Published and edited by Markus Jäntti & Robert Lucander in 2024
English, Finnish

The catalogue was released to aacompany the exhibition Markus Jäntti & Robert Lucander: Smuggling, Art Center Salmela, Mäntyharju, 8 June - 11 August 2024. The publication includes pictures, a foreword by Alvar Huhtanen, interviews and a text by Christine Nippe.


When visual artist Markus Jäntti was born in 1994, Art Center Salmela’s was fifth annual summer exhibition in Mäntyharju, Finland was ending. Robert Lucander was finishing his art studies in Berlin. Almost two decades later, in 2013, Jäntti began studying at the Berlin University of the Arts (Universität der Künste) under Professor Lucander.

Lucander and Jäntti have gone from teacher and student into colleagues, both as pedagogues (Jäntti has also taught at UdK since 2022) and as artists. Meanwhile, Art Center Salmela has grown into Finland’s largest visual arts festival. One of the highlights of the 35th annual exhibition is a joint show by Lucander and Jäntti, detailed on the pages of this book.

I urge the visitor to see in Lucander and Jäntti’s works, displayed side by side, more than just a teacher’s influence on his student. This is visible, too – even as the present show was being installed, Jäntti noticed previously unseen ways in which Lucander’s visual language has impacted his own. But ultimately, on display are two artists as equals, both spurring the other toward new heights, both working together. Vigorous humor, a joyful sense of color, and the tension between high and low culture are central to their common art. The overall impression is pointedly aesthetic on one hand, and effervescently provocative, on the other. Moving through the exhibition, one would be forgiven the assumption that the two artists work together customarily – so natural, clever, and joyous is the interplay of the pieces. In fact, the works span two decades, and the artists have worked on them independently.

There is an exception: three lithographs, made jointly for this exhibition by the two, taking turns on the same plates. Their repeating eye motif watches over the space from the back room, turning the artists’ gaze on the audience, but also on their shared history and past works. Perhaps the eyes belong to people populating the urban world, looking at the streets, shops, display windows and metro stations that constitute the natural surroundings of Lucander and Jäntti’s imagery. Thematically, the lithographs offer a point of entry into the themes and works of the exhibition, but they also drive it forward visually, toward a bright and crystalline form, making deft use of lithographic technique.

This catalog is a record of the exhibition and an introduction to the amused, amusing, devout and disturbing art of Robert Lucander and Markus Jäntti. It is also an opportunity for Art Center Salmela to commemorate its 35 years of group shows, for which I thank the artists. I hope the audience will enjoy the exhibition and this accompanying publication.

– Alvar Huhtanen
Festival Director, Art Center Salmela

Et le passé revit le temps d’une visite

Published by Argobooks in 2022
English, German

The book was published on the occasion of the video art work "Et le passé revit le temps d'une visite" at Schwarzsche Villa, Berlin. The catalogue includes pictures, links to music videos, texts by Christine Nippe and Jörg Heiser and a CD by Walter Sallinen.

Purchase the book from Argobooks website
Album by Walter Sallinen on Bandcamp

It all started in 2016 in the Berlin flat-share of Markus Jäntti and Walter Sallinen: The two UdK students were talking about how to bring visual art and composition together to create an interdisciplinary Gesamtkunstwerk. In the course of these conversations, Markus came up with Modest Mussorgsky's piano work "Pictures at an Exhibition" from 1874, in which he had reflected on a visit to a show of works by the painter Viktor Hartmann. In the project "Et le passé revit le temps d'une visite", developed from 2017 to 2022, Jäntti-Tuominen and Sallinen mirror this artistic experience by also combining visual art and music/sound -- parallel to the genesis of Mussorgsky's work. Thus, among other things, a documentary video work, an exhibition catalogue in English and German and a CD have been produced.

Unicorn Stories – Geschichten von Einhörnern

Published by Finnish Institute in Germany in 2020
English, German

The catalogue consists of numerous illustrations of the artist’s works and workshop, as well as an interview by Mika Minetti with the “interpreter of myths”. Medievalist Lena van Beek introduces the reader to the history of unicorns. Includes an introduction by Christine Nippe, a foreword by Laura Hirvi and a pictorial booklet to the artist’s inspirations.

Order / download the book from the Finnish Institute website

In a world of magical animals

Some time ago, the Finnish Institute in German became home to mysterious creatures. Visitors and staff alike were fascinated and inspired by colourfu characters such as the Emoji Unicorn, the Fashio Knight and the Unicorn of the Future in the institute’s home on Berlin’s Friedrichstraße. These are the creations of the artist Markus Jäntti-Tuominen, the Finnis Institute’s youngest Visiting Artist to date. We invited the recent graduate of the Berlin University of the Art to present his imaginative work to a wider audience. Markus Jäntti-Tuominen is also the first guest artist to bring the medium of sculpture, combined with a video work, to the Institute's premises.

The Finnish Institute’s Visiting Art/ist programme was launched in 2015. The idea of the programme is to offer artists the opportunity to present their work in a space that is frequented by multipliers of the art scene. It is primarily therefore the art itself that is visiting, although the respective artists do also regularly come to events such as openings and artist talks. 

Mainly artists from Finland living in Berlin have been selected for this programme. The aim has been to reflect the diversity of the local art scene in Berlin, with special emphasis on Finnish artists. At the same time, we want to avoid unnecessarily high transport costs and the associated carbon emissions. The Finnish Institute supports the project financially and organisationally and also takes care of PR. Ideally, the programme results in artists being invited to present another exhibition in German-speaking Europe or in selling their work.

The Visiting Art/ists have been, in chronological order since 2015: Ville Kylätasku, Anna Retulainen, Anni Leppälä, Niina Lehtonen Braun and Markus Jäntti-Tuominen. Unlike in a gallery or a museum, the works presented in the context of the Visiting Art/ist programme are not hung on empty rooms with white walls. On the contrary, the works of art must — or may? — be spread out over the walls of an office and find their place amongst chairs, tables and shelves. As a visitor, you cannot avoid the works of art. At first unfamiliar, they become an integral part of everyday life over the course of the exhibition. They intrigue, inspire and form a fantastic cosmos. 

– Dr Laura Hirvi, Director of the Finnish Institute in Germany

English translation from German by Tamerlane Camden-Dunne