Monica Araus, Freja Bäckman and Vappu Jalonen

Land-Institut deals with the question: What is land? The question is vague, fluctuating, local and universal, and understood differently in varying languages. There is no official definition, rather there are as many definitions as there are people.

What is land?
Away with borders – in the head and on the ground.
Move yourself over the land.
It is far but at the same time near.

The borders first appear when thinking about land. Even when thinking of something other than a state. The first picture before our eyes is a map, traversed by borders, a eurocentric globe, which is spread to a square. This has little to do with the real proportions of the continents. The eye searches for Europe, in the form of the learned, at a learnt location.

Or thinking of a state. A construct of our time, not immutable, certainly. Its boundaries are multifaceted and different for everyone.
The definition of a land as a nation-state, privilege some in positions of power. The state excludes, but also immures, claiming some people as its own, it is a patriarchal power structure.

I do not want to get categorized by a booklet.

It is important to raise these issues, especially at a time when the spreading of the right-wing populism in Europe, including Finland, and the fear for “the other ” is becoming stronger.

Land is a four-letter word. A piece of cake.

Land-Institut originated through the collaboration of the Berlin based artists and art workers Monica Araus, Freja Bäckman and Vappu Jalonen. Land-Institut’s starting point is the exhibition place, the Finnish Institute, which functions as a forum for Finnish art and culture, science and technology as well as economy in Germany.

We here see a necessity to reflect on the place itself and to investigate the land construct, which it is a part of. The Finnish Institute is part of Land-Institut.

What is a land? The works are responses to this question and hope to open the question further.
We want to look for other possibilities, how land can be and is thought of and seen as.
No new definitions are to be created, but the word itself is to be examined and the concealed constructs within. They should open up, how, we leave that open.

An important aspect of Land-Institut are the workshops and discussions with artists and activists. The basis for the workshops consider the question What is land? As a result of the discussions in Land-Institut, we will come to produce our own Atlas. Lena Siebertz and Jovana Komnenic will present their works in a discussion, which will afterwards also be shown as part of Land-Institut.

Also in the Program:

Thu 24 February, Thu 24 March, Thu 7 April, always 9.30–11.30 am:
 Workshops for the school classes

Wed 2 March, 7 pm: Discussion with guests and the audience: Jovana
Komnenic, Lena Siebertz and TBA

Wed 30 March 7 pm: Workshop for adults

Thu 28 April 7 pm: Finissage with Artists’ talk

If you want to take part in a workshop, please sign up at least one
week in advance: tel.
030 520 02 60 10, info (at)

Where: The Finnish-Institute, Georgenstr. 24 (1. floor), 10117 Berlin-Mitte

Opening hours: Mon 10 am–5 pm, Tue–Thu 11 am–7 pm, Fri 9 am–3 pm