Review: Museum of Contemporary Art, Kiasma

15 Nov

The first night I was in Helsinki I spent my time at Kiasma, the Contemporary Art Museum. It was open until 10pm on Friday so it seemed like a great alternative to drinking – which, after barely any sleep, I was not up for! We dropped our bags off in the free cloakroom and began another mind-expanding journey.

Kiasma’s website tells us the origins of the name:

‘Kiasma is the Finnish for chiasma, a term that describes the crossing of nerves or tendons or the intertwining of two chromatids’.

After entering the building I was directed to a curved slope, and walking up it to pass through the sliding doors I felt as though I was entering a body or passing through into another world. The interior is linked so that you can look down on places that you’ve visited, or look up to where you will be.

The exhibitions vary greatly, form giant canvasses to short films to interactive displays. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and would highly recommend it; it’s well worth the 8€ (student price).

At the moment they have these exhibitions. By the way, I’m not an art critic, and I don’t always know how to put into words my opinions on art, because I’m not an expert and I respond to art largely with feelings and emotions, so don’t expect an indepth analysis. I just like to enjoy and appreciate art!

We began with an exhibition by Osmo Rauhala. There were many large canvasses which filled the walls, of simple but beautiful pictures which had themes of nature and science all criss-crossed over and interlinking.

Next was an exhibition by a British artist, Toby Zielger, which I confess that I didn’t understand, until I listened to the explanation that the artist provides at the end. You can watch a video for a couple of minutes at the end and it’s well worth a listen.

‘Reality Bites’ is a really big exhibition which takes up three floors of the building and features a number of artists. I really loved one piece by (another) British artist, Peter Liversidge. It was called ‘Proposals for Kiasma’ and it was a collection of typed letters which suggestions that he was either willing to carry out, or pay someone to. Some where profound, some silly as hell, and some were actually really good ideas! I laughed a lot at this one.

We spent well over two hours there, and I would have stayed longer but I was starting to feel really tired. If I’d been more awake I would have sampled the cafe on the ground floor. we did take a quick peek in the shop and it was filled with loads of quirky things, many of which I would have bought had I the space in my backpack. This trip was one of my favourite parts of the weekend and I will most likely go back when I return to Helsinki. My mind was buzzing with ideas and I was feeling much more uplifted than I had before I entered. I really can’t think of anything bad to say about place.

Overall rating 10/10

 

 

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6 Responses to “Review: Museum of Contemporary Art, Kiasma”

  1. Katariina Partala November 18, 2012 at 12:51 am #

    Wow, I’m glad you liked the place! … I don’t like Kiasma at all :p When I visited it, only something like 50% of the exhibitions were ready and I walked through the whole place in 20 minutes or so! But the museum shop was great 🙂

    • saramay91 November 18, 2012 at 2:06 am #

      Oh that’s such a shame! Maybe we just timed it right, they had plenty to see this time =) Potentially something to watch out for in the future though…
      I could have bought so much in the shop, it’s probably a good thing that I had taken only a small bag with me =P

      • Katariina Partala November 24, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

        Hahahaha indeed! Did you see those snowball things in the shop??
        You should visit Ateneum next time, it’s one of the best museums in Finland in my opinion 🙂

      • saramay91 November 25, 2012 at 12:08 am #

        No, what are they?

        I wanted to go last time but I didn’t have time, it’s on my list for when I visit in December though =D I’m glad that you say it’s good also, it’s reassuring!

      • Katariina Partala December 2, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

        Small plastic balls that make a noise similar to the noise of snow crunching under your boots when you walk outside on a cold day.. those snowballs are almost as addictive as bubble wrap 😀

        Oh, great!! I’m sure you’ll like Ateneum! 🙂

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  1. What’s Wrong With Finland? « Finland and Back - January 15, 2013

    […] sea views, the perfect way to relax on the weekend. There are art galleries and museums galore, the Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum and the Finnish National Museum being my favourite to […]

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