KUNSTforum

Added on by Mark Roberts.

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/)

Nuanced melody
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.
Helena Björk