Matti Sumari

Born: 1987
Nationality: Finnish
Based in: Sweden
Media: Multimedia / Video, Public Space, Sculpture / Installation, Sound / Performance
Content: Abstract, Architectural, Conceptual, Knowledge Production / Discursive, Political, Participatory


I work using video, sculpture and installation concentrating on poetic interrogations of our terms of use regarding the public space and the "Res nullius": right to utilize ungoverned goods.

Through picking up my materials from the steady flow of waste materials and leftovers from the metabolism of a city, I engage in a relationship with my surroundings.
This relation can best be described as commensalism, which in ecology is a relationship between two organisms where one benefits from the other without damaging it.

I refine reclaimed materials through investigations and use my works as distilling instruments.
These distilling and mutating processes are placed in action in order to see what kind of relationship we have to each other and the world we’ve made for ourselves.
My projects tend to have performative aspects and a social dimension, as for example in a public tea party with hot drinks, brewed from a parasitic tree fungus that also happens to be a tenant in our cityscape.

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"Residuals / Age of Shiny: Heavy Metal / Polyester / Quartzite" concrete, quartzite, polyester, brass polished concrete, each 60 x 35 x 20 cm. 2016

"TICK TICK TICK SPRÄNG" Video installation and tea party during the Berlin Food Art Week at Acud, Berlin, Germany, 2015

"The Seasonal Painter and Lawyer’s Wigs in the Mist" found paint and Coprinus comatus mushroom on found canvas. 118 x 101 cm, 2015 One painting made every autumn. 2012 – ongoing “Coprinus comatus, the shaggy ink cap, lawyer’s wig, or shaggy mane, is a common edible fungus often seen growing on lawns, along gravel roads and waste areas. In the end of its lifecycle the fruit-body displays a metamorphosis of dissolving itself: When depositing spores or picked, the firm white cap and stem of this mushroom decompose within hours into a pool of thick black ink. I look inside a garbage container behind a store selling interior design items and find a canvas. The Coprinus comatus grows within meters from this location. I am the seasonal painter.”

"A Disposed Project of Participatory Art & Worlds Strongest Structure (Space Frame Divan in a Faraday Tent)" bicycles, wood and heat foil, all found materials 250 x 250 x 250 cm, 2013 – 2014 exhibited in the group show CULTURAL CAPITAL, curated by Viktor Neumann, at ZK/U – Center for Art and Urbanistics, Berlin, Germany 2014

"(The Logic of) Instruments for Cycles Through a Hunter-Gatherer-Gardener" 2013 solo show, exhibition view, Galleriet, Artistic Campus, Umeå Sweden

"Secret Agent" wood, metal and acrylic, all salvaged materials 180 x 360 x 184 cm, 2012-2014 event: Secret Agent: What Does a Container Mean and What Can it Do for You? Walk & Talk, 20 minutes guided tour with the artist Event starts in the exhibition by the sculpture Secret Agent. Moving through and looking around the Umeå Arts Campus institutions, investigating the streams of waste from the area – the garbage containers being vessels for this export. Discussing the subject of trash and the subversive act of picking up rubbish from both pragmatic and philosophical angles. Taking up questions like the origin of waste, why is it trash, where is it going and what might it be used for. From the exhibition Cultural Capital at Bildmuseet, Umeå Sweden 2014

"The Illness" installation & tea-party 260 X 400 x 220 cm, 2014 project for Survival Kit -festival, Umeå, Sweden

"The Illness" installation & tea-party 260 X 400 x 220 cm, 2014 project for Survival Kit -festival, Umeå, Sweden