GRAFFITI, HAM April 6th-September 9th 2018.

Exhibition explores graffiti culture and ownership of urban space.

Graffiti, explores the historical roots of graffiti and its present manifestations, with particular focus on the links between Helsinki graffiti culture and the international field. The show also features contemporary artworks that bear an affinity with graffiti through their autonomous mindset and use of urban space. The exhibition includes artworks and documentary material by international and Helsinki-based artists.

The exhibition sheds light on a phenomenon that is both illicit subculture and a figurative language visible to everyone in public spaces.

Mounted in the museum’s two large vaulted galleries, the show is divided into two parts. The first examines graffiti as a subculture, lifestyle and form of art. The roots of graffiti culture are presented through Martha Cooper’s iconic photos of subway trains and graffiti artists in NYC. A mural created for this exhibition by legendary graffiti artist Blade will bring history to life in the present, and Swedish Nug will paint his latest work directly onto the gallery wall. The exhibition also features a brand new piece by Finnish graffiti artists Egs and Trama.

The colourful history of graffiti in Helsinki from the 1980s to the present is illustrated in a timeline highlighting the major shift in local citizens’ attitude toward the public space in the past ten years. Graffiti first appeared in Helsinki in the mid-1980s, influenced by films and photography books on New York City’s graffiti culture. Ten years ago, in 2008, the City of Helsinki discontinued its anti-graffiti project, Stop töhryille (Stop the Scrawls). After the unconditionally negative public attitudes, the different forms of street art have received more favourable attention.

The exhibition presents the roots of graffiti with photographs, films and works by field’s iconic names.

The second part of the show consists of works of art that feature the public space and its utilisation as a place for art. The American group Guerrilla Girls presents an installation of posters and videos that illustrates their campaigns over the past few decades combating inequality in the art world and society at large. Urban Space Occupation Kit by Otto Karvonen will give audiences a chance to appropriate a space for themselves. The exhibition also includes works from the HAM collection by artists whose first visual inspiration was graffiti.

The exhibition is curated by Heli Harni, Satu Oksanen and Sanna Tuulikangas from HAM. The exhibition architecture is designed by architect Tuomas Siitonen.

Never Going Home 2012, Full hd video, 33.30 min.

Sauli Sirviö & Johannes Rantapuska Useless Exercise 2016, interactive video installation with exercise bike and projector. Documentation by Maija Toivanen/HAM

Pyhä kaaos (A Holy Chaos)


Pyhä kaaos (A Holy Chaos), SIC

A liminal space is a kind of limbo between two states of being. Pyhä kaaos (A Holy Chaos) seeks out unknown futures, hiding spots, immersion, ruins and new traditions. If the system only offers strict roles, Pyhä kaaos begs to answer whether it is possible to get rid of them.

The human species daily evokes conflicting feelings that are hard to handle — it has enormous potential which is unfortunately wasted in spades on a daily basis. Man is self centered, arrogant, lazy, wasteful, unempathetic, aggressive and destructive — all the while backing up his actions with an incomprehensible array of fictitious justifications.

Then again, the spectrum of human life can be dazzling when viewed from a distance as a generalized mass — our travels across history are nothing short of heroic in this cold and empty universe.

At their finest, art and science help us understand humanity objectively, in more comprehensible fashion, sometimes even in the form of proper entertainment for the escapist in all of us.

In day-today life, the human individual is a hard mess to understand; moody, hard to interpret, dull, loud and sweaty. Then again, the human individual seems to flourish in a written fictitious state — delving into a well thought out fictitious world can easily make one lose track of time.

Thoroughly honed, distilled, well packaged and crystallized thoughts — be it books, articles, plays, exhibitions, recordings, concerts, movies or any other great works of art and science — are the epitome of humanity. One can experience many eras and time scales through such works — consuming and analyzing culture can be as addictive as any drug out there.

Pyhä kaaos is a part of the Helsinki University Art as a Work and Working Tool project, carried out together with Kiasma’s URB festival. The contents of the exhibition is gathered from material assembled by researchers and the workgroup.

Working group

Sauli Sirviö, Elina Izarra, Are Nikkinen, Niroz Haji, Sawuli, Iita Järn, Jani-Matti Salo, Mark Niskanen, Tomi Visakko, Liisa Raevaara, Marjo Savijärvi, Annika Turunen, Jonna Malaska, Katja Orpana, Laura Ihalainen

Supported by Kone Foundation.

Thank you: Koneen Säätiö, Museum of Impossible Forms/Ahmed Al-Nawas, Mikael Aaltonen, Niina Tervo, Arto Tommiska, Bogna Luiza Wisniewska
Documentation: Tuomas Linna

Alkumetreillä (2018) Publisher: Kiasma Theatre-URB Festival & Art as a Work and Working Tool project. Edited by Elina Izarra & Sauli Sirviö. Texts: Mikael Aaltonen, Elina Izarra, Sauli Sirviö, Marjo Savijärvi, Tomi Visakko. Graphic design: Rastapunka. Pictures: Veera Konsti, Kira Leskinen, Tuomas Linna, Susanna Kesänen, Liina Aalto-Setälä. Fonts: Mikko Varakas. Printed in Livonia Print, Latvia (200 copies).



Cache, Titanik-gallery and locations in Turku city surroundings

18 – 29 October 2017

Opening Tue 17 October 6-8pm

Jussi Kivi presents a lecture Underground expeditions Sat 28 October 4-6pm

Spaces under the surface hide something from the surface. They store that which is unnecessary or excessive, or hide structures that for one reason or another can’t stand the daylight. Spaces that are closed, hidden, and out of sight. Storages, caves, tunnels, shelters. The subconscious of the surface, implied meanings, skeletons in the closet. The above and the underlying worlds that go by different rules, and it’s bubbling under the surface.

There are also forgotten spaces, blind spots, and spaces looked down on. There are non-spaces, limbo spaces, transit spaces, spaces going through changes. Wastelands and backyards, terminals and parking lots, ring ways and warehouse areas. Places that are too ordinary. Premises that have remained untouched, or forlorn after their previous use. Spaces that the urban development and planning have not reached and tamed. Spaces that are prone to new kinds of actions, and therefore remain more open than the official public space. These spaces do not have univocal meanings. There’s no demand for the ability to pay, or reason for lingering.

The English word cache [kaʃ] refers to a repository or a hiding place, and within information technology to cache memory, where to store information needed within a short period of time. In the exhibition, which takes place at Titanik-gallery and the city surroundings of Turku, six artists direct our attention to hidden, unnoticeable and commonly invisible spaces within urban surroundings. The invited artists are Jussi Kivi, Petri Kuljuntausta, Ida Lehtonen, Sari Palosaari, Sauli Sirviö and Elina Vainio. The exhibition develops around individual site-specific artworks, which in various ways comment the surroundings around them. The artists have been invited to explore different subsurface spaces of the cityscape: caves, wastelands, forests, spaces that have lost their original purpose, spaces that are “too ordinary”. Whom is the space open to? Does anyone have access to it? What kind of power relations are linked to the spaces? Which are the blind spots of the city?

Cache consists of a group exhibition at Titanik-gallery and new site-specific artworks exhibited at different locations in Turku. You will get information on the locations from 18 October on by visiting Titanik or On Saturday 28 October at 4pm the artist Jussi Kivi will perform a lecture Underground expeditions as part of the exhibition. The lecture is in Finnish.

Auransilta archway unlocked and gates removed 18 – 29 October 2017.

ID-A34 (2017), A found and handled SIM-card, fern, key lanyard, chain