Art Students in Helsinki

November 24, 2017

Photo by fellow HIAP resident artists Gil & Moti

Gallery hopping night is on Thursdays in Helsinki. For a calm and cold city, the art scene is quite happening. We manage to see four openings and miss out on another one. Exhibition openings start early in Helsinki. When we finish our tour we're surprised to see it's only 8pm but it feels like bedtime. “That's not surprising,” Gil says, “It has been dark since five hours.”

My highlights are the student shows at the Exhibition Laboratory, which is part of the Academy of Fine Arts. It has two spaces of which one is in the city center and is called the Project Room. I visited the Project Room already at the beginning of November during my first gallery hopping tour. My colleague and I played the game which art work we would like to take home. I chose a dirty kitchen towel painting at the Project Room, which consisted of a dirty kitchen towel stretched over a canvas. My colleague picked a painting at Hippolyte Gallery, which had light smears on it as if somebody tried in vain to remove some smudges. Both of us preferred something dirty to something clean. 

If you like dirty, art students’ shows tend to be good. Students have nothing to loose, at least not on the art market, so why not make terrible and distasteful art. Before I get to Exhibition Laboratory, I have a peek at a photography show by Juuso Noronkoski at Hippolyte Gallery. His photographic works are fine and elegant, just like the sentences that he writes to accompany them: “We got off the bus in the middle of nowhere.” Elegance definitely has its pleasures. 


L M Salling, People Are Oysters

The setting is different at the Exhibition Laboratory Project Room. L M Salling, who tells us to call her Sally, exhibits her work with the fucked-up title People Are Oysters. On white drapes the artist painted a figure she names Miki. There're also sculptures that look like oysters and some other sea creatures. The artist herself has a huge plaster on her forehead because she bumped into something just before the opening. Love it. 


Photo by Gil & Moti
At the second space of the Exhibition Laboratory there's a group show of students. Excellent cinnamon and cardamon buns are served. I see some performers lying on the ground which must be some sort of Anne Imhof persiflage. The best performance is the one I can’t understand since it's spoken in Finnish, but its aesthetics convince me. Nothing complex, but very simple: Astri Laitinen reads a text without creating a fuss and afterwards she gives out tissue pocket packs. Later on Astri translates her text into English for us, and it's wonderfully confusing: “I’ll give you money so you at least eat every morning and evening. Buy you some drink if you spend the evening with others at the weekend. Pay your chocolate and fruits and cheese and tofu and bread and coffee and oatmeal so you certainly survive and you don’t need to go to the grocery store.”  In the corner she exhibits some sunset photographs from her grandmother, still in their plastic foils. Nice comment, isn't it, for an artist based in a country where you can't seem to make art without talking about nature. 



Gallery hopping night is on Thursdays in Helsinki. For a calm and cold city, the art scene is quite happening. We manage to see four openings and miss out on another one. Exhibition openings start early in Helsinki. When we finish our tour we're surprised to see it's only 8pm but it feels like bedtime. “That's not surprising,” Gil says, “It has been dark since five hours.” My highlights are the student shows at the Exhibition Laborato…
Photo by fellow HIAP resident artists Gil & Moti

Gallery hopping night is on Thursdays in Helsinki. For a calm and cold city, the art scene is quite happening. We manage to see four openings and miss out on another one. Exhibition openings start early in Helsinki. When we finish our tour we're surprised to see it's only 8pm but it feels like bedtime. “That's not surprising,” Gil says, “It has been dark since five hours.”

My highlights are the student shows at the Exhibition Laboratory, which is part of the Academy of Fine Arts. It has two spaces of which one is in the city center and is called the Project Room. I visited the Project Room already at the beginning of November during my first gallery hopping tour. My colleague and I played the game which art work we would like to take home. I chose a dirty kitchen towel painting at the Project Room, which consisted of a dirty kitchen towel stretched over a canvas. My colleague picked a painting at Hippolyte Gallery, which had light smears on it as if somebody tried in vain to remove some smudges. Both of us preferred something dirty to something clean. 

If you like dirty, art students’ shows tend to be good. Students have nothing to loose, at least not on the art market, so why not make terrible and distasteful art. Before I get to Exhibition Laboratory, I have a peek at a photography show by Juuso Noronkoski at Hippolyte Gallery. His photographic works are fine and elegant, just like the sentences that he writes to accompany them: “We got off the bus in the middle of nowhere.” Elegance definitely has its pleasures. 


L M Salling, People Are Oysters

The setting is different at the Exhibition Laboratory Project Room. L M Salling, who tells us to call her Sally, exhibits her work with the fucked-up title People Are Oysters. On white drapes the artist painted a figure she names Miki. There're also sculptures that look like oysters and some other sea creatures. The artist herself has a huge plaster on her forehead because she bumped into something just before the opening. Love it. 


Photo by Gil & Moti
At the second space of the Exhibition Laboratory there's a group show of students. Excellent cinnamon and cardamon buns are served. I see some performers lying on the ground which must be some sort of Anne Imhof persiflage. The best performance is the one I can’t understand since it's spoken in Finnish, but its aesthetics convince me. Nothing complex, but very simple: Astri Laitinen reads a text without creating a fuss and afterwards she gives out tissue pocket packs. Later on Astri translates her text into English for us, and it's wonderfully confusing: “I’ll give you money so you at least eat every morning and evening. Buy you some drink if you spend the evening with others at the weekend. Pay your chocolate and fruits and cheese and tofu and bread and coffee and oatmeal so you certainly survive and you don’t need to go to the grocery store.”  In the corner she exhibits some sunset photographs from her grandmother, still in their plastic foils. Nice comment, isn't it, for an artist based in a country where you can't seem to make art without talking about nature. 



No Comments

Post a Comment