Matti Aikio, born in 1980, comes from Vuotso, a small reindeer-herding Sámi village in northern Finland. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art in 2012. Aikio is a visual artist who works with photography and video as well as installations, sound art and music. He has worked as a DJ since 2009. In his work, Aikio is interested in the concept of nomadism as a philosophy, culture and lifestyle. Along with his artistic practice, he is involved in nomadic reindeer-herding, which his family has practised for centuries. Aikio takes a keen interest in Sámi history, Sámi rights and political issues relating to the Sámi.
Aikio took part in Art Ii Biennial in 2016 with his sound installation, which depicted the present-day situation of the Sámi people in Finland. The story turned the Sámi storytelling tradition upside-down by placing the story in the future. It is difficult to see historical changes as they unfold. It is only as time passes that we realise the significance of certain events. We need some distance to see the turning points in history. In this piece, Aikio went through the history of the Sámi people and did not avoid even absurd nuances when referring to the present eagerness of non-Sámi people in northern Finland to declare themselves Sámi.
Aikio’s work had an intriguing ambivalence, combining poetic storytelling with political statements. The trees in the arts park might have been more willing than we were, listening to Aikio’s story as it flowed gently from megaphones into the wind. Aikio tells us stories about the modern Sámi through modern technologies and new media.