Matti Aikio

How Sámi finished?

Matti Aikio’s sound installation tells about the present-day situation of the Sámi people in Finland. It turns upside down the Sámi storytelling tradition by presenting a story of the future.
Matti Aikio: How Sámi finished?. 2016. Environmental Art Park Ii. Photo: Antti J.Leinonen.

It is hard to see historical changes as they unfold. It is only as time passes that changes become clear, and we realise the significance of certain events. We need some distance to see the turning points in history. In this piece, Aikio goes through the history of the Sámi people and uses nuances of absurdity when referring to the present situation as the non-Sámi in northern Finland suddenly want to become Sámi. His work has an intriguing ambivalence, combining poetic storytelling with cold, hard political facts. Even the trees in the park might be more willing than we to listen to Aikio’s story, flowing gently into the air from megaphones.

Matti Aikio (b. 1980) comes from Vuotso, a small reindeer-herding Sámi village in northern Finland. He earned a bachelor of arts from Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art in 2012. Aikio is a visual artist who works with photography and video, as well as with sculptural installations, sound art and music. He has also been a DJ since 2009. Aikio is interested in the concept of nomadism as a philosophy, culture and lifestyle. Along with his artistic practice, he is involved in nomadic reindeer herding, which his family has practiced for centuries.


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