Press release 5 November 2021                                                        

Art Odyssey 2021: a science fiction adventure at Serlachius Museums in Finland

Art Odyssey 2021 presents works of eight contemporary artists at the Serlachius Museums from 6 November. Inspired by science fiction and films, the visual works of the exhibition utilise the formidable dimensions of the exhibition space and transport us to world of a science fiction adventure.

Art Odyssey 2021 is curated by Finnish sculptors Kimmo Schroderus and Petri Eskelinen. In addition to the curators, the artists exhibiting are Lauri Astala, Roland Persson, Joseph Popper, Tiina Raitanen, Magnus Wallin and Charlotta Östlund.

Schroderus and Eskelinen wished to implement the exhibition specifically from the perspective of the sculptors, utilising the entire space from floor to ceiling. The exhibition is dominated by huge sculptures and video works that partially overlap each other. At the same time, visitors receive a diverse viewing experience from different perspectives.

The exhibition is like the opening scene of a science fiction film: something has happened, but the journey itself remains for the viewer to experience. The artists, who are interested in science fiction, selected works that not only depict sci-fi but have internalised it, even though this may not have been the specific intention of the artists when they created the works.

Epic scale

One of the eye-catching works in the exhibition is the steel sculpture Laajentuja / Expander (2004) by Kimmo Schroderus (b. 1970), which covers a radius of up to twenty metres with its telescopic legs. Schroderus already had a connection to science fiction in mind when creating the work, but the sculpture has never been presented before in this context.

The film installation Elements (2011), by the Swedish artist Magnus Wallin (b. 1965), is projected on to a large canvas hung in the upper part of the hall, emphasising the floating that occurs in the video. Wallin’s new work Echo(2021) is also located in the upper part of the exhibition space, providing a fascinating leap from the level of the universe to inside a human skull.

Wallin’s Elements alternates with the video work Into Orbit (2011), by British artist Joseph Popper (b. 1986), which is presented in the lower part of the hall and depicts with melancholic playfulness an aspiring astronaut’s attempts go into space. The sound of both works is allowed to float freely in the hall, which in turn creates the overall atmosphere of the exhibition.

The Machine Zone (2021), by Swedish artist Roland Persson (b. 1963), extends from floor to ceiling, emphasising the spatiality of the exhibition. Mouth of Medusa (2018), on the other hand, spreads across the floor. The form language of the works, made of silicone, connects naturally to the sci-fi theme.

The sculptures of Tiina Raitanen (b. 1983), located in different parts of the exhibition space, represent the archaeology of tomorrow or the fossils of the future. They contain something familiar but at the same time disturbing. They are like remnants of our current culture that the people of the future may update and interpret on the basis of their own knowledge.

Test laboratory of the future

The exhibition hall is divided by a space capsule-like element, seventeen metres long and three metres in diameter, which has counterparts in reality and fiction. Inside the capsule is a collection of smaller-scale plant-themed works that reference a laboratory of the future and the study of the prerequisites for life in space.

The capsule features videos from Petri Eskelinen’s (b. 1975) Interpretations of Science Fiction series, in which he studies the way plants react to light and various artificial gravitational forces. At the same time, conditions familiar from sci-fi blur the line between fact and fiction.

Hybrid works created from plants and parts of plants by Charlotta Östlund (b. 1973), who was born in Sweden and lives in Finland, may refer to, among other things, known hopes and fears concerning genetic modification. At the same time, they in themselves extol biodiversity.

The publication complements the exhibition

Outside the hall, the theme of the exhibition is introduced by new sculptures by Kimmo Schroderus, which recall the space aliens familiar from the sci-fi magazines. Lauri Astala’s (b. 1958) video work Transit (2013) is displayed in a small exhibition space before the actual exhibition hall. Its floating, nocturnal urban landscapes are also an iconic breeding ground and background setting for sci-fi.

The exhibition will be complemented by a publication of the same name, which will be published in December 2021.Its texts are the work of internationally renowned sci-fi author Jeff VanderMeer, Finnish sci-fi experts Jukka Halme and Aleksi Kuutio from the celebrated blog Tähtivaeltaja, and Finnish fantasy and sci-fi writer Anni Kuu Nupponen.

Art Odyssey 2021 will be on show at Serlachius Museum Gösta, 6 November 2021–17 April 2022.

Additional information and press photos:  
Susanna Yläjärvi, Information Officer, tel. +358 50 560 0156,

The Serlachius Museums are open:
in the winter season, 1 September–31 May, from Tuesday to Sunday, 11 am–6 pm.
in the summer season, 1 June–31 August, every day 10 am-6 pm

Visiting addresses:
Serlachius Museum Gösta, Joenniementie 47, Mänttä
Serlachius Museum Gustaf, R. Erik Serlachiuksen katu 2, Mänttä

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