In a world of magical animals

Some time ago, the Finnish Institute in Germany became home to mysterious creatures. Visitors and staff alike were fascinated and inspired by colourful characters such as the Emoji Unicorn, the Fashion Knight and the Unicorn of the Future in the institute’s home on Berlin’s Friedrichstraße. These are the crea- tions of the artist Markus Jäntti-Tuominen, the Finnish Institute’s youngest Visiting Artist to date. We invited the recent graduate of the Berlin University of the Arts 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 vis- iting, 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

Unicorn Stories
Finnish Institute in Germany (2020)

English translation from German:
Tamerlane Camden-Dunne

Photos: Bernhard Ludewig
© Jäntti-Tuominen 2022