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Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma presents Navigating North

October 7, 2022–April 2, 2023

Navigating North explores connections between the north and south while displaying artifacts from the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation Collection. Landscape, northern nature, and geographical and cultural crossroads are the themes of the exhibition, and they all hint to how we must continually navigate change.

“Although acquisitions to the Wihuri Foundation Collection have not focused on northern art specifically, we were intrigued by the collection’s northern home in Rovaniemi. What new ideas might the Wihuri Foundation Collection offer Kiasma’s audiences? With the kind assistance of staff at the Rovaniemi Art Museum, we learned about the work of the northern artists and artists of northern origin working in the south. We did not limit our attention to the north alone, however, but selected works by artists all over Finland,” explain exhibition curators Saara Hacklin, Kati Kivinen and Satu Oksanen

The sensation of belonging to a place or community and how that impacts one’s identity is one of the exhibition’s recurrent topics. The displayed artworks explore our relationship with nature, how we frequently try to alter it, as well as how our identities are shaped by our surroundings. The Arctic region is unique and now draws attention from throughout the world for a variety of political, economic, cultural, and ecological reasons.

Saara Hacklin, Kati Kivinen, and Satu Oksanen from Kiasma are in charge of curating the show. The highly illustrated exhibition book also includes essays by Aira Huovinen and Ulla Viitanen in addition to their texts. curators from the Rovaniemi Art Museum and University of Lapland professor Tuija Hautala-Hirvija.

The featured artists are Heini Aho, Lauri Astala, John Court, Tom Engblom, Petri Eskelinen, Radoslaw Gryta, Kaisaleena Halinen, Mia Hamari, Jaakko Heikkilä, Jussi Heikkilä, Marja Helander, Maija Helasvuo, Marjatta Holma, Irmeli Hulkko, Konsta Huusko, Eeva-Liisa Isomaa, Helena Junttila, Elina Juopperi, Hanna Kanto, Eemil Karila, Joel Karppanen, Kaija Kiuru, Ilona Kivijärvi, Tuomas Korkalo, Laura Könönen, Katri Kuparinen, Raakel Kuukka, Antti Laitinen, Kalle Lampela, Ville Mäkikoskela, Esko Männikkö ja Pekka Turunen, Arttu Nieminen, Leena Nio, Matti Nurminen, Outi Pieski, Marja Pirilä, Raisa Raekallio and Misha del Val, Merja Aletta Ranttila, Johanna Ruotsalainen and Simi Ruotsalainen, Stiina Saaristo, Juhani Tuominen, Kari Tuisku, Pauliina Turakka Purhonen, Seija Ulkuniemi, Maaria Wirkkala.

Five performances from the north 

The Sápmi region and the artists affiliated with it are the main topics of the exhibition’s performance schedule. How do we remember trees, our periods, and our actions? is the central concern in Kemi—II Memo of Trees by Tuija Kokkonen. What will the 18-year-old remember in the future? Five performers, readers, and panelists engage the audience in discussion. The multidisciplinary performance Viehâ by Auri Ahola explores the emotions that people from many time periods have in common with one another. The performance/video installation by Pauliina Feodoroff Matriarchy takes the shape of a rights-to-view-landscape auction catalogue. Areas of Sapmi land will be purchased and protected using the money paid for the rights. The piece was displayed in the Sámi Pavilion at the 2022 Venice Biennale. Italian choreographer Chiara Bersani’s “Seeking Unicorns” will be performed in the Kiasma lobby at dawn on November mornings, just as the piece’s inspiration—the northern light—was discovered by the artist. The performance Starting from Staring by Biret & Gáddjá Haarla Pieski and a piece by British artist John Court, who is based in Tornio, are also on the program.

The Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation Art Collection 

For of than 60 years, the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation’s art collection has been continuously expanding. The collection, which was donated to the City of Rovaniemi and has origins in art from the 1940s, consists of close to 3,500 pieces and adds more than 50 per year. The collection offers a wonderful representation of current Finnish art.

The Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation and the Rovaniemi Art Museum are partners in the production of Navigating North. The show will be on display in Rovaniemi Art Museum Korundi in 2023.

The partnership between the Finnish National Gallery and the Wihuri Foundation, which was begun in 2017, is continued with Navigating North. The annual Wihuri Day, sponsored by the foundation, grants free entrance to the public to the Kiasma, Ateneum, and Sinebrychoff museums of the Finnish National Gallery. In 2022, the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation will mark its 80th birthday.

Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma
Mannerheiminaukio 2
FI-00100 Helsinki
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