Skip to content
  • News

Paweł Althamer’s Seven Prisoners on display at HAM

Paweł Althamer’s work, Seven Prisoners, will be displayed at the Helsinki Art Museum (HAM) from 18 January to 20 February 2022. The inaugural Helsinki Biennial commissioned the work, and HAM added the work to its collection after the biennial ended. HAM also acquired several other biennial works, as well as sketches and documentations, some of which will be presented at HAM later. In addition, three works from Helsinki Biennial will remain on permanent public display in Helsinki’s city space.

Paweł Althamer has made two short films in collaboration with inmates of Suomenlinna Prison and his artist friends Leszek Molski and Jacek Taszakovski. The first is a VR fantasy film about a group of prisoners –Althamer among them – escaping and finding their way back to nature and to themselves. The second is a documentary about the making of the VR film in which the inmates talk about their lives, their dreams, and their idea of freedom. The two different realities and styles of narrative are exercises in empathy, inviting the viewer to choose between different experiencer roles and ways to identify. We can either choose to lose ourselves in a humorous adventure or relate to the real human destinies shared in the documentary. The films were shot on Vallisaari Island and in other Helsinki locations in autumn 2019.

Works for HAM’s art collection were also acquired from the following Helsinki Biennial artists:  ATTAKWAD, Baran Caginli, EGS, Honkasalo-Niemi-Virtanen, Marja Kanervo, Tadashi Kawamata, Niskanen & Salo, Mario Rizzi, Maaria Wirkkala, and WAUHAUS.

Moreover, Alicja Kwade’s works, Big Be-Hide and Pars pro Toto, as well as Laura Könönen’s work, No Heaven up in the Sky, will remain on permanent public display in Helsinki’s city space. Kwade’s works will be placed in Kalasatama, and Könönen’s work will be in Hyväntoivonpuisto Park in Jätkäsaari.


Paweł AlthamerSeven Prisoners, 2021
HAM Helsinki Art Museum
Eteläinen Rautatiekatu 8
HAM Hall 18 January to 20 February 2022

VR film (approximately 15 min) and a documentary film (approximately 23 min, loop)
Screenings within the museum’s opening hours
Free entry