The exhibitionBetween Objectspresents artworks acquired for HAM’s collection over the past 10 years, in dialogue with artworks by contemporary artists from Estonia. The exhibition is based on a gamified method developed by Curator Denis Maksimov where he has invited five Estonian artists to each respond to a work from the HAM collection by choosing an existing artwork of their own to be exhibited alongside the collection piece.
The artists connected by the dialogue between works are Pekka Niittyvirta and Taavi Suisalu, nabbteeri and Sigrid Viir, Maiju Salmenkivi and Merike Estna, Azar Saiyar and Flo Kasearu, and Sauli Sirviö & Johannes Rantapuska and Edith Karlson. Through their own artworks, the Estonian artists present interpretations of the pieces from HAM’s collection. The artists’ responses might have focused on the work’s content or perhaps a colour, a shape, or anything else in the object itself.
The works in the exhibition feature various kinds of content and shapes: the artists study technologically supported means of observation, memory, storytelling and people’s connections to different places. Instead of a thematic framework, the idea tying the exhibition together is its focus on works of art as objects. Maksimov’s exhibition concept is connected to attempts to think beyond human-centrism, with a focus on the agency of objects and their interaction. Similarly, the audience is encouraged to look at the works in new ways and focus on the act of looking at artworks.
Between Objects will be displayed in the museum’s HAM mix gallery, which features exhibitions curated with collection pieces as a starting point. The aim of its exhibitions is to form a living interaction between the collections and current issues and curatorial practices. In showcasing artworks by Finnish and Estonian artists and emphasising the dialogical nature of art, the exhibition introduces the idea of extended locality as a context for HAM’s collection. Contemporary artists in the two countries live and work close to each other, sharing neighbouring cultural and societal realities on different sides of the Gulf of Finland.
The exhibition is realized in collaboration with the Temnikova & Kasela Gallery in Tallinn.
Sauli: Maybe we could open up a little bit the vision of Delfoi gallery that was supposed to open and how we came up with the solution to keep the artworks exhibited for the last month in the studio. The labyrinth reflects the goal of searching and wandering in an enclosed space and I also see it as a symbol for my artistic method. The artworks are not placed in clinical gallery space. What interests me is that there is something already in the space. My working is mostly intrusion and infiltration into different spaces and gradually all the elements merge with each other – adaptation and the search for a new form is in constant change. At this point, the labyrinth is your studio, where my artworks try to find their shape. Are we calling the event an exhibition or would it be some kind of encounter?
Hertta: Yeah sounds really good. The word exhibition is easy for people to know what is promised, but encounter is probably closer to the right one. Delfoi was to become a window gallery but I had to cancel the agreed exhibitions when the space was suddenly sold to a new owner. The idea of a window gallery moves deeper into the space and your artwork meets my previous and unfinished artwork on the way again somewhere ahead.
Sauli: In the format of the window gallery, the challenge of the facade and the fact that the interior would have been inaccessible was fascinating. Now i’m able to access into the deep space you mentioned and my artworks have transformed into three-dimensional form. The window in my thoughts is now on the floor, just like a reflection of sunlight. Some of my artworks are transparent, so the ghost of the window is strongly present.
Hertta: The studio is such an intimate and private space where thoughts and materials develop into artworks, so it is fascinating and exciting to get visitors here in the form of both your artworks and people.
Marjatta Holma, Hertta Kiiski, Ida Lehtonen, Anneli Nygren, Eeva-Maija Pulkkinen, Viivi Saikkonen, Sauli Sirviö, Anna Torkkel, Antti Turkko
Nuottaranta, located by the sea on Satava island in Turku, is a unique courtyard built on the basis of a Japanese garden and a villa that has never been open to the public. This spring during the time of the cherry blossoms a site-specific contemporary art exhibition AVANTGARDEN will take place there.
The garden and the villa are the lifework of Jaakko Lindberg whose work as an art collector has provoked even conflicting reactions in the Finnish art world. The new owners of Nuottaranta are now renovating the long-neglected house and the garden surrounding it. During three weekends in late spring 2021 nine artists will spread their work over the site.
AVANTGARDEN consists of site-specific installations, paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos, text-based works and a work-in-progress performance. The artworks interact with the place, its history and each other. Throughout the year open discussion and spending time at Nuottaranta have played an important role in the artists’ work process. Artists have also utilized materials found in the villa and garden.
Over the years nature has taken over the garden but the vegetation and structures are still preserved. Nuottaranta is rich in rhododendrons, several magnolias and other rare plants originating from the traditional Japanese gardens. There are nine tea rooms, terraces, water themes and sculptural stone arrangements in the garden. Japanese influences can also be seen in the interior of the more than 200-square-meter villa designed by Aarne Ehojoki in the 1960s and expanded by Olavi Laisaari in the 1980s. The exhibition spreads both indoors and outdoors.
The exhibition has been supported by the City of Turku.