Monday, 10 August 2015

Gothic Art in Spotlight: Haunted House Resurrected by Roger Ballen

I have survived my road trip in Finland! I wish to feature some of the prettiest and most disturbing parts into two, three, or more, posts during the following weeks.

I shall probably also make a post about not so goth-y but still cool things about Finland, so bare with me even if I camouflage myself as a travel blogger! ;)

I already allowed one creepy little girl make a quick cameo role in a previous post but she won't be the star of this one. Like a slave I shall obey the idea of time and feature in the chronological order the first amazing artwork I encountered on my trip.

As mentioned in another previous post, I went to a road trip in Finland and among other things, reached the most northern place I have been (so far). I represented 50% of our little team of travelers but this time the saying "the more the merrier" did not ring truth. We two goth-y creatures were quite excited and content in our little vehicle and were unanimous about what should we do during our vacation.

Our first stop was the municipality of Mänttä-Vilppula, where is situated a grand art museum: the Serlachius Museums' Gösta museum. There were several exhibitions, but the one called "Touching from a Distance" stole our hearts.

Inside a huge exhibition room was a whole house. A really creepy, ominous house.
This house sized installation was designed by photographer Roger Ballen. The house is a real house from the woods of the municipality Mänttä-Vilppula. The installation is from 2014 and the title is Resurrected.

Alas, at some parts the house was just too dimly lit to take decent photos (no flash allowed!) so I'll just have to describe some of the content.

First of all, one could walk around in the house and it was really great! Outside there was a screen with live security camera footage so basically other viewers of the exhibition became a part of the artwork themselves. There were also some pretty disturbing heads hanging on the wall.

There were four adult size dolls in the house. One was reading a newspaper in the living room and the radio was on.  On the air one could hear news footage about the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster. That was a real thing in 1986, Ukraine, and Finland was one of the countries that were in the reach of the nuclear fallout. Not a huge dosage, but still.
In the kitchen there was two life size dolls, one sitting on the table (in decent lighting) and another beside the stove (not as much. She was brewing a gross looking carcass of a march hare). In the room an awful demanding and aggressive voice cried out for food, to be fed. It was easy to assume they were the words of this creature sitting behind the table.
As you can see, the whole house has this atmosphere of abandonment. Walls are smudged with graffiti, birds have flown through windows and other small things.

From inside the house there was only one stairway to the second floor.
We climbed the squeaky stairs and then heard snoring. When we got to the end of the stairs we saw a "sleeping human" still holding an ax.

Not the most soothing thing, or what do you think?

I hope you enjoyed this tour around the creepy house with me! I have to confess I was almost delirious while roaming around the place. Stay tuned for other marvelous and spine-tingling art from Finland.

Next up: The creepy little girl from Oulu!


  1. That house is pretty creepy. And just the picture of that creepy little girl is giving me the heebie jeebies all over again :p

    Glad you had a good traveling buddy! Sounds like you had a blast.

  2. That house is cool, I love good installation art.

  3. I'm not sure I'd have been able to even go upstairs! That is seriously creepy. :o

  4. gothy road trip sounds even more perfect with this post, jade, we need more :-D

  5. Wow, what a terrifying house!!!

    I want to have a Gothy road trip one day!

  6. Wow!
    That house is enthralling!

    Anya (

  7. oh wow that is so rad! and creepy :D