Thin Membrane

Thin Membrane

Film Installation, 2013

Thin Membrane (“Den Tunna Hinnan” /”Ohut Kalvo”) is a video installation about issues of solidarity and estrangement in contemporary society.

The installation consists of a plastered wall similar to that of a common residential house, where a large glass window acts as video projection surface. The looping, life size video on the back projection surface shows a group of friends having a nice dinner together. In the course of this gathering occasional blackouts caused by thundering. The electric cuts momentarily interrupt the dinner darkening the window and bringing out the viewer’s reflection on the window’s glass surface, the thin membrane that separates the viewer from the people inside.

The piece is inspired by a short story in the anthology “Fortællinger om natten” (Tales of the Night) by the Danish author Peter Høeg, about the theatrical rituals of an early 20th century aristocrat family. The installation extends these social conventions and festive rituals to include today’s middle class or petite bourgeoisie. Here too the project of togetherness can imply the creation of otherness, covering up acute feelings of isolation under the mask of total connection. The distance is suggested by peeping in from the outside as if through a thin curtain and by the realistic inability to distinguish the speech through the glass. The segregation sensation is suggested with the cuts off to darkness where the viewer is left to his own reflection. But yet, what unites the viewer with the scene on the other side is the very same image of four people joined together in a bonding exchange.


The immersive video installation piece was part of an exhibition in the Turku gallery Titanik, 31.1-24.2 2013. Thin Membrane was later shown at the Frankfurter Kunstverein in a group exhibition presenting the works of eight Finnish contemporary artists.


Written, directed and designed by Minna Långström
Actors : Jussi Ollila, Marika Salomaa-Kivelä, Silja Sauros ja Fabian Silén
Camera: Ville Tanttu
Sound recording and mixing: Kimmo Vänttinen
Set design: Anne Karttunen
Lighting design: Paco Bouazza
Carpentry / Puutyöt: Nuutti Koskinen, Sakari Tervo