Texter/Recensioner/tal (Svenska)  :

Leif Elggren invigningstal Konstakademien 2023

Sven-Olov Wallenstein "Ansikte, huvud" 2023
Anders Olofsson "En spång mellan minnet och glömskan" 2023

Niels Hebert "Ursprungets gåta" Om konst 2018
Magdalena Ljung (Dziurlikowska) "Biskup Morski" 2017
Carolina Söderholm "Känslostarkt om kluvna världar" 2017
Johanna Lundberg "Mutanen gräver bland sina rötter" ttela 2017 
Helena Mutanen utställningstext "Besvärjelser" 2017

Anna Nordbeck "Skulpturens rum-rummets skulptur" 2015 
Konstperspektiv recension av bok "Spricker som rötter" 2015
Magdalena Ljung (Dziurlikowska) "Helena Mutanen" Katalog 2014
Katarina Kieri, Invigningstal Narratio Norrtälje konsthall 2013
M Levin-Blekastad ”Berättelser om identitet och minnen” 2013
Carolina Söderholm ”Få men starka kvinnliga verk” 2013

Anders Marner ”Konsten att göra en pudel” 2012
Harri Mäcklin ”Mina minnens overkliga Karelen” 2012
Jessica Kempe ”Verkligare än verkligheten” DN-2012
Jan Hinderson ” Utställning med mycket hjärta” 2012

Anders Olofsson “Helena Mutanen på S.P.G.” Konsten. www.konsten.net 2010
Susanne Slöör “Livets bandage” Om konst  www.omkonst.com 2010
Marja-Leena Sillanpää ” Helena Mutanen-utställning”  http://marjaleena.blogg.se 2010
Gunilla Petri " Mutanen skapar rum i klaustrofobisk miljö " Barometern 2009
Björn Gunnarsson, Konsthallen/Hamnmagasinet Varberg 
​18 april-17 maj 2009

Miriam Löwenstein "Vem är Helena Mutanen"
​Zenit Kulturtidningen i Väst 2009

Conny Bengtsson "Skräck bara en del i Mutanens uttryck" 
Varbergs Posten 2009
Magnus Sjöbleke "Mutanen hittar ut i offentliga miljöer" 
Hallands Nyheter 2009
Frida Cornell ”Sällsamma berättelser” Konstpersperspektiv nr 3. 2008
Martin Hägg ”Dr Mutanens Skräckkabinett” HD 2008
Carolina Söderholm ”Surrealism som skräms” SydSvenskan 2008
Pia Kristoffersson, Anders Olofsson, Frida Cornell, Katalog utgiven i samband med utställningen series på SPGallery, Stockholm januari 2008
Anders Olofsson ”Gå och se”, website, www.konsten.net , 2008
Camilla Hammarström ”Otäckt roligt” Aftonbladet, 2006
Anders Jansson ” Lustfyllda läbbigheter”, Ljusnan, 2006
Niels Hebert ”Människan spökar” Arbetarbladet, 2006
Sanna Wikström ”Läs Helenas journal” Gefle Dagblad, 2006
Sophie Allgård och Estelle af Malmborg ”Svensk konst nu – 85 konstnärer födda efter 1960”
Sveriges allmänna konstförenings årsbok, 2004
Sebastian Johans ”En hyllning till de små infallen” Upsala Nya Tidning, 2005
Gunilla Petri “Belönade konstnärer rör sig i gränslandet till det tvetydiga” Barometern, 2005
Stefan Nilsson ”Längtan, rädslor, drömmar och referenser” Nerikes Allehanda,2005 
Pauli Olavi Kuivanen ”Installation i olika skepnader” Norrköpings tidningar, 2003
Lars O Eriksson ”Julskinkan fastnar i halsen” Dagens Nyheter, 2001
Ulrika Knutsson ”Blondiner, dammråttor och proteser” Intervju i Månadsjournalen nr: 3 mars 2000 
Nils Ågren, ”Helena Mutanen tilldelas Bror Marklundstipendiet” Nya Norrland, 1999
Anders Olofsson, ”det goda” website, www.konsten.net , 1999
Ulrika Knutsson, ”Hårfin konst” Månads journalen nr.3, 1999
Lars O Ericsson, ”Skidan slinter för mumien” Dagens Nyheter, 1999
Karolina Ramquist, ”Vit rastafari ses som spion” Dagens Nyheter, 1999
Agneta Nordenankar, ”konsten har krupit ur sitt ide” Stockholm art fair, Dagens Nyheter, 1997
Jan Håfström, “konstguiden, något av 1700-talet.” Dagens Nyheter, 1997 
Texts selected, (English):
https://www.hhs.se/sv/samverkan/sse-initiatives/art-initiative/MariaBonnierDahlin/helena-mutanen/Stockholm: Bonnier fakta.

Conjoined Roots - (jus soli / jus sanguinis)
Conjoined roots is a hanging sculpture made of waxed textile. When I developed it, I used two basic concepts.
“Jus soli” and “jus sanguinis” are translated as “right of the soil” and “right of blood”. They are principles for the determination of citizenship. The unconditional “jus soli” is the principle upon which nationality is automatically granted through birthplace. Based on “jus sanguinis”, citizenship is inherited through parents, not through birthplace.
These principles are used in different parts of the world. The two branches (the legs) symbolizes the concepts. The legs are a body part that is used for movement, and the root is anchored. “Conjoined” implies to come together as one. Roots tell us about belonging. The shape of the two ends pointing down, together with the great body, create a supernatural image. The form is biologically impossible for such a large root.


Opening speech at the Narratio exhibition, Norrtälje konsthall, 
21 September 2013,  Katarina Kieri
​Two things happen at the same time when I walk around Helena Mutanen’s Narratio exhibition: The first is, of course, that I start looking and reading, this in turn sets in motion things inside myself, memories are awoken, associations arise, questions occur.
When I see Abandoned Island – the photographs on the right as you come in – I immediately think: I’ve been in a forest like that.
Core – in the room to the right – evokes a purely physical sensation, you feel it in your chest, as a chaffing between your ribs, as a shortness of breath, as a pain, as something you can’t get away from.
The installation Grandmother’s Lot – in which my maternal grandmother’s plait hangs in the kitchen window in Kaunisvaara in Torne Valley. My grandmother, born in 1900, still had her long, very fine hair well into the 1970s, I remember how she sat on the edge of the bed in the evening, plaiting it; my grandmother was very small and it was a thin, thin plait, but that is precisely how big it is in my memory, and it was there in the kitchen.
I make further associations. I look at something lying beneath the window, on the planking floor or the bridge. I see brains connected together with rope. I think about memories, about how we each individually carry our own memories, and how we carry them together with others with whom we are connected. Or perhaps even bound up with, how we take these memories further, how they are transformed on the way, like in Chinese whispers, in which the meaning that was whispered first has become a totally different one by the time it is finally spoken aloud. I think of how we hold onto the memories we need, and get rid of those we do not need. How life changes and, suddenly, we still need those memories, those narratives.
In the three films that are being shown in the innermost room Helena Mutanen’s mother retells, re-creates, events from her own, her parents’ and her paternal grandmother’s life, we get to go along with her, back to the second half of the 19th century, we get to listen to the memories and, in that same instant, they become our memories, too; we can lay our own brains there on the planking floor, lump them together with the other brains.
That, as I said, is one of the things that happens inside me. I begin to remember, I begin to make associations. From this I take on board the parts in which I can recognise something. I am perplexed by those that raise questions.

The other thing that happens, at exactly the same time, is that I begin to think about artistic creation itself, about the artistic process itself.
Back to Abandoned Island, four photographs. I look at them. My interpretation of this is that these are old photographs and recently taken photographs; my interpretation of this is that the old ones are blurred and the new ones are sharp. I think: Memory is blurred, but memories are sharp. Consequently: Memory is blurred, but images of memory are sharp.

Memory is clearly totally inescapable in a creative work. Memory contains everything; everything we have been involved in, everything we have experienced, seen and thought, right from the beginning until now; from birth right up to the things we have seen just a couple of seconds ago, and which are now there in our memories. It is this that, as an artist, one has to dip into, consciously or unconsciously, willingly or unwillingly.

There is an exercise that I often do on writing courses. You start by putting pen to paper and writing: I remember. And then you write something that you remember, something far back in time, or right now. Then you write as much, at as much length, as you want or can, until you are satisfied. When this is exhausted, you again write: I remember and grab onto the next memory that pops up. I usually call this fishing in the well of memory. The formulation I remember is the baited hook that you lower into the well of memory, and then you see what you will get out of there, what will attach itself to your hook. This writing exercise was, naturally, the first thing I thought of when I entered the konsthall and saw the Fisherman installation at the entrance. Hooks hanging on a branch over some water; and what do we find on the tree trunk to which the hooks are connected if not a brain, the place where the whole of our life is found gathered together? As to what impulses lie behind the work in Helena Mutanen’s case I, naturally, have no idea, but it immediately took me onto the track of the memory fisher.
Not all our memories are crystal clear, many are, of course, entirely forgotten or buried, and some of them are there only as blurred images, like a fragrance, like an atmosphere, a feeling, a fear. But when we, nevertheless, set about formulating them, in words or images or shapes, they immediately acquire contours, become sharp. The memory is blurred, but the image of the memory is sharp. It is the artistic process that makes it sharp, which gives it depth, or which diverges from the memory itself, which goes its own way; a new, a totally different, perhaps even a truer way. The artistic process makes art out of material, gives us a new access to reality, gives us a new access to unreality.

‘Sharp’ is also a term, a formulation that comes to me when I walk around Helena Mutanen’s exhibition. ‘Stability’ is another. ‘Carefully considered’ a third. And I think there is something in the exactness, for example, in the distance between these two tree trunks and in the length of the line, further marked off by a clothes peg, which opens up my own channels of association.

The way that all the works stand and hang so steadily and stably, gives me a chance to go into them and investigate them, using what is there in myself.

Katarina Kieri, author
Artist Statement
My starting point is usually personal stories, self-perceived events in the past or in the present. I have worked a lot with origin, belonging and identity in recent years, because this is my own story. I’m interested in the stories. The ideas decide what medium will be used. I use many different materials and combinations in sculptures, installations and objects.For me, the aim is to reduce and compress, while rendering the complexity of the artwork’s expression and meaning.
The Inexistent Karelia of My Memories  
Not Any Closer, until 30 September 2012 in Gallery Sculptor 

Art. A low-tuned lute plays a melancholy tune by itself. The heavy notes echo like raindrops in the gallery where everything is dead and monochromatic. The twigs of dry pinewood are pale and grey, like bones gnawed by the wind, a skull stares from a tangle of roots. The Karelia of memories has seldom seemed so bleak.

The Finnish debut exhibition of Helena Mutanen (b. 1965) is gripping. Mutanen is the daughter of a family that relocated from Karelia to Sweden, where she was born and raised. In the exhibition in Gallery Sculptor, she searches for her roots which she has only heard about in her mother's sad stories. The title of the show, Not Any Closer, suggests that she does not wish or is unable to go any further than this.

The symbolically charged installations in the gallery create an atmosphere that is simultaneously distancing and oddly prosaic – a world in which reality is inseparably entwined with dark images. The works communicate a sense of homelessness, but also a sense of belonging to a place the artist has visited only in her imagination.
In the exhibition, brains, entrails and charred hearts are transformed into grotesque symbols of an identity in search of its place, while also imparting a measured intensity to the subtle and reserved installations.

An impressive show which gives hope that Mutanen would continue her quest in Finland also in the future.

Harri Mäcklin 
Helsingin Sanomat  / Helsinki Times Sept 2012
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