Exhibition: Whose History Is It Anyway?*

The exhibition is a result of a seminar focusing on rituals of commemoration as acts of actualisation. In collaborative processes we started to analyse the functioning and structure of hegemonic discourses and systems of representation. We discussed how meaning and “national unity” are constructed through culture, language and landscape.

We had a look at politics of commemoration, discussed reflective approaches, counter-monuments and struggles around memory since the 1990s. Some things have changed for better or worse, some haven’t. While criticality became part of the debate, nationalism has also taken on a central role in the hegemonic memory culture in Finland and elsewhere in Europe.

From this starting point our focus has been to go back to institutional critique and reflective memory culture, actualise it and persist on deconstructing hegemonic discourses and dominant historical narratives, reinterpreting them from the position of marginalised and silenced knowledges referring to hidden histories.

Interventions in the Aalto University Otaniemi Campus and artistic investigations by:
Aneta Atsova, Alexandra Ball, Anna Björklund, Rogério Nuno Costa, Silja Eriksson, Ana Fernandes, Tia Hassinen, Juhani Haukka, Ayano Honda, Paola Jalili, Verna Kovanen, Else Lagerspetz, Maria Villa Largacha, Viivi Lehto-Peltomäki, Ilona Lehtonen, Saara Mahbouba, Elina Nikkanen, Tommi Ollikainen, Sami Rekola, Essi Ruuskanen, Samra Sabanovic, Krista Seppälä, Mira Simon, Shubhangi Singh, Naya Magaliou Soulein, Mirka Sulander, Meisi Wang, Sheung Yiu

In the framework of VICCA TAI-E3001 Exploring Historical and Theoretical Roots in January
2017 by Minna Henriksson, Marko Karo and Nora Sternfeld

*The title “Whose History Is It Anyway?” refers to an exhibition by Gregory Sholette and Claudia Hernandez at the New Museum, New York in 1998. It was an interdisciplinary high school arts education project, which intervened in existing curricula including American history, ethnography and social studies.