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Connecting People


Curated by Göran Green

For the exhibition “Connecting people” Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium collaborated with Kiasma, Finland’s national museum for contemporary art in Helsinki.

The title of the exhibition was stolen from the Finnish mobile phone company, Nokia. Finland was still an industrial superpower of the communication age; the iPhone was only launched the following year. This strong position also impacted on the art scene, and Kiasma played its part in establishing Helsinki as a city worthy of attention.

It is not just mobile phones that connect people. "Connecting People" focused on the role of art as a means of communication between people from different countries, cultures and eras. Through art we can create a dialoge between the artist and the spectator, even when the artist has been dead for many years.

Green’s selection displayed an impressive breadth, with 14 Finnish and 22 international artists. The Finnish works seemed most up to date, as Green chose them largely from the 1990s and 2000s, while the international artists were drawn from across several decades. Connecting People included significant pieces by renowned names such as Christian Boltanski, Tony Cragg, Donald Judd, Anselm Kiefer, Jannis Kounelis, Roy Lichtenstein, Bruce Nauman, Claes Oldenburg, and Pipilotti Rist.

Excerpt from senior curator Marja Sakari’s text for the catalogue:

“They say that the collection is the heart of the museum. That also applies for Kiasma, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, even if due to the changes in art, its functions and values may be different than those of museums of older art. We may not try to collect “National Heritage of Finnish Art”, as works in national galleries are often legitimized, or even the best works of our own time. As contemporaries, I think, we are always blind to our own time, but I hope that the collection gives a good idea of what has happened in Finnish and also in international art in recent decades.” (p. 20)

Participating artists:

Carl Andre, Christian Boltanski, Kari Cavén, John Chamberlain, Francesco Clemente, Tony Gragg, Gary Hill, Heli Hiltunen, Bryan Hunt, Aarne Jämsä, Donald Judd, Tuuka Kaila, Anselm Kiefer, Per Kirkeby, Ronald Kitaj, Markus Konttinen, Jukka Korkeila, Jannis Kounellis, Roy Lichtenstein, Liisa Lounila, Bruce Neuman, Jaakko Niemelä, Claes Oldenburg, Paul Osipow, Mimmo Paladino, Mari Rantanen, Robert Rauchenberg, Pipilotti Rist, Nina Roos, David Salle, Julian Schnabel, Antoni Tápies, Jaan Toomik, Sinikka Tuominen, Marianne Uutinen, Henry Wuorila-Stenberg.