Nathaniel Mellors & Erkka Nissinen

The Aalto Natives

16.03.2018 - 09.09.2018

The Aalto Natives showcases artist duo Erkka Nissinen and Nathaniel Mellors who represented Finland at the 2017 Venice Biennale. The Biennale, which is organised every other year, is one of the most significant art events in the world. Kiasma’s exhibition features the video installation that was shown in Venice and a selection of new works by the artist duo.

The Aalto Natives video installation is a humorous yet critical examination of Finnish identity that involves creativity, nerdy humour and a cast of national celebrities. The work reflects on themes such as national identity, creation myths and nationalism.

The video installation tells the story of two aliens named Geb and Atum who return to explore a place they created millions of years ago, Finland. The aliens are especially interested in the society and culture that has developed in Finland in the meantime. The new installations in Kiasma continue the story of the video: many of the animated puppets from the video are featured in the new installations.

Read more about the works in the exhibition: Kiasma Guide

Mellors and Nissinen

Mellors and Nissinen met in 2007 during an artist residency in Amsterdam. The Aalto Natives video installation was their first artistic collaboration.

Nathaniel Mellors (1974, Doncaster, UK) looks at serious topics through a lens of bizarre fantasy. He works in various media including video, performance, text and music. He divides his time between Los Angeles and Amsterdam.

Erkka Nissinen (1975, Jyväskylä, Finland) is known for his DIY-style videos and installations. He uses absurdist humour as a vehicle to explore topical social issues and political themes. Nissinen lives in Helsinki, New York and Amsterdam.

The Aalto Natives artwork is commissioned and produced by Frame Contemporary Art Finland