Major exhibition of contemporary art ARS22 – Living encounters will open in the renovated Kiasma on Friday

ARS22 – Living Encounters explores the big questions and stories of our time. The exhibition brings together international contemporary art and the public in a space dedicated to shared experiences and community. ARS22 features works by 55 artists or groups from 26 different countries. The exhibition opens on 8th of April 2022 in Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki.

Since 1961, the exhibition series ARS has engaged with the most pressing questions defining its time. The tenth edition, ARS22 –Living Encounters, deals with the multiple processes of social fragmentation that are endangering life on the planet today.

The exhibition includes two defining gestures: an emphasis on live practices and the inclusion of historical. By emphasizing the here and now, participatory and performative proposals underline the museum as a physical space for gathering. The historical works provide a dialogic context for current investigations and positions, highlighting how art has permanently been an arena in which to engage crucial questions of the moment, then and now.

ARS22 designs a choreography of gestures and positions that in their specificity and as a whole offer alternative paths to present-day detachment, disenchantment, isolation, and hopelessness, making visible the mutually dependent dynamics between individual and collective imaginaries both in their continuities and in their ruptures. ARS22 – Living Encounters is a gathering that celebrates the intimate, multiple, shared, and dynamic constitution of life on the planet.

“When we began planning this exhibition in summer 2019, we could scarcely imagine the radically altered reality that ARS22 would find itself addressing. The exhibition’s themes – coexistence, alternative forms of storytelling, and the difficulty of genuinely hearing others in today’s polarized public debate – are all the more acutely relevant in the light of shared challenges facing the entire planet and humanity today”, says Museum Director Leevi Haapala, one of the curators of the exhibition.

ARS22 offers a comprehensive collection of topical works that have appeared in international arenas of contemporary art, as well as 15 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. For the first time, the exhibition includes works also from previous ARS exhibitions. ARS22 culminates in August 2022 with the Lithuanian opera performance Sun & Sea. Commenting on the current climate crisis, the immersive work won the Golden Lion for the best national pavilion at the Venice Biennale in summer 2019.

Live Art and Commissions

The exhibition is curated by Leevi Haapala and João Laia together with Kiasma’s curator team Saara Hacklin, Kati Kivinen, Patrik Nyberg, Piia Oksanen, Satu Oksanen, Jonna Strandberg and Jari-Pekka Vanhala.

ARS22 publication unfolds a thematic focus on contemporary art, emphasizing communities, topical narratives, and live encounters. The book includes essays by the curators plus four researchers from different fields, as well as presentations of all fifty-five artists and their works in the exhibition. Writers are Museum Director Leevi Haapala and Chief Curator João Laia together with Professor of Philosophy and Cultural Studies Byung-Chul Han, Professor Emerita Donna J Haraway; writer, psychologist, theorist and interdisciplinary artist Grada Kilomba and philosopher, writer, curator Paul B. Preciado.

The logo of the exhibition is designed by SEK/Osasto. The seating and meeting areas around the museum were designed by Eliisa Korpijärvi and Lauri Johansson. 

Artists: Marina Abramović & Ulay; Marja Ahti, Jenni Kalliokuju & Essi Kausalainen*; Evgeny Antufiev; Farah Al Qasimi; 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 Skoikka*; 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*; SERAFINE1369*; Slavs and Tatars; Joel Slotte; Jenna Sutela; Andra Ursuţa; David Wojnarowicz; Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. *performance

Supported by: Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation; AVEK – Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture; Bildmuseet, Umeå; Helsinki Festival; ifa – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Berlin; Ministry of Culture, Republic of China (Taiwan); OCA Office for Contemporary Art Norway, Oslo; Saastamoinen Foundation; Swedish-Finnish Cultural Foundation; British Embassy, Helsinki; La Casa Encendida, Madrid; City of Helsinki, Education Division; Embassy of Lithuania, Helsinki; Embassy of Mexico, Helsinki; Embassy of Norway, Helsinki; Embassy of Portugal, Helsinki; Institut français de Finlande, Helsinki; Koiviston auto, Lahti; Kunsthall Trondheim; U.S. Embassy, Helsinki.
Lenders: Finnish Glass Museum, Riihimäki; Lithuanian National Museum of Art, Vilnius; Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere.

ARS22 – Living encounters 8.4.–16.10.2022


Press images for media

Reetta Haarajoki, tel. +358 (0)294 500 631,

Piia Laita, tel. +358 (0)294 500 507,