Matti Aikio


Matti Aikio, born 1980 is attending MA program in contemporary art at the Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art. He comes originally from Vuotso, southern most sámi village in Finland. He is also reindeer herder and participates frequently in reindeer herding work. Aikio works mainly with video installations, film, photography, sound and spatial installations. His artistic motivation is rising from an attempt to try understand nomadic world view and nomadic philosophy if such exists. He states that the ever-increasing conflict between indigenous communities and nation states is a symptom of the collision of two fundamentally different worlds that cannot co-exist in the same territory. As even the Nordic states such as Finland and Norway are tightening their grip on native Sámi people’s lands and resources, the resistance of the indigenous communities only proves that they haven’t been completely colonized yet. Recently Aikio’s works have been seen at shows among Tromsø, Oslo, Salamanca, Hammerfest, New Castle, Rovaniemi, Hamburg, Valencia, Singapore, Milan, Santiago de Chile and Ii. In 2014, he participated at Sao Paulo 31st Biennial in collaboration with COMO Clube.


Video, 06’ 40”, with sound

Sometimes doing nothing leads to something, and in the case of Aikio´s work it appears pertinent to take this nothingness as its starting point. The artist renders “Lávvu” as a continuous shot of a Sami lávvu, fuming with the smoke of the fire within, steaming with the clouds of melting and evaporating snow around it. It is the autumn, and the surrounding pine trees, just below the forest line, are starting to show their autumnal hues. “There is nothing happening” as Aikio reiterates in our discussion of the work. Perhaps the only indication that greater forces are at play are to be found in the call of the raven, a bird so often found in Sami mythology to evoke the ominous.

Nomad Talk

Video, 07’ 13”, with sound

Nomad Talk is an attempt to try understand nomadic thinking and relationship to such concepts as nature, home and space through storytelling. The stories are illustrated by by Sámi landscapes, partly shot in the biggest unprotected intact old-growth boreal forest in the Sámi region, a forest which is under constant threat to be cut down by Finnish state.


Both Lávvu and Nomad Talk are works in progress, or rather part of the same work in progress. They have also been previously shown as different parts of a same multi-screen video installations.