Thursday, February 16, 2012

At the Kiasma Museum in Helsinki

Kiasma in Helsinki
Friday night, we (my friend and co-researcher Marie-Claire) headed off on the first day of our 11 day "Northern Tour": 5 days in Helsinki, followed by 6 days in Saint Petersberg. Of course, we chose the week that everyone agrees is "an unusually cold week". hahaha

Well.... when it is an unusually cold day, there is little better than spending it indoors! Which is exactly what we did. We bundled up in scarves, and headed off to the Kiasma, the Musueum of Modern Art. It is a pretty stunning building on its own. You can check out the architect's webpage here:

The space is amazingly open textured on the inside.  The first ramp that takes you up into the museum reminded me a bit of the National Gallery in Ottawa.

At the bottom of the ramp is a piece of white marble (or some other stone), with a sign inviting you to press your hand on the stone.... and telling you that over time, the stone will be rubbed away to hold the shape of the many hands that have pressed against it.   I like that thought!

the beginnings of the handprint

'pressing the flesh' (against the stone)

The exhibit currently showing was called "Thank you for the music", and it was pretty much a set of 'art works' linked to popular music.   It was a riot to wander around something so linked to my own childhood/teen years:  room after room of artifacts (ie. records), art works, music videos, etc.

Guitar reproductions

I loved this one cabinet full of reproductions of guitars of the kind used by the band "Kiss". 

They were each small (maybe a couple of inches big),  cut out of cardboard, and then coloured. 

 Not 'serious', but too much fun!

guitar closeup
...and what lies below the surface?
There was a fun series of album covers that had been 'altered':  piece of the cover had been altered to reveal other details below the surface.   I don't know how much of the detail you see in this example, but... The pants of the three amigos have been cut out, so you can to below, where they all appear to be wearing lacy underwear.  Like I said... not 'deep', but still very fun!

Objects from a musicians life (in clay)

Or, for example, this display of objects from a jam session (including milk boxes, cables, microphones, emptry beer bottles).  It is all 'life size', but made of clay.   Now i have more ideas for things to make next summer at the lake!  :-)

Adel Abidin "Jihad"
 There were quite a few interesting and edgy videos running.  This one had a guy start off reading some lines from the Koran, and then sing every verse of the folk classic "This Land is My Land". 

So much fun watching it and thinking about the ways that the mixture of image and song raised a billion questions (and assumptions and stereotypes)


  1. I want to rub my hands on the stone, as well. I can't believe I missed that museum in Helsinki. Rats! Now I will have to go back.


  2. This makes me want to go to a great gallery. Wonderful, fun and weird -- a perfect day!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.