The exhibition is named after a term used in psychology. Arctic hysteria refers to behavorial models formed under the influence of Arctic climate on the mind. The exhibition embraces artworks that interpret cultural cliches and stereotypes of specific national characteristics of Finns.

One of such stereotypes accentuates the supposedly close connection of Finnish people with nature. The human-nature relationship emerges as a sort of connecting thread throughout Arctic Hysteria, bridging generations and boundaries of genre in Finnish contemporary art. The utopian optimism of the 1960s and 1970s concerning technological progress is confronted with an anxiety about the environment and future in the works of younger artists. This reflects a general change that has happened in the world at large during the last four decades: From the science-fiction utopia of a new era, a space age, we have to get back to Earth and acknowledge a reality in which, after centuries of neglect, we have no choice but to take seriously environmental threats such as the climate change.

The exhibition was originally produced to be shown at MoMA/P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York in 2008. The show in ROSPHOTO develops further the initial concept of the project and expands with new artworks that have been added to the exhibition recently.

The original exhibition was made possible with support of Gerda and Salomo Wuorio Foundation, Alfred Kordelin Foundation, Finnish Cultural Foundation, Finnish Film Foundation, Arts Council of Finland.


Veli Granö, Ilkka Halso, Pekka Jylhä, Tellervo Kalleinen & Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, Reijo Kela, Erkki Kurenniemi, Tea Mäkipää, Pink Twins , Petri Sirviö, Anni Rapinoja, Jari Silomäki, Mika Taanila, Salla Tykkä.

Curated by

Marketta Haila (Finland) and Alanna Heiss (USA)


Artists' Association of Finland, FRAME Finnish Fund for Art Exchange

Supported by

Ministry for Culture of the Russian Federation, Committee for Culture of St.-Petersburg, Ministry for Culture of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Education and Culture Finland, Finnish Institute in St.-Petersburg, AVEK the Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture