In his exhibition My Shelter, on view at the Photo North – Northern Photographic Centre’s gallery, Eriz
Morenouses photography and objects to describe his encounters with shelters located in apartment
buildings throughout Finland. These shelters, considered somewhat anachronistic holdovers from
the Cold War era, had historically received little attention until (unfortunately) more recently.
Moreno’s interest with shelters began shortly after he settled in Finland in 2019. Similar to the
emergency alarms that sound every first Monday of the month at noon, the door stickers depicting
orange squares with blue triangles remind us of the governmental structure ready to protect us.While
these modern shelters have never been called upon to fulfill their primary purpose, their significance
The first thing that struck Moreno within the Oulu building he resided in, was the multifunctional use of
the shelters. Despite being designed for security, their everyday peacetime functions contrastingly
involve serving as storage rooms as well as spaces for celebratory gatherings, laundry drying rooms,
gyms, or bicycle storage areas. His photography documents the unique duality within these shelters,
highlighting how their use has evolved without erasing their core significance.
Instead of choosing individual photos and objects for display, Moreno has decided to arrange the
exhibition rooms in a way that offers the viewer a comprehensive insight to the multifaceted roles the
shelters play in the modern Finnish society – the exhibition showcases the diversity of shelter use and
design. By breaking the exhibition down into fragments, as viewers we step into an abstraction of the
shelter of the building in which we live.
Enhancing the exhibition, on Saturday the 20th of January there will be a tour to a public shelter inOulu,
after which the writer of the book Väestönsuojelu ja kylmä sota (transl. Civic defense and the Cold
War) Ville Jalovaara will tell more about the history of civil defense in FInland.
This exhibition was funded by Arts Promotion Centre Finland and Oulu city. Objects obtained thanks
to the Helsinki Population Protection Museum. Thank you K-rauta Haapajärvi
Photo North – Northern Photographic Centrer