Lena Séraphin

Lena Séraphin is a visual artist, and she is currently conducting post doctoral research at University College of Art, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. She holds a Master of Arts from Goldsmiths and a Doctor of Arts from Aalto University. Her dissertation "The Don Quixote Complex and Investigations into Fictionality" explores subjectivity and visual display in relation to polarization.


In my practice I address photographic archives as spaces for archaeological excavations. The aim is to instigate an understanding of historicity that circumvents linearity and makes past events perceptible through and in the present. This particular ambition has led me to re-consider exhibition modes of archival photographs. 

A point of departure is a visit to the Finnish Defence Forces’ archive. It caused an experience of visually induced polarization as I both appreciated and rejected a photograph of a nazi march-past shot on the 2nd of June 1943 in Hanko, Finland.

In my doctoral dissertation it is stated how I cannot give an unambiguous answer on how to present the said photograph without anew elevating expressions of absolute power. However, I can specify that exhibiting the photograph has a function, and that is to demonstrate how nazi parades are yet again and still possible. 

My question during "Ar(t)chaeology" is how the exhibition format entwines archaeology, intent and photography.

—Lena Séraphin