True Finn at the National Museum

IHME Project 2014, Yael Bartana: True Finn. Still image.

“Optimistic that art can spark conversations and peaceful change, Bartana gives us representations of egalitarianism that are at once necessary, complex, and, yes, true.”

Lauren O’Neill-Butler, Artforum 3/2015


“In its lightness and positiveness, the best, most easily  digested message to send to the Finns in these times about what it means to be Finnish.”

Audience feedback


The 2014 IHME Project, Yael Bartana’s True Finn, can be seen on the big screen again, in the auditorium at the National Museum of Finland at 14:00–17:00 on 1 October 2015, the Day of Foundations and Donors. Entrance is free.

The work commissioned from the Israeli artist takes up issues of Finnishness and national identity that are still highly topical in Finland: How does national identity operate as a means of inclusion and exclusion? What are the mechanisms for this in Finland? Can an immigrant become a true Finn? Who actually is a true Finn?

The film combines reality TV, staged scenes and archive material, and has not been seen on the big screen in Finland since its premiere in March 2014. True Finn has since toured internationally from New York to Amsterdam, and has met with an enthusiastic response from critics.

The Day of Foundations and Donors includes six films that have been backed by Finnish foundations. The films broadly reflect the different roles and remits of the various foundations, but all of them address themes of Finnishness and changes in Finnish society.

Programme details for the afternoon can be found here.

Read more about True Finn in the IHME online publication 2014 or watch the discussions at the 2014 IHME Days on the IHME Contemporary Art Festival’s YouTube channel.