Freak of Nature (Maiden of Finland)


2011


Did history and culture give birth to national identity? Does a country represent itself as a community? Will the global world make gender roles more equal?

Freak of Nature (Maiden of Finland) is a photoseries about the Finnish Maid, the national personification of Finland.

The Maiden of Finland is traditionally pictured as a barefoot young woman with blonde hair, blue eyes and wearing a white dress. She's a mythical character awkwardly trying to fit into the 21st century.

The Maiden of Finland can also refer to the shape of Finland on the map. With a little imagination it looks like the female form with a skirt, head and one arm raised up (the other one was cut away after the Moscow Armistice of 1944). The metaphor is so commonly used that the northwestern area around Enontekiö is known as the Arm, even in official contexts.

I travelled around Finland by the borderlines and tried to capture the Finnish Maid, but she didn't want to be found too easily, because she's part of the past – a real freak of nature standing on the edge of a knife. I know that she's always been in great danger, and her part is to play the role of the victim; that's how the story goes, but this time she's just going to fade out and be forgotten, as strangers tend to do.

Instead of portraying the beauty of young women - as it might slightly look at first - I am violently cutting their throaths and kissing goodbye to our man made mythical maids in different corners of Finlands borderline.





"Imatra" from the series Freak of Nature, inkjet print 50 x 70 cm 
Edition of 6





"Pori" from the series Freak of Nature, inkjet print 50 x 70 cm 
Edition of 6





"Vaasa" from the series Freak of Nature, inkjet print 50 x 70 cm 
Edition of 6





"Tornio" from the series Freak of Nature, inkjet print 50 x 70 cm 
Edition of 6





"Kilpisjärvi" from the series Freak of Nature, inkjet print 50 x 70 cm 
Edition of 6





"Ivalo" from the series Freak of Nature, inkjet print 50 x 70 cm 
Edition of 6





"Utsjoki" from the series Freak of Nature, inkjet print 50 x 70 cm 
Edition of 6





"Kuusamo" from the series Freak of Nature, inkjet print 50 x 70 cm 
Edition of 6





"Kuhmo" from the series Freak of Nature, inkjet print 50 x 70 cm 
Edition of 6