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Finnish Noir by Pilvi Kalhama, (extract from a larger article)


If Finnish Noir were a genre, Juhana Moisander`s (b. 1977) work would serve as its paragon.Moisander`s  moving. Image works always use of their venue.  The topics of his works are based on ordinary cultural themes of the day, which Moisander combines with a pitch-black aesthetic inspired by the horror genre. Set up in dim space, the works acquire their force from the immersiveness of the experience, the forebonding and even frighting mood generated by the movements and sounds of figures floating in the intangible, black immnesity of Moisander´s works. The sense of dreat is subtly present. But, instead of being truly frightening , the works play with the universal human desire to be scared, that same titillation that makes us read detective stories or watch horror movie on a dark, stormy night. An awareness of the contrived nature of the situation is a vitally important and key feature of Moisander´s works.


In a new topical piece entitled Hukka (Wolf), Moisander slyly mocks ultra-nationalism. Wearing a flight jacket, commando mask and a fur hat, the man seen in the video huffs and puffs without actually sayning anything.  Initially, the figure appears threatening, but because he is almost totally passive, his bluster soon loses its power and the viewer begins to chuckle at the figure. When I stare at the huffing character, I actually find myself starting to feel compassion towards him. I realise I am looking at someone who is utterly lost and frustrated. Moisander is shrewd enough to avoid pointing a finger at anything or anybody, yet he has created a revealing image of passive and repressed hatred. The Finnish title of the piece, Hukka, is a word familiar from old folklore and fairy tales, and it even has a slight lyricism to it. Although it does refer to the wolf, one of its meanings is also ”to be lost”. The title says it all and makes me think that today more then ever it is imperative that we be able to comprehend and deal with the causes of extremist attitudes. 

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