Carl Sebastian Lindberg: Home and Country (Heim und Heimat) 1.5. – 23.5.2015
Installation and video
*** INVITATION – Opening Friday 30th April 2015 6-8PM in the presence of the Artist. Snacks & drinks. Warmly welcome! ***
The subject of the documentary exhibition Home and Country is a childhood marked by World War II in Finland. The artwork is now shown for the first time as an installation in Germany. The exhibition consists of an installation and a short documentary film and is based on interviews with the author Ann-Mari Lindberg.
Carl Sebastian Lindberg`s short film and installation Home and Country (2013) has been controversial and debated in Finland because it brings up the union between Finland and Nazi-Germany during World War II. When it was shown in Helsinki it sparked a debate about the relationship between Finland and Nazi-Germany during the Second World War.
Carl Sebastian Lindberg writes about his work:
“Home and Country relates the experiences of my aunt, the author Ann-Mari Lindberg, as a child during the Second World War in Finland. I wanted to portray the experiences of my aunt’s generation and the impact these experiences have had on her and her values, because I believe that the experiences of earlier generations are in some way embedded in us, even though we might not know how.
The starting point of the work is microhistorical, I have wanted to recount small events from the life of a child, but through these also deal with the bigger historical events of the war. For example, the breakout of the war is told through Ann-Mari’s father’s purchase of gas masks for the entire family, and how the her mother sewed snow camouflage suits for the children – the same kind of camouflage suits worn by the soldiers at the front.
The alliance of Finland with Nazi Germany is touched upon when Ann-Mari talks about how it felt to do the Nazi salute and march to the beat in the German School in Helsinki.
I have wanted to use the microhistorical and fragmented perspective and narrative mode of the film as a device to avoid the glorification of war experiences – and thereby the glorification of war. Apart from interviews and material from different archives the film also uses war-time newsreels by the Finnish Defence Forces. The newsreels are blatantly propagandist and racist, likening the Russians to rats and lice.”
When the work was shown in Helsinki for the first time, former member of parlament Jutta Zilliacus wrote in the newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet denying claims made by Ann-Mari Lindberg in the film that the students of The German School in Helsinki did Nazi salutes and that the students waved Swastika-flags. After another former student, Endel Kingo, wrote about how he remembered that doing Nazi salutes was a regular part of the school and Carl Sebastian Lindberg wrote about research done about the school which proved that the school was neither free from Nazi symbols or Nazi ideology, Zilliacus retracted her claims and wrote that “There was nothing illegal with the swastika”.
Carl Sebastian Lindberg writes: “Finland hasn’t yet faced up to it’s Nazi past.”
*** EINLADUNG – Vernissage am Freitag, den 30. April 2015, 18-20 Uhr. Der Künstler ist anwesend. Snacks und Getränke. Herzlich willkommen! ***
Thematischer Rahmen der dokumentarischen Ausstellung “Home and Country” sind vom 2. Weltkrieg geprägte Kindheitserfahrungen in Finnland. Die Ausstellung basiert auf ausführlichen Interviews mit der Autorin Ann-Mari Lindberg und besteht aus einer Installation und einem Dokumentarfilm. Die Arbeit wird nun zum ersten Mal in Deutschland gezeigt.
Carl Sebastian Lindberg`s Arbeit “Home and Country” hat in Finnland zu einer Kontroverse geführt, da der Film und die zugehörige Installation die Zusammenarbeit zwischen Finnland und Nazi-Deutschland während des 2. Weltkrieges thematisiert. In Finnland wird dieses Thema nur ungern in der öffentlichen Debatte erörtert.