“ … look at this landscape. I’d like you to buy this view for your collection, I am begging you to buy this view for your collection. Buy our art not our land … “

Matriarchy is a collective performance of healing and renewal, conceived as a process of rematriation to return to a world of kinship between people, land, waters, spirits, and other-than human beings.

“Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples have never properly greeted each other”, as director Pauliina Feodoroff explains when describing the first part of the performance, titled First Contact. In this first section, the performance contrasts colonised and Indigenous gesturality.

Part two, Auction, presents images of Sámi landscapes currently under threat from commercial logging. These land(person)scapes, portraying the land and related guardians, are ‘auctioned off’ as artworks during the performance, setting the scene for the actual sale of the works that is happening in real time, as a parallel process of the project.

In part three, Matriarchy, Indigenous female bodies converge in actions that ask us to be aware of our responsibilities in a world of relations. The performance centres matriarchal values of care and collective models of existence to restore sovereign forms of living in Sámi society.

Matriarchy was created for and premiered at The Sámi Pavilion, as part of the Venice Biennal 2022.


Working group: Pauliina Feodoroff, Birit Haarla, Katja Haarla, Teuri Haarla, Marja Helander, Satu Herrala, Hanna Parry, Outi Pieski, Eséte Eshetu Sutinen, Osuuskunta Lumimuutos, Ulyana Yulina, What Form(s) Can an Atonement Take / Miltä Sopu Näyttää Project
Camera: Stina Aletta Aikio, Pauliina Feodoroff, Kevin Francett, Petri Mentu, Markus Moshnikoff, Susanna Rauno, Hanna Parry, Terike Haapoja

Music: Anna Morottaja, 169, Mari Boine
Language planning: Christoph Parry
Sámi Elder: Asta Mitkijá Balto
Co-producers: Sámi Pavillion / Venice Biennale 2022, Zodiak;
What Form(s) Can an Atonement Take / Miltä Sopu Näyttää Project, funded by Kone Foundation.

The Sámi Pavilion is Commissioned by OCA – Office for Contemporary Art Norway, with co-commissioners Kiasma (Helsinki) and Moderna Museet (Stockholm)