contemporary art museums and design museums are the kind of museums we like to visit in the places we go. the exhibitions may be a bit of “hit and miss” but there’s usually something thought provoking. so our first stop in finland was kiasma, the contemporary art museum of helsinki.
the architecture, by steven holl, is quite impressive (the curves on the atrium are incredible) and they give visitors ipods that guide you through the exhibits (none of those crap audiotour gadgets designed in the 70s).
the main exhibit when we visited was called “tracking traces”. it’s quite vague and hard to explain in words, so, from the booklet:
The works in the Tracking traces… collection exhibition have been divided into three thematic sections: The works under the Smudge theme explore the way in which the city is transmitted through the activity as signs and deeds. The works deal with, for example, globalization, subvertising and activism. The works under the Barcode theme use the whole spectrum of imagery offered by the visual culture as their material. The works borrow various images and in doing so change their original meanings. The third theme looks at the body as an image. Imprints are often seen as recognizable signs on the body, such as sleep wrinkles, bites or bruises. The traces left by the event may be more permanent than the physical sign.
some highlights i liked:
- an essay on patriotic food:
- a surprising (and brilliant) photo essay on “animal viscera as garment”:
- a little train that ran around a room. it had a camera inside that was streaming to a mini-amphitheater on a corner, while voices from the “passengers” told their stories and recollections:
museum of contemporary art kiasma
mannerheiminaukio 2, 00100 helsinki