Serlachius museot

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

Serlachius-museot ovat avoinna kesällä 1.6.–31.8. joka päivä 10–18, talviaikaan 1.9.–31.5. ti–su 11–18.


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

talviaikaan 1.9.–31.5. ti-su klo 11–18
kesäaikaan 1.6.–31.8. joka päivä klo 10–18

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Torstai 29. Tammikuuta 2015


Sigbjørn Bratlie feels good in Serlachius Residency.

I arrived in Mänttä on Monday the 5th of January, and I am here for two months as artist-in-residence. In fact, I was the very first artist-in-residence ever to move into Einola, and to live and work at the Serlachius Museum, as it turned out. Three days after my arrival, we were two artists in the house and in the studio. Next week, we will be three, I hear.

The interior of the house in which we live is brand new. The general atmosphere in Einola and in Aleksanterinlinna is one of peace and tranquillity, which is very good for one’s productivity and concentration, and I am not saying that just to flatter: In 2013, I was on a residency in England, and all they gave me was a mattress on the floor and a microwave oven. They built a makeshift shower for me outside in the backyard. I think my work suffered as a result of this; when I shower out in the rain and it’s windy and cold, I don’t feel creative. Maybe that’s just me. In Einola and in Aleksanterinlinna we have everything we need.

Since 2010, I have led a somewhat nomadic existence, for the most part spent on different residencies around Europe. Mänttä is my 20th residency, and the third one in Finland. I am Norwegian, born in Oslo, but since last year I have been living in Poland.

No surprise, my work over the last few years has been about location and language. And confusion. I use humour in a lot of my work. (Or: I like to think that I use humour in my work; some visitors laugh and some don’t when they see it.) I make installation, video and performance, and since 2011, I have made a series of different art projects in which I spend an awful lot of time trying to teach myself a foreign language, and then create a performance-based video piece in this language: I have seen a psychologist in Estonian (didn’t help me with my problems at all,) I have been taught how to recite and perform Hamlet in Latvian, broken up with a girlfriend in a romantic restaurant in Icelandic, given a lecture about the genealogy of my family in Finnish, etc, etc.

Last year, I started studying Greenlandic, which is by far the most difficult language I have ever tried to learn. Finnish is peanuts in comparison. Both in Poland and in Finland, the general view among people is that their respective language is very, very difficult. You are both wrong. In Greenlandic, the phrase “I quite simply cannot remember it” is ‘Eqqaamasinnaanngikkaluarpara’. 

Here in Mänttä, I am working on a video that deals with translation, in particular how poetry and metaphors work in different languages. I will not say much about this project now, because then no one will show up for my presentation in late February. I hope to see you all for my presentation – exact date to be announced soon.

Sigbjørn Bratlie