FinnCycling-Soumi-Perkele! Vol. 2 (film 2018/installation 2017)

Perkele is a cursing word in Finnish and refers to the devil. Suomi means Finland in Finnish, but Soumi means absolutely nothing. FinnCycling-Soumi-Perkele! dives into the dark side of Finland. It is a combination of politics, dark humour and protest rap in a form of an indoor cycling exercise: one woman’s gritty protest against all-male austerity politics.

FinnCycling-Soumi-Perkele! Vol. 1 (2016)


FinnCycling-Soumi-Perkele! Vol. 1
Video installation
1 h

FinnCycling-Soumi-Perkele! is a "spinning"-type exercise bike class that explores topics such as work and Finnish austerity politics. The viewer can take part in the exercise programme led by the Artist Martta Tuomaala, by cycling on one of the exercise bikes available.

The artwork is part of a broader You-Can-Do-It! project that explores work-related topics and the role of women in Finnish society.

The crew:
Written, directed, performed & produced by Martta Tuomaala / Music APROX. & R. Liininen / Rap & lyrics Terttu Järvelä / Cinematography, lighting & color grading Kerttu Hakkarainen / Sound design & sound recording Ilmari Jyskä / Graphics, animations & editing Johannes Valkonen / Translation Milla Clynes / Subtitles Ville Hakonen & Jussi Sandhu, Wacky Tie Films

Production and exhibition funded by:
Suomen kulttuurirahasto
Saaren kartano
Taiteen edistämiskeskus

Cleaner's Voice (2014)


Siivoojan ääni (Finnish title)
Documentary video installation
Version 2 / 16-channel installation 2014
Version 1 / 8-channel installation 2012
Spoken languages: Arabic, English, Estonian, Finnish, Russian and Yoruba
Variable durations

Dagmar has been working 16 hour days from Monday to Sunday without overtime pay. Leena has had to drive buses after only an hour of training and Kirsti became homeless when her resilience was not sufficient.

At one time, the cleaner was a familiar face in the workplace. Under the guise of the depression in the 90´s a decision was made, to privatise and outsource services, to incorporate as well as to tender contracts. The employee's position changed significantly. Now, the cleaner has the most noticeable uniform in the building, but they are still invisible.

In the installation, it is the voices of the cleaners that are heard. The work depicts the general structures of the cleaning industry and simultaneously relates the story of the cleaner in Finnish society, from the worker´s own point of view.

The Crew:
Directing, Script & Production Martta Tuomaala / Cinematography Kerttu Hakkarainen / Editing Ville Hakonen / Sound Design Ilmari Jyskä & Tuukka Nikkilä / Recordists Markus Hellas & Martta Tuomaala / Mask & Headdress Laura Malinen / Colorist Hannu Käki / Graphic Design Johannes Valkonen / Subtitles Jussi Sandhu / Production year 2012 Kaisla Viitala

XX Mänttä Art Festival exhibition funded by:
JHL – Julkisten ja hyvinvointialojen liitto
Helsingin Sosiaalinen Oikeudenmukaisuus ry
PAM – Palvelualojen ammattiliitto
PAM – Etelä-Pohjanmaan osasto ry 031
PAM – Helsingin Kauppatyöntekijät ry osasto 001
PAM – Pääkaupunkiseudun siivous ja toimitilapalvelut ry osasto 555
Yrjö Sirolan Säätiö

Production funded by:
AVEK The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture / Elena Näsänen 2014 & Heidi Tikka 2012
Kone Foundation
Arts Promotion Centre Finland
Artists' and Writers' Association Kiila
Kansan sivistysrahasto
Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture Support Foundation

The Right Not To Be Silent (2014)


Oikeus olla olematta hiljaa (Finnish title)
Short documentary
13 min 11 sec

The maintaining of our well-being is hidden in the structures we might not choose to recognize. The film is a manifesto for cleaners.

Taiteellinen työryhmä:
Directing, Script & Production Martta Tuomaala / Cinematography Kerttu Hakkarainen / Editing Ville Hakonen / Sound Design Ilmari Jyskä / Colorist Hannu Käki / Recordist Martta Tuomaala / Subtitles Jussi Sandhu

AVEK The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture / Elena Näsänen
Kone Foundation
Arts Promotion Centre Finland

I Am A Spider (2013)


I Am A Spider
Short documentary
27 min 23 sec

Skateboards make noise. Skaters hang out in public, getting their kicks in the same urban space that most other people just pass through on the way to their daily duties. Fearlessness, the ability to laugh at pain, and a generally relaxed life are what usually make it to film when recording skate culture. I Am a Spider opens up other viewpoints.

The Crew:
Director, script writer & recordist Martta Tuomaala / Production Mikko Helmanen / Cinematography Kerttu Hakkarainen / Editing Ville Hakonen & Jussi Sandhu / Sound Design Ilmari Jyskä / Music APROX. / Colorist Hannu Käki / Graphic Design Johannes Valkonen / Production Company Wacky Tie Films

Kone Foundation
The Finnish Film Foundation / Elina Kivihalme

Made In Finland (2012)


Made In Finland
8 min 50 sec

Swaying back and forth may feel comforting, but can be oppressive if there's no way out. The video consists of three different real-life stories experienced by Finns.

What is productivity today in Finland? How does it leave its mark?

Half is Whole (2011)


Puolikas kokonainen (Finnish title)
Documentary / Three Channel Installation
10 min.
16 mm film / HD

Half is Whole is a three channel documentary discussing single parenting. The work is partly based on my own memories and experiences as a child of a single parent. I am approaching the subject through the friendship of mother and daughter.

Through my work I want to emphasize that an ideal family is based on trust, whatever the composition of the family. The installation is my tribute to all of those who have been able to give their support to their offspring, despite the troubles.

AVEK The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture / Heidi Tikka.
Tampere University of Applied Sciences, the Programme of Art and Media.

Strange Walls (2011)


Vieraat seinät (Finnish title)
Martta Tuomaala and Mikko Keskiivari
Short Fiction
17 min

A teenage girl and her grandfather live quiet life together in a desolated village. Their relationship is significant, but the communication between them is difficult. The stagnant atmosphere suddenly changes when unexpected guests appear. When the barn is empty and the fields are on rent, there is time left to build visions; the inhabitants of the house meet each other in their own dreams.

Strange Walls talks about different attitudes and similarities between generations and cultures. It is also a story about expectations towards family concentrated on the research of social structures and communication.

Trailer of the video:

AVEK The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture / Heidi Tikka.
Tampere University of Applied Sciences, the Programme of Art and Media.

Adam's Apples (2010)


Aatamin naiset (Finnish title)
Short fiction / dance film
12 min.

Adam’s Apples is an experimental dance film that deals with mobbing at workplace and mass behavior. It’s a story of factory workers who end up as victims of their own behavior.

The main characters in the video are two factory workers; women who are competing for the attention of the same man. The man in the video is still only an object on the background, just a side issue and one of the million reasons to start a fight. The agony and weird behavior of the main characters starts spreading around the factory and everyone has to choose a side.

The dance scenes in the video are mostly improvisation. Most of the characters seen in the video are played by non-professionals in order to get the taste of real life to the work. In addition to imaginary world and dance scenes there are more realistic scenes in the video that deals with mobbing and are based on true stories.

Speech Bubbles @ City (2010)


Speech Bubbles @ City
Martta Tuomaala ja Essi Laurila
Community Art Project 2009–2010

Speech Bubbles @ City was a comic strip community art project that proposed negotiation of the use of public space by encouraging young people to express their thoughts in a creative way.

Together with Essi Laurila we realized a comic strip workshop for 15-18-year-old youngsters. Theme for the comics made during the workshop was things the participants didn’t have chance or courage to do. 11 large comic strips were made in the long-term process and the goal was to get the stories exhibited outside in the public space. The comics were published in the centre of Tampere as a part of an exhibition “Promoting Changes” which took place in the Labor Museum Werstas.

The project was also realized together with teenagers from Czech Republic as a smaller workshop at See You Festival in Dortmund, Germany. The comics drawn by Finnish youngsters were exhibited as prints at the festival as well. Speech Bubbles @ City was awarded in Dortmund for the concept that according to the jury took the participants’ own opinions especially in consideration.

Anonymous Science (2008)


Anonymous Science
Community Art Project in 2008

Anonymous Science asks what freedom of speech means to us and emphasizes the importance of learning from one another. It also deals with differences in the ways of communication: using one’s own handwriting publicly is juxtaposed to writing on the internet anonymously.

In 2008 I took part in the site-specific art competition, which was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tampere. The task was to plan an artwork on a pedestrian street in a certain place in the centre of Tampere. My idea was to create a place where all the people passing-by could gather around and write about things that are important to them. That year my project won the competition and it was realized. I had the chance to exhibit my constantly changing artwork for three months.

A large black notice board was built on a plinth in the centre of Tampere. I spent time near the artwork five days a week, four hours a day. I had small note papers and water-proof pencils with me for the people passing by. There were two letterboxes on the left and the right side of the notice board. In the end of the day I took the notes out of the boxes and glued them on the wall in certain groups by subjects.

In the end of the project there were over 700 notes on the notice board; opinions about the politics, religion, sexuality, love, drawings, poems, greetings et cetera. Still the most significant part of the artwork was the social behavior around the project. Regardless of age, status or any other differences random people who passed by started talking to each other about the different subjects written on the notice board.

Website of the project (only in Finnish):