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EMMA - Espoon modernin taiteen museo

EMMA celebrates by opening a new international exhibition series

Media release.
Published: 11-Oct-2016 12:54 pm
Publisher: EMMA - Espoon modernin taiteen museo


EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art celebrates its 10th anniversary. Exactly 10 years ago, on 13 October 2006, EMMA opened its Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection display alongside exhibitions of Kazimir Malevich, Shirin Neshat, Timo Kelaranta and the exhibition The Knave of Diamonds.

Today on its 10th anniversary, EMMA opens a new exhibition series In Search of the Present adding internationally significant group exhibitions to the museum’s exhibition profile and programme. The first of the series, the exhibition exploring the human beings’ relationship to themselves, nature and the digital environment will open on 12 October 2016. Comprising of works by 22 international contemporary artists, the exhibition spreading throughout the museum spaces will be open until 8 January 2017.

Concurrently, EMMA will unveil as part of the Touch Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection exhibition Hanna Haaslahti‘s commissioned work Simulation Box, 2016 outside, next to the WeeGee entrance.


In Search of the Present / 12 October 2016 – 8 January 2017

The exhibition concept was inspired by the 1929 collection of essays by Olavi Paavolainen, an influential Finnish modernist writer and thinker, in which he discusses the essence of the modern human in the modern, changing world. His thinking offers astounding parallels to questions we are asking ourselves today.

In Search of the Present turns the gaze towards current issues that are shaping art and society at large and encourages viewers to participate in the public debate. With its themes, The New Me, Digital Mankind and Nature Kingdom, the exhibition explores the nature of human beings that inhabit a global digital world and their relationship to the environment, themselves and other human beings. The New Me theme described how we build ourselves and our identities in present age by using even quite extreme methods. The human being has become stronger as and operator and factor than ever before. Digital Mankind is a theme that discusses digitalisation and how it changes not only the individual but the entire humankind; we are on the verge of a major shift, which will change the way we think and act. Nature Kingdom talks about how desperately the humankind is striving to contain nature and the animal kingdom, alas with no success.

The works of the exhibition examine topics ranging widely from the modern sports hype to politics in the social media, from the exploitation of animals to the digital evolution, from plastic waste to the refugee questions and from virtual warfare to spiritual parallel realities. The exhibition series repeated every three to four years gives an opportunity for the museum and the artists featured in the exhibition to participate in the debate in society and reflecting on future visions through art.

The exhibition concept is created and the exhibition is curated by Pilvi Kalhama with the assistance of curators Henna Paunu and Päivi Talasmaa. The artists in the exhibition are: David Altmejd (b. 1974), Berlinde de Bruyckere (b. 1964), Harun Farocki (1944-2014), Maria Friberg (b. 1966), Hannaleena Heiska (b. 1973), Camille Henrot (b. 1978), Berglind Jóna Hlynsdóttir (b. 1979), Sasha Huber (b. 1975), Artor Jesus Inkerö (b. 1989), Saija Kassinen (b. 1983), Yazan Khalili (b. 1981), Klara Kristalova (b. 1967), Elke Silvia Krystufek (b. 1970), Antti Laitinen (b. 1975), Jonathan Monk (b. 1969), Ben Okri, Erwin Olaf (b. 1959), Aza Shadenova (b. 1989), Elly Strik (b. 1961), Pascale Marthine Tayou (b. 1967), Anne Tompuri and Akram Zaatari (b. 1966).

“The truths of the past are no longer believed in, the truths of the future have not yet been formed. There is no other certainty apart from the present – and if you ask what the truth of the present is, I will respond: Go find it!”
Olavi Paavolainen: In Search of the Present (1929)

Instead of presenting preconceived answers, the exhibition will present each artist by posing a concrete question and encourages the viewers to participate in the discussion with the method of their choice. Different discourses come together in the exhibition space, where visitors have the opportunity to answer questions and, in addition to the type writer dating from Paavolainen’s era, continue the conversation through the social media with hashtag #nykyaika2016. EMMA’s experts give their own perspectives into the same questions in the exhibition programme.


Simulation Box / 12 October 2016-

Hanna Haaslahti’s Simulation Box is located outside by the WeeGee entrance and is free for anyone to try out. The work is interactive and in use during the dark.

The work is part of the Touch Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection, which in this way spreads outside the confines of the museum building. Simulation Box is a commissioned work and designed specifically to fit the exterior architecture of WeeGee. This is the second work commissioned by the Saastamoinen Foundation from Hanna Haaslahti working in collaboration with the Oi Oi Collective and the technical staff of EMMA. Commissioned works are a way to build the collection taking into account the spaces and needs of the museum, while involving the museum in the production of the works. The commissioned work is part of EMMA’s 10th anniversary programme.

Simulation Box, 2016
Hanna Haaslahti in association with the Oi Oi Collective
Infrared sensor and filter, computer, video projector, metal, acrylic, glass
The simulation can be used only in the dark


EMMA and WeeGee’s week of celebrations / 10–16 October 2016

Since its establishment, EMMA had displayed a wide spectrum of modern and contemporary art, including exhibitions by Sophie Calle, Salvador Dalí, William Kentridge, Art&Language, Kazimir Malevich, Anette Messager, Joan Miró, Shirin Neshat and group exhibitions. EMMA is part of the Exhibition Centre WeeGee, established in 2006. EMMA and WeeGee will be dedicating an entire week to celebrating their 10th anniversary at the architecturally distinguished building in Tapiola, Espoo, designed by Aarno Ruusuvuori. The week will be full of interesting programme, including the Silent Disco at EMMA, a dating event at Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection exhibition, experiential guided tours by EMMA Club members and open art workshops. Read more about the week’s programme: http://www.emma.museum/uutinen/juhlaviikko


Aarno Ruusuvuori – the architect of concrete and light / 23 September 2016-29 January 2017

EMMA introduces Professor Aarno Ruusuvuori’s (1925–1992) career as an architect of newbuilds and renovation projects in a new documentary film directed by Tina Cavén. Screened until January 2017, the documentary includes interviews with Ruusuvuori’s spouse, architect Anna Ruusuvuori, and his colleague, architect Juhani Pallasmaa.

EMMA is located in a building designed by Aarno Ruusuvuori (1925–1992). Originally built as a printing house for Weilin+Göös publishers, the building was completed in three stages between 1964 ad 1974. The printing operations were relocated elsewhere in 1992. The City of Espoo bought the property in 2001 and it was altered to house exhibition and cultural use. The building is protected.

Aarno Ruusuvuori – the architect of concrete and light, 2016
Duration 15 mins.
Production design and direction Tina Cavén
Photography and editing Ville Tanttu
Music Eetu Palomäki, Ilmari Kantola and Ville Tanttu
Produced by EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art
Screenings: EMMA, Aitio, during museum opening hours, except for times when the Aitio space is reserved for other functions.


Images to the exhibition In Search of the Presenthttp://kuvat.emma.museum/kuvat/Lehdistokuvat-Press/Nykyaikaa+etsim%C3%A4ss%C3%A4/
Password: emmamuseum
On EMMA's webpage: http://www.emma.museum/en/In_Search_of_the_Present
Attachment: In Search of the Present artist presentations

Further information:

Project Manager
Hanna Mamia-Walther, Curator, EMMA
hanna.mamia-walther@emma.museum, +358 (0)43 826 7349

Chief Curator
Pilvi Kalhama, Director, EMMA
pilvi.kalhama@emma.museum, +358 (0)40 533 4070

Reetta Kalajo, Chief Curator, Education, EMMA
reetta.kalajo@emma.museum, +358 (0)40 557 1422


Further information on Haaslahti's commissioned work:
Henna Paunu, Chief Curator of Collections, EMMA
henna.paunu@emma.museum, +358 (0)43 824 6354


Further information on Ruusuvuori's documentary:
Päivi Talasmaa, Chief Curator, Exhibitions, EMMA
paivi.talasmaa@emma.museum, +358 50 511 4206
On EMMA's Web Page: http://www.emma.museum/en/exhibition/ruusuvuori


Further information on EMMA's and WeeGee's celebratory week:
Ingrid Orman, Producer, EMMA
ingrid.orman@emma.museum, +358 (0)43 826 8724



EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art is one of Finland’s central art museums. Located in Tapiola, Espoo, EMMA’s collection and exhibition programme profiles Finnish and international modernism, contemporary art as well as design. EMMA’s exhibition spaces – the largest in Finland – are situated in the architecturally impressive WeeGee building designed by Professor Aarno Ruusuvuori. The modern architecture adds to the experience-focused presentation of the changing exhibitions and permanent collections of EMMA, the Saastamoinen Foundation and Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation.

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