Gediminas Urbonas, Suitcase, 1988 / Photo Finnish National Gallery, Pirje Mykkänen
The collection exhibition of Kiasma, There and Back Again, Contemporary art from the Baltic Sea region, brings together 26 artists from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland and Russia.
Countries around the Baltic Sea are united by geography and history. The region is a point of confluence for many economic, political and cultural interests. Hansa towns, the Soviet Union, Via Baltica, a gas pipeline and nature protection have unified countries and people while also separating them.
Flo Kasearu, Uprising (The Aircraft) 2015 / Photo Finnish National Gallery, Petri Virtanen
Daria Melnikova / Photo Finnish National Gallery
Jenni Yppärilä, Corner Shop (Ikaalinen) 2012 / Photo Finnish National Gallery, Petri Virtanen
There and Back Again is an exhibition about a time characterized by the mobility of people, goods and work but also by political tensions between superpowers. The palpable backstory is the Soviet era with its restrictions, traumas and memories.
Themes shared by the works are traveling, migration, place and the sense of belonging. The artists depict journeys across seas, settling in a new place and dreams of change.
Jüri Okas, Detail of the work Landscape XI a, 1990 / Finnish National Gallery, Pirje Mykkänen
Maria Toboła / Inga Meldere, Detail. Photos Finnish National Gallery, Pirje Mykkänen
Roma Auškalnyte, Roof, 2017 / Photo Finnish National Gallery, Pirje Mykkänen
Darius Žiūra / Tanya Akhmetgalieva. Photos Finnish National Gallery, Pirje Mykkänen
The journeys are also inner explorations of identity. The works invite us to consider where we are coming from, where we are going and where we belong, but they also make visible very ordinary things: traveling between Finland and Estonia, social media events and even booze cruises.
Many of the artists featured in the show grew up in the Baltic region in the 1980s and 1990s and lived through the restoration of independence of their homeland. Many of them have studied and worked abroad, some of them in Finland.
Artor Jesus Inkerö, Screenshot of the work Bubble, 2017
Anna Reivilä, Detail of the work Bond #23, 2017
Karel Koplimets / Photo Manuel Mägi
Tanya Akhmetgalieva, Roma Auškalnyte, Miķelis Fišers, Alexei Gordin, Artor Jesus Inkerö, Alge Julija Kavaliauskaitė, Flo Kasearu, Tiina Ketara, Karel Koplimets, Kris Lemsalu, Inga Meldere, Daria Melnikova, Mindaugas Navakas, Katrīna Neiburga, Jüri Okas, Anna Reivilä, Jaanus Samma, Tea Tammelaan, Maria Toboła, Jaan Toomik, Gintautas Trimakas & Nomeda Urbonienė & Elena Valiukaitė, Gediminas Urbonas, Jenni Yppärilä and Darius Žiūra.
Iggy Lond Malmborg: Physics & Phantasma / Photo Renee Altrov
Maria Metsalu: Mademoiselle X / Photo Alan Proosa
Performances include UUE – Estonian Contemporary (performance) Art Festival, Flo Kasearu, Merike Estna’s performance Virgin Red Herring, Iggy Lond Malmborg: Physics & Phantasma, and Maria Metsalu: Mademoiselle X.
The works in the exhibition all belong to the collections of Kiasma / Finnish National Gallery, and most of them are on show for the first time at Kiasma. The most recent works were created specifically for this exhibition.