July 26, 2009

Helsinki

A couple of days now in Helsinki. Sue and I went to Kiasma http://www.kiasma.fi/index.php?L=1&id=2028&FL=1 – certainly unusual spaces featuring a couple of shows: Tracing Tracks and (Un)Naturally. The former sounded uncannily serendipitous given my interests and was worth seeing in the main though overall a little variable. The Smudge and Barcode sections of the show were strongest; in the first, Riiko Sakkinen’s wall of politically charged cartoon-advertisement was a good piece, though the simplest element a framed sheet paper with a hand-written list of “My Favourite Banks” was the most powerful. http://www.riikosakkinen.com/. In the Barcode section, Juha Van Ingen’s ‘ecuador’ http://www.juhavaningen.com/pages/ecuador.html dominated the space. The Imprint section was curatorially a little bit muddy. Three great slashed canvases by Lucio Fontana stood out and a short video work called ‘Foam’ by Adel Abidin from Iraq http://www.adelabidin.com/

The (Un)Naturally show investigated male representations and the ambiguities about maleness – not much noteworthy in it, except for one piece, which although relatively innocent, featured a pre-pubescent girl with a puppy so raised the question as to whether the show would have been previewed by the Police in the UK.

We found Helsinki market the highpoint of the city, http://www.wanhakauppahalli.com/index.html
the quality of being there and the subsequent food purchases demanding lots of picnicking. Other than that, while I know friends who eulogise about it, the most I can say about the City is I don’t hate it.

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