Tanja Koljonen

Term: November 2018 – January 2019

“Nordic-Leipzig” Stipendiary of the Goethe-Institut



Tanja Koljonen (1981, Finland) lives and works in Helsinki, Finland.

For the recent years my photographic work sees an increased dealing with language, and the visual, material potential of words and ideas. I’ve found it personally important to question the role of an image in the visual culture of today. Within the constant throb of information, images and texts embody structures of power whose conditionalities have surreptitiously come to believe as givens. My work often asks: what will reality be based on if stories are broken? How uncertain and fluid are the statements we encounter in what we read, see and hear? The gestures of concealment, deletion and rearrangement in my works have the effect of undermining literal interpretations and linear readability. Images and words disintegrate, a sentence is not enough for an idea. Language becomes limitless playground since it is our unique capability, a skill that distiguishes us humans from other animals.


2014 Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, MA in Photography, Hki, FI
2009 University of Art and Design Helsinki, BA in Photography, Hki, FI
2012 Moholo-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest, Photography, HU
2006-09 University of Art and Design Helsinki, BA in Photography, Helsinki, FI
2000-03 Art school Maa, Suomenlinna Helsinki, FI


Union of Photographic Artists in Finland and artist collective Maanantai, FI

Solo Exhibitions

2018 Photographic Centre Nykyaika, Tampere, FI
2017 Merz Sammonkatu, Tampere, FI
2017 Photographic Gallery Hippolyte, Helsinki, FI
2016 Between Two Dots, as part of European Month of Photography Berlin, Gallery TaiK Persons, Berlin, DE
2016 Päätäntähäntä with Anne Yli-Ikkelä, Gallery Huuto, Helsinki, FI
2015 Waiting for the Clouds to Vanish, Künstlerhaus Bethanien Gallery, Berlin, DE
2014 Art Berlin Contemporary, Station Berlin, presented by Gallery Taik Persons, Berlin, DE
2012 Repetitive Gestures (with Jaana Maijala), Gallery Taik, Berlin, DE
2012 Let Me See You (with Jaana Maijala), Napa Gallery, Helsinki, FI

Group exhibitions and presentations (selected)

2019 upcoming May together with Juuso Noronkoski at Gallery Maniere Noire, Berlin, DE
2018 Maanantai Collective at the Innsbruck Biennale of Arts, Innsbruck, AT
2016 Wasting My Grammar, together with Cia Rinne. Contemporary poetry reading in the opening of the show as part of Poets Corner/ Berlin Poesi Festival / Gallery Maniere Noire, Berlin, DE
2016 Artissima Art Fair, Torino, IT
2016 Ars Auttoinen, Auttoinen, FI
2016 Maanantai Collective at Fotografia Europea at Reggio Emilia, IT
2015 Maanantai Collective at Tallin Photomonth with / Kunstihoone Tallinn, Tallin, EE
2015 Intepreting the Frame, curated by Boshko Boscovic, with artists: Jonna Kina, Liinu Grönlund,
Zeljka Blaksic, Tatiana Istomina, Mikko Rikala sekä Juuso Noronkoski. Gallery Augusta, Helsinki,
FI / Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, FI
2015 In between Flashes of the Lighthouse by Maanantai Collective, Galerie Van der Mieden, Bruxelles, BE
2015 Notes on Location, with artists: Cia Rinne, Tove Storch, Kasper Hesselbjerg, Anngjerd Rustand, Amalie Smith
and Nanna Debois Buhl. DEN FRIE Center for Contemporary Arts, Copenhagen, DK
2015 How to Play, with Romy Rüegger and Dominique Koch, Gallery Annex14, Zürich, CH
2015 TOMROM, together with Andreas Tellefsen, Marit Roland, Joakim Blattmann, AikoTezuka,
Marianne Heier, Iselin Linstad Hauge, Christina Leithe H., Mattias Härenstram, Rikke
Lundgreen, Ignas Krunglevicius, Virginie Rebetz and Sam Smith, Sandevik, NO
2014 Vienna Art Fair, Vienna, AT / Artissima, Torino, IT / Paris Photo’14, Paris, FR / Unseeen Photo
Fair’14, Amsterdam, NL / Chart Art Fair, Copenhagen, DK
2014 In between Flashes of the Lighthouse by Maanantai Collective, Gallery Taik Persons, Berlin,DE
2014 Maanantai Collective at Mänttä Art Festival, Mänttä, FI
2014 Nine Nameless Mountains, Galleri Monopol, Warsaw, PL
2014 On My Transsitional Table, Eerikinkatu, Helsinki, FI
2014 Maanantai Collective at Galleri Gro, Pietarsaari, FI
2013 Gallery Brandstrup, Oslo, NO
2013 Paris Photo’13, Paris, FR / Vienna Art Fair ‘13, Vienna, AT / Unseen PhotoFair’13, Amsterdam
2013 Summer School / Vory Ry, Photographic Centre Peri, Turku, FI
2013 Summer School / Vory Ry, The Finnish Museom of Photography, Helsinki, FI
2013 Maanantai Collective, Alt.+1000 Photography festival, Rossiniére, CH
2013 Maanantai Collective, Nine Nameless Mountains, The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki
2013 Syntax of Parallels, together mith Beatrix Szörenyi and Gyorgy Szas, Ani Molnár Gallery, Budapest, HU
2013 At the End of the Rainbow, Felleshus, Berlin, DE
2012 Paris Photo, Gallery Taik, Paris, FR / Vienna Art Fair, Gallery Taik, Vienna, AT
2011 Cartes Flux, Media Art festival, Cable Factory Valssaamo, Helsinki, FI
2010 Maijala Koljonen Kopkina, Photographic centre Peri, Turku, FI
2009 Pit: photographs, Gallery Hiilikellari, Helsinki, FI
2003 Rantakasarmin galleria, Suomenlinna, Helsinki, FI

Festivals and screenings

2010 Cologne Off VI, International Videoart Festival, Cologne, DE
2010 Gaala, Ateneumsali, Helsinki, FI
2009 Glimmer 2009, 7th International Short Film Festival, Hull, UK
2009 Dok Art International Documentary and Videofestival, Szczecin, PL
2009 Kurye International video festival, Istanbul, TR
2009 Video Channel 2009, One Minute video festival, Cologne, DE
2009 Naoussa International Short Film festival, Naoussa, GR
2009 Palazzo Barberini screening nights, Senigallia, IT
2009 Aarau International Video Festival, AM
2009 Kinos 09 International short film festival, Lahti, FI
2009 Yerevan International film festival, Yerevan, AM
2009 Kultflux Pavillion River Neris, screenings, Vilnius, LT
2002 International film and videofest, Pärnu, EE

Publications and works in publications

2013 Nine Nameless Mountains by Maanantai Collective, Kehrer Verlag, DE
2013 Book of Lies, Musta Taide, FI
2013 Let Me See You (together with Jaana Maijala), self published, FI
2012 Poems from the Supermarket (together with Jaana Maijala), self published, FI
to be published autumn 2018 Piece of text in the exhibition cataloque of Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd, Landskorna Museum , Landskorna, SE

Selected grants

2018-20 Three-year artist grant, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, FI
2017 Arts Promotion Centre, FI
2016 Frame Contemporary Art Finland, FI
2016 One year artist grant, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, FI
2015 Arts Promotion Centre Finland, FI
2013 Kordelin Foundation,FI
2013 Arts Council of Finland, FI

Works in collections

La Gaia Collection/Collezione La Gaia, Busca, IT
Collection Marzona, DE/IT
Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, FI
Collection 49Nord 6Est Frac Lorraine, FR
Artphilein Foundation, LI
Københavns Billedkunstudvalg, DK
Region Skåne Konstservice, SE
Sammlung Spall-Art, DE
Private Collections, AT, DE, PL, US, NL, DK


2015 Kempinski Young Artist Program, Beijing and Shanghai, CN
2014 Künstlerhaus Bethanien, 6 month International Studio Program, Berlin, DE