Between Objects – HAM • 4.2.2022-29.5.2022


The exhibition Between Objects presents 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.

BETWEEN ARTWORKS: ON ART, CONTEXT AND THE ONTOLOGY – curatorial essay by Denis Maksimov

Dialogue between Sauli Sirviö & Johannes Rantapuska Folk Heroes & Stories (2016) 
and Edith Karlson Drama is in your head (2015) Image courtesy of HAM/Kirsi Halkola