ARS22 at Kiasma invites to Living Encounters

The exhibition ARS22 – Living Encounters will bring the most current and compelling practices and authors of international contemporary art to Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma creating a space dedicated to shared experiences and community. The major exhibition is the first to be shown at the newly renovated Kiasma in April 2022 in Helsinki, Finland.

From its inauguration in 1961, the ARS exhibition series has showcased spearheading international contemporary art for local, regional and global audiences every four to five years. The upcoming instalment in Kiasma in 2022 is the tenth in the series, featuring a broad range of works by artists representing different approaches, generations and mediums. ARS22 will also include landmark works from different decades that will provide a historical backdrop for the topical and urgent issues featured in the show. Some of these iconic pieces are from Kiasma’s own collection, and others are loaned specifically for the exhibition.

Living Encounters

Underlining the integrated composition of life on the planet, the exhibition offers a myriad ways to come together, sharing doubts and, most importantly, hopes for the future, while offering a place for topical involvement for artists and audiences. The works tell of the everyday life and dreams of individuals and communities while raising questions about the environment, economy, identity or technology. Art is engaged with as a tool to investigate society and present alternative interpretations of our shared world.

Taking over the entire museum, the artworks offer a comprehensive collection of topical works that have appeared in international arenas of contemporary art, as well as new commissions produced specifically for this show. ARS22 will also extend the museum’s regular live art program beyond Kiasma Theatre into the galleries, presenting an intense collection of fifteen performances.

In addition to live art and participatory art, the exhibition will feature a comprehensive range of other mediums – painting, photography, sculpture, installation, moving image – amounting to a broad survey of contemporary art.

The show is curated by Museum Director Leevi Haapala and Chief Curator of Exhibitions João Laia with a curatorial team from Kiasma. An interview with the curators is published in FNG Research issue 3/2021.

Immersive Installations

Preparations for the ARS22 exhibition have been met with challenges presented by the global pandemic and the renovation of the Kiasma building. The majority of the artists have familiarized themselves with the facilities virtually, with some exceptions. One of those who actually visited the museum was Malawi born British artist Samson Kambalu, who spent a week in Helsinki in August shooting material for his upcoming work.

Another artist was French Laure Prouvost, who visited Helsinki in December 2020 to lay the groundwork for her piece and in October 2021 to shoot the new video on location. Winner of the Turner Prize, Prouvost is known for installations that feature bold combinations of sculpture and video. She will create a new sauna inspired piece for the ARS22 exhibition.

Berlin based, USA born artist Donna Huanca presents two installations. Huanca’s works are reminiscent of the human body, its movements and touch. The paintings and sculptures are based on body details, and the materials in the works include clothing and hair accessories. Huanca’s  practice has a special relation with performance, in which partly nude, painted and latex-covered models move in the environment formed by the works. At Kiasma, such a performance will be held during the opening week of the exhibition.

Sun & Sea

ARS22 culminates in August 2022 with the Lithuanian performance Sun & Sea at Merikaapelihalli, Cable Factory for three weeks. Commenting on the current climate crisis, the immersive operatic work won the Golden Lion for the best national pavilion at the Venice Biennale in summer 2019.

The opera takes place on an artificial beach where sunbathers share stories and thoughts by singing. Sun & Sea’s ARS22 iteration is produced in collaboration with the Helsinki Festival and supported by Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation.

ARS 22 – Living Encounters at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma from 8th April 2022

Artists: Marina Abramovic & Ulay; Marja Ahti, Jenni Kalliokuju & Essi Kausalainen*; Farah Al Qasimi; Evgeny Antufiev; Alexandra Bachzetsis*; Francis Bacon; Alex Baczynski-Jenkins*; Lewis Baltz; Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė & Lina Lapelytė*; Sol Calero; Pia Camil; Jimmie Durham; Annika Eriksson; Anna Estarriola; Cyprien Gaillard; Sheela Gowda; D Harding; Kholod Hawash; Tehching Hsieh; Donna Huanca; Anna Maria Häkkinen, Erno Aaltonen & Saara Töyrylä*; Ima Idouzee*; Arthur Jafa; Kimmo Kaivanto; Samson Kambalu; Alex Katz; Mira Kautto, Roy Boswell & Ella-Noora Koikkalainen*; Grada Kilomba; Eva Kot’átková; Vojtěch Kovařík; Essi Kuokkanen; Danutė Kvietkevičiūtė; Mervi Kytösalmi-Buhl; Juha Pekka Matias Laakkonen; Dafna Maimon*; Luís Lázaro Matos; Joar Nango; Mikko Niemistö*; Tuan Andrew Nguyen; Frida Orupabo; Amanda Piña*; Howardena Pindell; Alexandra Pirici*; Laure Prouvost; Anni Puolakka; Michael Rakowitz, Michele Rizzo*; Pia Maria Roll, Hanan Benammar, Sara Baban & Marius von der Fehr*; SERAFINE1369*; Slavs and Tatars; Joel Slotte; Jenna Sutela; Andra Ursuţa; David Wojnarowicz; Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

*performance