single installation. A themed exhibition with a relevant context can give it more weight.
The following article was written by Kati Kivinen for an unpublished catalogue, and is published here with the kind permission of the author.Read More
The centerpiece of the exhibition is Minna Rainio’s and Mark Roberts installation, Eight Rooms (2008), which comprises of a spoken word narrative over videos appearing on eight screens circling the viewer, each screen showing a view of some humble hostel bedroom, each in different states of cleanliness or disarray. A cleaning woman appears in one “room,” coming in and making the bed, smoothing out the blue blanket, fluffing the pillows, closing the windows. As the video progresses she appears in the different screens, while some of the others then suddenly appear slept in, mussed up, in a nod to Mierle Laderman Ukeles: the endless cycle of maintenance. The video installation is not, however, what it seems at first—as you watch the cleaning lady patiently rearranging the rooms the subject of the narrative sound element becomes clearer; the speaker is talking about the experiences of women who have been trafficked across borders for prostitution—the drudgery of woman’s work, indeed. The layers of meaning and the slow reveal of this installation evoke an intensely emotional response. It’s a powerful work of art, one I won't forget soon.
Mary Abbe wrote about the exhibition almos(t)here, curated by Minna Rainio and featuring the installation Borderlands, in the Minneapolis Star Tribune in January 2010.Read More
On Borderlands, as part of the Faster Than History exhibition in Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, 2004:
"Minna Rainio and Mark Roberts have constructed a triple-screen piece about the Karelian border of Finland and Russia: Finland on the left, no-man's-land centre, and Russia on the right. The sound alternates Finnish views of Russians and Russian views of Finns, with, between them, a folk-tale about the humans and their relations with some mysterious wood-elves who represent the unknown other. Both funny and thoughtprovoking, like the rest of the show."