Friday 22.8 at 6pm at Arkadia: An Apartment with Karelian Metaphysics by Kimmo Sarje

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Dear friend of Arkadia,

You are invited to ‘An Apartment with Karelian Metaphysics’ by Kimmo Sarje on Friday 22.8 at 6pm at Arkadia (Nervanderinkatu 11)

Kimmo Sarje will speak of his book “An Apartment on the Prospekt” which is about the metaphysics of Petrozavosk, the capital of Russian Karelia. The book is an experiment in artistic research, a montage of texts and photographs.

The talk will be in English


Warm regards,


Entrance is free but a donation of €3 (or more!) to fund the bookshop is suggested and would be most welcome. Arkadia wouldn’t exist without this act of generosity. If you have no loose change or coins we gladly accept payment via Visa Electron or Mastercard etc. !

Text by Kimmo Sarje

During the summer of 2003 I spent a month as a Nordic art grant recipient living in an apartment building in Prospekt Lenina (Lenin Avenue) in the centre of Petrozavodsk. The building predated World War II and there were no ideological ornaments on its façades. During the Finnish occupation in World War II it had been a dormitory for Finnish nurses.

The history of Finland and the Soviet Union was crystallized in my two-room flat. It was rented from a private individual, and according to its owner it was used in the 1940s by the young Soviet politician Yuri Andropov. However, there were no objects related to him in the flat, which was decorated in a fairly anonymous Soviet style. I became interested in the predominantly brown world of colour of the apartment and the design of the objects there. I photographed the flat and the stairwell leading to it.

While in Petrozavodsk, I read the war-time diaries of education and propaganda officers of the Finnish army. These texts became part of my gaze. In the book I juxtapose photographs of the flat and the architecture of Petrozavodsk with excerpts from Finnish and Soviet texts about the war and Karelia. Additions to the montage are a few parallels with photographs of war-time Petrozavodsk by army photographers. The notes of my travel diary also become a part of the whole. Petrozavodsk is a place that offers a view of Finland.

Biography of Kimmo Sarje

Kimmo Sarje (born 1951) PhD is a visual artist. He is Adjunct Professor in Aesthetics at the University of Helsinki and has been the research coordinator of the doctoral programme of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts (2010–2012). Sarje has studied at the University of Helsinki and participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York in 1986–1987. He is professionally active as a researcher, critic, curator and visual artist, with issues of the modern, the post-modern and socialism as his specific areas of interest. Kimmo Sarje has written and edited several books on art, architecture and philosophy, and his artworks are in the collections of leading Finnish art museums.

Sarje’s doctoral dissertation Sigurd Frosteruksen modernin käsite – Arkkitehtuuri ja maailmankatsomus (Sigurd Frosterus’ Conception of the Modern – Architecture and World View) from 2000 is on the transition to the modern in Finland during the first decades of the 20th century with reference to the activities of Sigurd Frosterus (1876–1956), a leading architect and critic of the period. Sarje has edited Frosterus’s writings on art, the philosophy of technology and architecture in a Finnish-language version of three volumes. He has also edited, together with Norbert Korrkek and Lia Lindner, a collection of Frosterus’ writings in German translation, which will be published by Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in 2014. In his collection of writings entitled Philosophy of Montage, Montage of Philosophy (2003), Sarje addresses issues of art and politics of the close of the 20th century through philosophical and visual essays. Briefe aus Nirgendwo is a work edited by Sarje on the influence of the former German Democratic Republic on Finnish left-wing intellectuals which was published by the Pori Art Museum in 2005 as part of the artist’s montage exhibition of the same name. Issues of artistic research are discussed in the anthology Artists as Researchers – A New Paradigm for Art Education in Europe edited by Kimmo Sarje together with Jan Kaila, Mika Hannula and Roger Palmer and published by the University of the Arts Helsinki in 2013.