Trickle-down economy does not work

Installation, 2017

Materials: Found branch of Scotch elm, spray paint

Size: approximately 400 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm

About the work

I found a large branch of the Scotch elm tree in a park in Helsinki, where these old trees still exist. The Scotch Elms used to be planted in European city parks a lot until they were often found with an illness that makes them less popular nowadays, the dutch elm disease. I carried the 4-meter long branch across the city to my workshop, cut the outward-growing extra branches from the core, refined and polished the shape that was thus revealed and to my eyes resembled that of a curve of diagrams. I had been interested in the visualization of such issues as wealth division and the curve of the branch made me think of it as a natural 3d -counterpart of it. I painted the branch golden to illustrate this connotation, to make a contrast between its color, often seen as valuable, and the origin of the wood that could be regarded as trash or of no value.

The branch was installed in the gallery space of Galleria Lapinlahti, in a room protected by National Board of Anitiquities with old torn wallpapers, in the corner, standing on its own without support, drawing a line from the ceiling to the floor.


On display

Altistuminen @Galleria Lapinlahti, Helsinki 1. – 18.6.2017

An exhibition with Azar Saiyar

I have conquered the Holy Mountain horizontally!

Sculpture / installation, 2017

Series of 3 temporary sculptures

  1. I have conquered the Holy Mountain horizontally! (2017)
  2. Jodorovsky’s Seat (2017)
  3. I love the mountains (2018)

Materials: Wooden children’s chair, granite, wheat flour, vegetable oil, salt, food colouring, flash light, (ecological glitter)

Size: 90 x 60 x 50 cm


I have conquered the Holy Mountain horizontally!

About the work

Taking it’s title from a shout by a side-character in of the scenes towards the end of the epic and surreal film Holy Mountain by Alejandro Jodorowsky, the temporary sculpture I have conquered the Holy Mountain horizontally! as well as its follow-up later the same year, entitled Jodorowsky’s Seat, and a yet one more follow up with the title I love the Mountains, were born out of the question: how are materials valued. How do we value different materials, and different kinds of labour? Also, the work was a play on how to hide and reveal the form of a found, heavy piece of granite that resembled the shape of a mini scale mountain. The rock was covered with self-made dough with a texture that resembles a bit that of marble. The play between visibility and invisibility, hiding and revealing, illusion and artificiality became elements of the work.

Jodorovsky’s Seat, detail

On display

I have conquered the Holy Mountain horizontally!

Galleria Lapinlahti, Helsinki, 1. – 18.6.2017

as part of Altistuminen, an exhibition with Azar Saiyar

Jodorowsky’s seat

Hilbertraum, Berlin, 29.9. – 8.10.2017

as part of Shadows of Tomorrow, a group exhibition with Mikko Kallio, Pasi Mälkiä, Minna Suoniemi and Tatu Tuominen and a collaboration between Galleria Huuto and Hilbertraum.

 I love the Mountains

Supermarket Alternative Art Fair, Stockholm, 12.-15.4.2018 as part of the exhibition Evidence Room by Galleria Huuto with Kasper Muttonen, Anna Broms, Marjo Levlin, Timo Tähkänen aka Maimu Brushwood, Kaarina Ormio, Veikko Björk and Azar Saiyar

Continue reading “I have conquered the Holy Mountain horizontally!”

The Inland Sea


Two personal stories related to parenthood and fear of loss of ones child at the sea, both based on real events. The first one describes an incident where the daughter of a Finnish woman nearly drowned on a holiday trip to a beach, the latter is based on the memories of a kurdish refugee who escaped war and ISIS attacks in her home country Iraq and ended up in a smuggler boat with her husband and young child. The work has been realised both as a two-channel installation where stories are side by side and as a short film where the two stories follow one another.

Credit list

Written and directed by: Marja Viitahuhta

Cinematogrpahy: Sini Liimatainen and Marja Viitahuhta

Cast: Noora Dadu, Zrian Hussein

Editor: Ville Vainio

Sound: Tuukka Haapakorpi

Funding: Alfred Kordelin Foundation,  TAIKE, Finnish Cultural Foundation

Watch a preview on AV-arkki

Bremer’s nightmare

Bremer’s nightmare, installation visualization


Robert Bremer (1777-1844) was a Finnish miner, factory owner, alchemist and astronomer who predicted a deluge that would flood over the city of Turku in 1827. He had boats attached underneath the windows of his family members in case the water would start rising some night. However, since the deluge never came, he built a church in the village of Teijo to thank his God for being only an errant human being. In “Bremer’s nightmare” there is an old wooden child’s bed tilted in a corner of a dark room. There is a video of blurry white waves of black sea water projected onto the bed and a saxophone sound that resembles a foghorn, coming from beneath or within the bed.

Credit list

Directed, written, filmed and edited by: Marja Viitahuhta

Music: Taneli Viitahuhta


Predictions is a series of 10 monologues depicting visions of the future spoken out as personal predictions by young performers. The layout is plain: speech, nothing more. Each monologue unfolds as an image described in relation to the narrator’s experience of the situation depicted. The monologues combine fiction with personal narrations and speculations of the impact of climate change. They take in account how climate change will result, in addition to extreme natural phenomena, as new political challenges, renewal of food production or struggles in sharing resources in an ethical way.

Credit list:
Written and directed by: Marja Viitahuhta
Cinematography: Pasi Rauhala and Marja Viitahuhta
Edit: Marja Viitahuhta
Subtitles: Ville Vainio
Sound mix: Tuukka Haapakorpi
Production: Marja Viitahuhta
Production fund: Alfred Kordelin foundation, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Finnish Cultural Foundation
Cast: Mette Järveläinen, Bella Meer, Iiris Laisi, Diego Salvador, Sebastian Sarviala

Predictions 01
#racism #education #parenting

Predictions, 02
#dystopies #mortality #heritage #uncertainty

Predictions, 03
#violence #policebrutality #activism #conflicts #politics #society #demonstrations #recources #family #healthcare #workingconditions #empathy

Predictions, 04
#naturalcatastrophy #tsunami #nature #oceans #survival

Predictions, 05
#architectureinfuture #totalitarianism #society #dystopia #bigbrother #artificiality #a.i. #overpopulation

 Predictions, 06
#advertising #robotics #fashion #consumerims #materialism #nonpaidworks

Predictions, 07
#unemployment #wealthdivision #precariousness #stealing #illegality

Predictions, 08
#research #extinction #glaciers

Predictions, 09
#gender #internationality #globalpolitics #environmentstudies #specialists #loss #lobbying

Predictions, 10
#ecosystems #documentation #wildlife #monsoon #extinction #oceancurrents #catastrophies #adapatation



  1. Live performance with piano improvisation and video loop, dur: 2 h, 2001 – 2002
  2. One-channel video work, duration 3’25”, 2016

About the work

Hyrrä (= Spinning top) is originally a performance with piano improvisation based on a circular pattern, duration 2 hours, accompanied by a video loop of spinning landscapes. The piece has been performed in several locations 2001 – 2002.

Camera, edit and music by Marja Viitahuhta © 2016

Thank you:
Tuomo Truhponen
Peter Evans
Aapo Korkeaoja / Koneisto Festival
OX1 Sound Art Festival, Oxford
Christopher Hewitt / Crossing Borders in Performing Arts /
Turku Polytechnic Arts Academy
Taneli Viitahuhta and Juuso Paaso / Potlatch
Christian Pallin / Distro / Lava, Kulturhuset

Predictions -performance

Performance, 3 hours, 2015


Viitahuhta_ennustuksia_press02Ennustuksia (= Predictions), press image, photo: Marja Viitahuhta

Sandcastle in press photo: Marja Viitahuhta, Niilo Viitahuhta, Amanda Vähämäki, Lyyra Eronen, Kosmo Eronen


About the work

Location: Kiasma Theatre foyer, duration: 3 hours, Performance language: finnish

Through the ages, people have been interested in what’s about to come. Personal future and the destinies of the intimates have made people turn to fortune-tellers, soothsayers and oracles. Religiousness on the other hand has brought answers to questions regarding existence and time. We live in an era that is characterized by the unpredictability of the future as well as the growth of research-based knowledge and the growing concern about the state of the world and the role of the man in relation to it. Dystopias regarding climate change, famine, immigration and inequality is viewed as a nightmare that might come true.

In the performance Ennustuksia (Predicitions / Prophecies) we hear youngsters speaking out loud various visions of the future that are dressed as personal prophecies. The structure of the performance is ascetic – chairs, performers and the talk of the performers, nothing else. The prophecies heard in the performance mix fiction into research information as well as the youngsters’ own thoughts about their future.

Directed by: Marja Viitahuhta
Script: Marja Viitahuhta and working group
Working group: Siiri Rajalin, Katja Eskola, Iiris Laisi, Inka Degerman, Mette Järveläinen
Thank you: Taneli Viitahuhta, Azar Saiyar, Kallio library
Video documentation: Azar Saiyar



ennustuksia dok kuvaPhoto: Katri Naukkarinen / Kiasma


Excerpts from Ennustuksia / Predictions:

The first thing I see is a girl running towards me. She is shouting out loud, waving her arms in the air. Behind her there is a man, her father perhaps. He is also shouting something. Then I hear it, it is english, run, run. I slowly twist my body, turning, and there, behind and below the hill there, below me, in the landscape, there is something massive that stops my motion.

They arrive like the rain, like a cloud. I remember having visions of the crickets like this, whilst reading the bible as a kid, the eqyptian crickets. I remember reading the moomin book by Tove Jansson and the crickets in it that ate the forest as they went on by. The catchers have set themselves around the field on all corners and sides, there are not so many of them, not like in the traditional fishing cultures, more like aerial video shooters, standing by with their digital remote controllers and meters, in their black outfit. How come the color of the outfit is black, to begin with? The net they have spread is like a giant spiders’s creations with its nylon texture blinking to me when the sun hits it.

I step into the elevator, I choose minus 13. My ears lock, I stretch my neck and rub my ear with my thumb. Hitting my floor I walk through the inner yard onto section D. I say hello to my neighbour with the magnolias and crysanthems by the wall. The new brightlights have a more pleasant, matte tone to them. The artificial sky is half cloudy. I scan the electric lock open with my fingertip. The synthetic smell of my apartment irritates me for a second before I get used to it. I open the tv and the landscape screens.





Found in translation

Exchange and collaboration project between two artist-run spaces, 2015

Participating galleries: Scotty Enterprises, Berlin and Galleria Huuto, Helsinki


Found in translation press images, credits: Bettina Weiß, Juliane Zelwies / Scotty Enterprises


Participating artists

Charlotte Bastian, Kiki Gebauer, Simone Häckel, Julia Krewani, Christine Niehoff, Claudia Schoemig, Karin Schroeder, Annette Sonnewend, Linda Weiss, Bettina Weiß, Juliane Zelwies


Mikko Kallio, Kasper Muttonen, Kaarina Ormio, Paula Puoskari, Satu Rautiainen, Antti-Ville Reinikainen, Miia Rinne, Maiju Salmenkivi, Eero Tiittula, Aleksi Tolonen, Marja Viitahuhta


About the project

Each participating artist committed a documentation of one of their artworks to the project. These were handed out to the artists of the other gallery. Then, each artist construced a work as a reference to the work of one of the artists from the other gallery. Thus, on exhibit were the works resulting from this process of translating, interpereting and being inspired by the given images.

The title of the project Found in Translation is a reference to the idiom ”lost in Translation”. By replacing the word “lost” with “found” we wished to embrace the idea of interacting with the unknown, of openness and sharing as well as the beauty of surprise.

Initiators: Marja Viitahuhta, Julia Krewani and Bettina Weiß


Websites about the exhibitions

Found in Translation, Part 1: Scotty Enterprises members in Galleria Huuto

in here: Scotty in Huuto 1

and in here: Scotty in Huuto 2


Found in Translation, Part 2: Galleria Huuto members in Scotty Enterprises

in here: Huuto in Scotty 1

and in here: Huuto in Scotty 2




A collaboration and exchange project between 3 artist-run nordic galleries, 2014-2015

Website: tricycleblog


samaanaikaantoisaalla doc kuva

Meanwhile elsewhere, a group exhibition by Pasi Autio, Marjo Levlin, Marja Viitahuhta, Annu Wilenius and Charlotta Östlund at Gallery Kunstschlager, Reykjavik, 2014. Documentation photo by Pasi Autio.



Participating galleries

Gallery Kunstschlager (Reykjavik), Studio 44 (Stockholm) and Galleria Huuto (Helsinki)


Participating artists

Anna Stina Erlandsson, Christina Göthesson, Joel Hurlburt, Susanne Högdahl Holm, Ola Nilsson

Baldvin Einarsson, Guðlaug Mía Eyþórsdóttir, Helga Páley Friðjþjófsdóttir, Hrönn Gunnarsdóttir, Kristín Karólína Helgadóttir, Sindri Leifsson, Sigmann Þórðarson, Þorgerður Þórhallsdóttir, Helgi Pórsson, Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir, Þórdís Erla Zoega

Pasi Autio, Marjo Levlin, Marja Viitahuhta,  Annu Wilenius, Charlotta Östlund


About the project

Tricycle was a project in which three scandinavian galleries realized exhibitions in each other’s venues. All in all five separate group exhibitions were organized and in addition open talks were held in relation to the exhibitions.

The project was initiated by the participating artists from Galleria Huuto and funded by the Nordic Culture Fund.

Greta, Gretchel, Gertrud, Gilbert, Gregor, Georg

Technique and year: C-print, 30 x 42 cm (each), 2013


sisters_for web 2



soldiers_for web 2



I was given some images as a gift from my aunt-in-law. She had found them from her house in Imatra, a town in eastern Finland, stored away with family albums. She had asked around but nobody knew who the people in the images were. It could only be concluded that they had been taken during or just before the second world war. The women in the images wear makeup and stylized hairdos, the men are in their army uniforms. I cut all the images in pieces and formed these collages out of them.

Supported by TAIKE Arts Promotion Centre Finland and Kone Foundation


Garden of Death

Short film, duration: 20′, 2013

Garden of death, film caption


An eight year old girl spends a day at the cemetary, taking care of the “Garden of Death”. The film combines the methods and aesthetics of a documentary film with a fictional, dreamlike vision of a child working as a gardener at the cemetary, dealing with the issue of mortality. The cinematography of the film makes references to landscape painting, yet it is based on observing the work carried out within this scenery.

Credit list:

Directing & script: Marja Viitahuhta
Cast: Dunja Saiyar and the employees of the Hietaniemi Cemetery in Helsinki
Cinematography: Marko Luukkonen
Editing: Azar Saiyar and Marja Viitahuhta
Sound Design: Tuukka Haapakorpi
Production: Marja Viitahuhta
Production supported by: AVEK (Elena Näsänen), TAIKE Arts Promotion Centre Finland and Kone Foundation

Garden of death @ Av-Arkki:

Garden of Death @ Vimeo

First there is nothing

  • Installation, single channel video installation, three channel sound, loop duration 7 min, 2013
  • Single channel video,  duration 3 min, 2016

A one-shot image of a blizzard: snowflakes and wind. The image is simultaneously a still shot and full of movement. Accompanied with a voice-over text on how things are born.

Credit list:
Directing, script, cinematography, edit: Marja Viitahuhta
Sound: Tuukka Haapakorpi
Voice-over: Marja Viitahuhta
Production: Marja Viitahuhta
Support: TAIKE Arts Promotion Centre Finland and Kone Foundation

Unser Österreich

Collage on MDF, 1000 x 50 cm, 2012

Click on the thumbnail images to see the work



unser oesterreich in gallery woth viewersUnser Österreich installation view


About the work

Some years ago I found a book called Unser Österreich from a flea market in Berlin.  It was a German propaganda publication from 1938, a book that contained black and white pictures of a country that shortly thereafter became part of the Nazi empire.

I cut all the pictures out of the book and with collage technique turned them into a landscape. It was sort of an impossible puzzle to complete as the pieces didn’t match,  a slow manual process to fit the pieces together. The result is a 10-meter long collage that is seemingly cohesive, yet at the same time the artificial nature of the landscape is obvious. This creates the perception that the piece forms a cohesive picture one moment and a fragmented one the next. When looking at the work, you can notice your own desire to see something cohesive and on the other hand something imperfect.

This work was part of my solo exhibition Eheä Maailma aka Cohesive World exhibited together with the collage works Postcard from nowhere, Under the Alps, Aavan meren tuolla puolen and Uljas kaupunki.


unser osterreich bookOriginal book cover

Supported by Oskar Öflunds Stiftelse


Live performance and performance texts, 2009 – 2013


spotlight zodiak still for webSpotlight, still from documentation video, Zodiak / Esitystaiteen markkinat, Cable Factory, Helsinki 2012


Duration: Performance duration varies (7 min – 50 min)

Performed in: Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum, Supermarket Alternative Art Fair (Stockholm), Esitystaiteen markkinat – performance event at Zodiak, Cable Factory (Helsinki), Yle 1 Radio broadcasting channel, Fluxee performance event (Turku)

Publications: A version of the performance text has been published (in finnish) in Esitys -lehti 2/2011

Download PDF-version of the publication here: Esitys 2:2011 – Esitys-lehti – Todellisuuden tutkimuskeskus

Download the texts in english for reading: SPOTLIGHT long text  / SPOTLIGHT list 0-100


About the work

Spotlight is a minimalistic performance based on a playful approach towards textual structure and an experimental study of performative situations. It can also be understood as a performance lecture on this topic. It is a performance dealing with the grounds of performance via the deconstruction of the classical setup of performing under the light of a spotlight. The monologue performed in the piece is also based on a structure of one text divided into a list from 1 to 100. This list repeats the individual words, building up to a sentence and unravelling into bits and pieces again.

Several versions of the performance have been made, one of them for the national radio broadcasting channel Yle 1.

The performance is based upon a text written in the form of a list, where the performer describes the performance itself. The performer stands in a spotlight, whilst the rest of the room is dark. The short version of the performance lasts about seven minutes but can be looped several times in a row (as was done in the version performed in the Kiasma Contemporary Museum of Art).

Also, a longer version of the performance and the monologue text exists and was performed in the Fluzee performance art event in Turku 2011.  This version had inserts of other textual material embedded in the performance, which on their behalf described other events. These inserts functioned as examples of the styles of performance writing and dramaturgical means. In later performances this text has been available for the audience in the performance venue. This longer text is a 4-page long sentence with the inserts mentioned above, an analysis of aspects related to performance.


1-100 text excerptSpotlight, excerpt of the performance text


Spotlight, live performance (with longer text) dur: 20 min, Supermarket Alternative Art Fair, Stockholm 2012

Documentation photos: Marjo Levlin


Cunning image

A screening with experimental film and video, 2013
Curated together with Anni Venäläinen



About the project

Exhibited at Galleria Huuto Jätkäsaari Pikkujätkä and Artova Film Festival / AFF LABO

Cunning image aka Viekas Kuva is a screening presenting contemporary finnish experimental film and video. The works in the screening share a perspective of pensiveness and conceptuality. They investigate the borderlines in visual observations and cognition, as well as the borderline between still and moving image. They study the difference and connections between text and image. They invite the audience to be seducted by the sensuality and beauty of images. The absurdity and uncontrollability of dreams and delirium, the unstability of memories and the fragility of melancholia are allured into the open via subtle cinematic means.


Participating artists and their works

Anssi Pulkkinen: The Sea (Three Borders), 2012, 4’22″
Jan Ijäs: Two Islands, 2013, 5’51’’
Sini Pelkki: Embarkation, 2012, 7’10”
Essi Kausalainen: Orchard, 2013, 1’50’’
Pasi Autio: Vieras askel (An Unusual Step), 2013, 7’41’’
Ewa Gorzna: Balancing forces, 2013, 9’06’’
Marja Viitahuhta: I don´t Remember This, 2012, 11’20″
Pasi Autio: Soft Heavenly Body, 2012, 2’36″
Eliisa Suvanto: Frozen embryo, 2011, 2’19’’
Tuukka Haapakorpi: Kuningattaren kuolema, 2011, 10’15″
Jan Ijäs: Solitude in the Year Zero, 2012, 3’36″
Mikko Kuorinki & Alexandr Skarlinski: Forever in a Circle, 2012, 2’32’’
Miia Rinne: Sea, 2012 –, 5’43’’
Thank you: AV-arkki


Huuto Alphabet

Group exhibition and website, 2013

29 works from 29 artists, varied media, maximum dimensions 30 x 30 cm

Supermarket Alternative Art Fair, Stockholm and Galleria Huuto Uudenmaankatu

kutsari alphabet

Participating artists

Kaisa Eriksson, Erika Erre, Kaisaleena Halinen, Terhi Heino, Anja Helminen, Vesa Hjort, Beata Joutsen,
Sampo Malin, Tiia Matikainen, Pasi Mälkiä, Antti Oikarinen, Pilvi Ojala, Essi Ojanperä, Reija Palo-Oja, Laura Pohjonen, Satu Rautiainen, Miia Rinne, Maiju Salmenkivi, Katariina Salmijärvi, Hans-Peter Schütt, Elina Strandberg, Minna Suoniemi, Linda Söderholm, Aleksi Tolonen, Kalle Turakka-Purhonen, Ilona Valkonen, Milja Viita, Marja Viitahuhta, Heli Änkö, Charlotta Östlund

About the project

There are 29 letters in the Finnish Alphabet.

Huuto Alphabet is a collection of artworks and a group show from 29 artists, all members of the artist-run-space Galleria Huuto, based in Helsinki. The works are set in alphabetical order according to their titles, thus together they form a kind of alphabet with varied media.

The media and style the artists used was volitional. The only limitation was the size: the works should not be larger than 30 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm. Thus Huuto Alphabet represents the variety of contemporary art media: photography, painting, sculpture, mixed media, drawing, text, video. Some of the works were made especially for this series, whereas some of the artists suggested already completed works.

Website design: Azar Saiyar and Joonas Kiviharju

Gray insight

C-print, 30 x 30 cm, 2013

Gray insight 01


About the work

This text-based work is created for the Huuto Alphabet project and group exhibition. The text is created as a variation of a google poem. First the word grey was searched with several internet search engines. Then the resulting websites were inspected and the sentences with the word grey were selected as well as the sentences followin thatg word. Lastly, the word grey was removed from the text material. The result is a text that defines different understandings and interpretations of the concept and meaning of grey without it ever being mentioned.

Download pdf -version of the work here: Gray insight 02




Aavan meren tuolla puolen (Tallinna – Pärnu)

Collage, 80 x 25 cm, 2012

aavan meren koko white dok pieni

aavan meren 02 for webAavan meren tuolla puolen (Tallinna – Pärnu), detail


About the work

This work was part of my solo exhibition Eheä Maailma aka Cohesive World exhibited together with the collage works Unser Österreich, Under the Alps, Postcard from nowhere and Uljas kaupunki. The material in these works is found from second hand stores and flea markets: they are landscape postcards, travel catalogue pictures and in this work family album photos from a holiday trip from Finland to Estonia. When I began creating these collages I was intrigued by the nature of such imagery and its linkage to our understanding of nations and nationality, of the national monuments, landscapes, costumes, institutions etc. The collage works created from these pictures form imaginary and artificial worlds that have a clear but twisted connection to our own real world.

Supported by Oskar Öflunds Stiftelse

Postcard from nowhere (Napoli – Bergen)

Collage, 80 x 25 cm, 2012


napoli bergen valmis

postikorttiversio bergen napoli 01 pienempiPostcard from nowhere (Napoli – Bergen), detail


About the work

This work was part of my solo exhibition Eheä Maailma aka Cohesive World exhibited together with the collage works Unser Österreich, Under the Alps, Aavan meren tuolla puolen and Uljas kaupunki. The material in these works is found from second hand stores and flea markets: they are landscape postcards, travel catalogue pictures and family album photos from a holiday trip. When I began creating these collages I was intrigued by the nature of such imagery and its linkage to our understanding of nations and nationality, of the national monuments, landscapes, costumes, institutions etc. The collage works created from these pictures form imaginary and artificial worlds that have a clear but twisted connection to our own real world.

Supported by Oskar Öflunds Stiftelse

Uljas kaupunki (Uljanovsk)

Collage, 74 x 35 cm, 2012


uljanovsk koko teos white back dok pieni

About the work

This work was part of my solo exhibition Eheä Maailma aka Cohesive World exhibited together with the collage works Unser Österreich, Under the Alps, Postcard from nowhere and Aavan meren tuolla puolen. The material in these works is found from second hand stores and flea markets: they are landscape postcards, travel catalogue pictures and family album photos from a holiday trip. When I began creating these collages I was intrigued by the nature of such imagery and its linkage to our understanding of nations and nationality, of the national monuments, landscapes, costumes, institutions etc. The collage works created from these pictures form imaginary and artificial worlds that have a clear but twisted connection to our own real world.

Supported by Oskar Öflunds Stiftelse

Under the Alps (Garmisch-Partenkirchen – Tirol)

 Collage, 115 x 20 cm, 2012


garmisch-partenkirchen panoraama
  (click the thumbnail image to view the whole work)


Under the Alps (detail)


About the work

This work was part of my solo exhibition Eheä Maailma aka Cohesive World exhibited together with the collage works Unser Österreich, Postcard from nowhere, Aavan meren tuolla puolen and Uljas kaupunki. The material in these works is found from second hand stores and flea markets: they are landscape postcards, travel catalogue pictures and family album photos from a holiday trip. When I began creating these collages I was intrigued by the nature of such imagery and its linkage to our understanding of nations and nationality, of the national monuments, landscapes, costumes, institutions etc. The collage works created from these pictures form imaginary and artificial worlds that have a clear but twisted connection to our own real world.

Supported by Oskar Öflunds Stiftelse

I don’t remember this

Short film, duration: 11’20”, 2012



A work about filling in the missing bits of memory with fiction. A silent work about absence and loss. A work shot at an inherited family house: a place to which the author is linked to via personal, imagined memories.


Credit list:

Directing, script, cinematography, edit: Marja Viitahuhta
Actor: Alpo Aartola
Assistant: Taneli Viitahuhta
Producer: Marja Viitahuhta
Production fund: AVEK
Thank you: Joonas Kiviharju, Tanja Tiekso and Taneli Viitahuhta



Flood 2

Site-specific sound installation, 2011
Alt_Cph11 Art Fair, Copenhagen


flood 2 doc stills


About the work
This is a reversed version of the idea in the work Flood, which created an illusion of the sea captured inside a church solely based on sound. In Alt_Cph11 I was given a small white movable room-like box to work with. I attached a water glass on a shelf inside it, placed non-see-through curtain material to the windows that let the light in and built an extra wall in the room behind which the sound source was hidden.

When the members of the audience stepped inside this little room, they left the noisy, echoing and cacophonic fair hall and entered a room with seemingly no sounds at all, just silence. This allowed another kind of a shifting illusionary experience to emerge: one could imagine that the sounds of the sea came either from outside of the box, from the fair hall (which one naturally knew to be impossible), or, one could imagine the sound source to be the visible object, i.e. the water glass, as if the sound of the sea was captured inside the glass.




Drifting times

Two screenings of experimental short films from Finland, 2010
Curated by Marja Viitahuhta for Stuttgarter Filmwinter


rondo film still 02

Rondo (2006), film caption


About the screenings

In 2010 I was asked to present a screening with my works in Stuttgarter Filmwinter film festival. Instead of just showing my own works I wanted to show works by my friends and collegues, whose works share qualities with my own films. Thus I curated this combination of finnish short films that utilize voice-over, 8 mm film and archive footage, collage techniques, experimental editing and storytelling and told with an intimate and personal tone.



Marja Viitahuhta: 99 Years of my Life (2003)
Marja Viitahuhta: Rondo (2006)
Sini Liimatainen: Cold Feet (2002)
Joonas Kiviharju: What Might Come (2004)

Selma Vilhunen: A day with dad (1999)
Elina Talvensaari: Palm Tree (2008)
Oliwia Tonteri: Lilli (2007)
Azar Saiyar: Helsinki-Tehran (2009)


More about the screenings, programme and films in Stuttgarter Filmwinter’s website




In between

Series of C-prints on aluminium –  double and triple exposures on slide film turned to C-prints with Lambda-technique,  2009

Dollhuman 82 x 80 cm / Planthuman 100 x 70 cm / Reflection 100 x 70 cm

(Click on thumbnails to see the full images.)



About the work

A series of double and tribple exposures on slide film turned into a C-print with Lambda technique.




Site-specific sound installation, 2007
Village church of Teijo, Salo region, Finland
Exhibited as part of Taiteen Tiet 1.6.2007 – 31.8.2007 daily 12 am – 6 pm.


marja ja vedenpaisumus 03

Image: Hannu Paunila


About the work
As one climbs uphill to the churchyard, one begins to realize that there are sounds in the air: seagulls, wind, sound of the waves. They seem to come from the direction of the church. The sounds can first be left unnoticed, since they mix with the natural sound environment.

As one reaches the yard of the church it becomes evident that the sounds come from the church. The church is closed and the origin of the sounds is not visible. One can hear the ocean but not see it. This creates an illusion: it sounds as if the church itself would either produce or hide within it the source of the sound, creating a ghostly and dreamy, surreal atmosphere in which it is easy to imagine that the ocean is flooding inside the church building.

Background story
The church of Teijo, a small old factory town by the coast of southwest Finland, is located on top of a small hill. It was built in 1830 by Robert Bremer, a local patron, who strongly believed that an apocalyptic deluge would come one day – and actually, he had forecasted the day, reading the information from the positions of constellations. When his calculations failed, he decided to build the church as an honour to his unpredictable and merciful God, though even then, he felt it was best to build it on the highest spot of the region.


Documentation footage:


Make your own shadow

Installation with tents, tarpaulin, cotton and strings, 2006
Holden Gallery, Manchester Metropolitan University, England

Collaboration with artists Johanna Ketola, Carl Sebastian Lindberg, Hans Rosenström and Pilvi Takala.




Make Your Own Shadow, was a collaborative installation and a group exhibition made for the Holden Gallery at Manchester Metropolitan University. The installation was made in order to be able to display audio and video works inside a hall which we could not get darkened due to its skylight windows. In our solution to the problem each of us artists had a tent inside which we showed our works and simultaneously turned the exhibition venue into a camping site with tents and a cloudy sky.

Supported by The Finnish Academy of Fine Arts.




make your own shadow 06


Stoneforest / Letter to my father

1) 5 -channel video installation, mute, each loop duration 1 – 2 min, 8 mm film to HD-video (2006)

2) audio text, duration 20 min /  a handout text (2006)


About the work

This installation consists of two individual works exhibited simultaneously. The works are an audio text entitled A letter to my Father  and a 5 -channel video installation Stoneforest. The text has also available as handouts in the exhibition venues.

Download a shortened version of the text here (pdf-file): A letter to my father audio text


stoneforest in stuttgartStoneforest and A letter to my father, exhibited at Stuttgarter Filmwinter, 2008


Both of the works are combining the concept of loss with playfulness, mystery and fantasy of childhood experiences. They are personal in their tone, yet keeping parts of their content vague and dreamy. The text in A letter to my father is dedicated to my father, who died when I was a newborn baby. It describes events from my childhood including my father’s death and its aftermath – in other words things beyond the reach of my actual memory.

With the film material I am approaching the recollection of an atmosphere that is formed around the experience of absence, a state of mind that also can function as a platform, a point of beginning. When planning the imagery I was memorizing this certain mood, familiar to me from my early childhood, when days were long, the light was bright and contrasts sharp, and the direction of my life was yet ambiguous. Passing scenes from the city, fields and wastelands have been recorded on the film. Summer parties with faces of people not quite recognizable, shadows, rocks, cracks on city walls. Some of the imagery has a nostalgic tone, emphasized by the usage and the quality of 8mm film. However, the imagery in its vagueness also indicates that the memories are out of reach or indistinct – just as the textual material in the audio text does.


5 kuvaa havainne pienempiStoneforest, panorama view


The work has been divided onto five channels running with slightly different loop lengths. This generates a panorama view with a constantly changing landscape stretched on five monitors.

Another aspect of the film material in Stoneforest is that I perform in it as two similar looking characters, the fictional identical twins depicted also in the photograph A&B. This is a reference to A letter to my father where I describe: I play with my imaginative friend, my look-alike. She is just like me. We never speak, we don’t need to. She knows what I think. In fact many of the images and the actions of these fictional characters refer to the text and thus link the works together.


Stoneforest and A letter to my father – Excerpt


Cinematography: Marja Viitahuhta and Taneli Viitahuhta
Written, directed, edited, produced and acted by Marja Viitahuhta



Collage series with found images and paper, dimensions vary, 2006

C-prints, 25 x 17 cm, 2016

untold woman with mirror web
Untold no. 25 (Woman with mirror), C-print, 25 x 17 cm, 2016

About the work

Untold is a series of images where the people in the photograph have been cut out and replaced by a silhouette-like black paper. The images were purchased from a second hand market where the salesman told me that they were from an estate of one family. They were filed in a few envelopes nd from the notes and names written behind the images I could conclude that they indeed were images of family members in various situations, locations and family gatherings. However, none of the notes stated the family name. Looking at the photos I realised that some of them were from theatre or dance performances. It inspired me to look at the other images as staged performances alike. Once the people in the images were removed, the focus of the images was at the recognizable settings and poses on display.

All of the 107 images were first exhibited in my solo exhibition “Folie du Jour” in Galleria Huuto Viiskulma 2006.

In 2016 a series of c-prints have been produced from a selection of the images.

untold installation view 01 for web
Untold installation view, Galleria Huuto Viiskulma 2006

untold picnic web
Untold no.01 (Picnic), C-print, 17 x 25 cm, 2016

In the thumbnails: Untold no. 07 (Kids), no. 18 (Lovers), no. 19 (Girls), no. 27 (Woman by the fire), no. 28 (Friends), no. 56 (Baby and chair), no. 62 (Group by the barn), no. 72 (Woman at the doorstep), C-prints, 25 x 17 cm, 2016

In the thumbnails: Untold – all 107 images from the installation version

A & B

C-print, 80 x 60 cm, 2006




About the work

This work was part of my solo exhibition Päivän Hulluus aka Madness of a day, entitled after the Folie du Jour by Maurice Blanchot. It was exhibited together with the works Stoneforest, Letter to my Father, Stairs (from series Chameleon), A&B, Self-portrait (Gold), Self-portrait (Rubber) and Untold.



Short film, duration 8’20”, 2006




Rondo is an experimental short film shot on 8mm film that contains no dialogue and is based on a circular structure. The film attempts to describe a state of mind of a person in between events, experiencing change. The actions of the performers reveal very little of their personality, and the plot is rather a reference to the basic epic plot structure than a narrative. The music of the film plays an important role, approaching the content of the film hand in hand with the cinematography.

Rondo was part of my graduation work for the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. It was first exhibited as a video installation. The film has then been screened world-widely in numerous film festivals, including Cannes Film Festival’s Cinéfondation in 2007.


Credit list:

Directing & Script: Marja Viitahuhta (former Mikkonen)
Cinematography: Sini Liimatainen
Actors: Jaana Pirskanen and Hermanni Yli-Tepsa
Edit: Hannele Majaniemi
Sound design: Sakari Luhtala
Scenography: Tuomo Truhponen
Music: Taneli Viitahuhta (former Tuominen), Hermanni Yli-Tepsa and Robin Ellis
Production: Marja Viitahuhta / Finnish Academy of Fine Arts
Production fund: AVEK
Distribution support: Finnish Film Foundation SES





Photo series of site-specific performances made for ANTI festival, 2005-2006


Chameleon, documentation photos, photo assistant: Mia Turunen


About the work

Chameleon is a work consisting of twelve photograph created for the ANTI 2005 festival. ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival is an international contemporary arts festival presenting site-specific works made for public space, held annually in Kuopio, a city in Eastern Finland. Each year the festival selects non-traditional public venues and sites for exhibiting the artworks.

I performed in each of the locations selected for the 2005 festival beforehand. I adjusted my body in relation to the site, both hiding it and showcasing it, creating miniature performative interventions to the space. I was performing  to the people present in the location at the time of the photo sessions as well as posing for the camera. The documentation images of each performance were on display in the venues throughout the festival, hidden as part of the interior of the site.

A year later a selection of the photos were produced into C-prints.

keilahallikuva Bowling ball, from series Chameleon, C-print, 2006

 Stairs, from series Chameleon, C-print, 2006


99 Years of My Life

Short film, duration: 33 min, 2003




One fictional biography depicted from birth to death, based on the lives and memories of four women of different age. Each year in the film is reduced to three sentences, a list that runs from 0 to 99. This narration is illustrated via a collection of cinematographic styles and media: archive footage, home video, still photography, animation, film noir-styled scenes, and performance documentation.

The film has been awarded with the shared silver prize in Cannes Film Festival 2004 in Category “Cinéfondation”, “The Best Experimental Film” in Mediawave Film Festival 2004, “The Audience Award” in L’Alternativa Film Festival 2004 and the “Teamword Prize” in Stuttgarter Filmwinter 2004. It is also part of the collections of MoMA and Kiasma Contemporary Museum of Art.


Credit list:

Directing & script: Marja Viitahuhta (former Marja Mikkonen)
Cinematography: Sini Liimatainen
Editing: Azar Saiyar
Sound Design: Jussi Vuola
Animation: Veera Luhtala, Sakari Luhtala
Lights: Sakari Luhtala, Vitalius KiselijusMusic: Antti Tolvi, Marja Viitahuhta, Jussi Vuola
Actors: numerous (incl. Marja Viitahuhta, Martti Aartola, Annika Dahlsten, Maija Hirvanen, Pia Kalenius, Essi Kausalainen, Joonas Kiviharju, Aapo Korkeaoja, Sini Liimatainen, Sakari Luhtala, Hanna Oksanen, Ronja Oksanen, Santos Parrilla, Sofia Parrilla, Suvi Parrilla, Anja Saiyar, Azar Saiyar, Irma Truhponen, Teuvo Truhponen, Tuomo Truhponen, Lahja Tuominen, Vilho Tuominen, Taneli Viitahuhta, Lars Wingård, Topi Äikäs)
Production: Marja Viitahuhta and Sini Liimatainen / Turku Polytechnic Arts Academy
Distribution support: Finnish Film Foundation SES