July 1, 2008 - framework: the finnish art review - Issues 8 and 9 out now
July 1, 2008

Issues 8 and 9 out now

Issues 8 and 9 out now
ISSN 1459-6288, 136 pages


Issue 9 /June ’08
Arctic Hysteria: TranceState of Contemporary Finnish Art

framework 9 is a special issue that focuses on the exhibition Arctic Hysteria: New Art from Finland now on view at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York.

Using cultural clichés as a catalyst, this exhibition focuses on a label which has given cultural meaning to the specificities of a given region, Finland. Finland does not belong to the Arctic in any literal geographic sense, but the Finns are – as are, say, the French and the English – believed to have specific national characteristics.

Marko Tapio, a major Finnish novelist of the post-WW2 decades, considered Arctic hysteria a neurotic, irrational mood that held the Finnish people in its grip: “Arctic hysteria is not a disease. We don’t know what it really is. It is a phenomenon in our life amidst a harsh climate and unpitying conditions. It is a dejection that, when it breaks loose, knows no boundaries.—”

With regards to contemporary art, it is hard to say to which an extent cultural traditions contribute to it today. A persistent cliché often repeated, when discussing Finnish art, is its supposedly close connection with nature. In fact, and quite unexpectedly, the humanity-nature relationship emerges as a sort of connecting thread throughout this exhibition, also in the works of the earlier pioneers and those artists who embrace social and political themes.

In this exhibition the utopian optimism of the 1960s and 1970s concerning technological progress is confronted with an anxiety about the environment and future in the works of younger artists. Even if their sense of humour may give an impression of melancholy and self-irony, it offers help in reducing things to their essentials and shows way for others toward new inspirations. In today’s world the local can have multiple global significances.

Artists: Markus Copper, Veli Granö, Ilkka Halso, Huutajat – Screaming Men, Pekka Jylhä, Tellervo Kalleinen & Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, Reijo Kela, Erkki Kurenniemi, Tea Mäkipää, Pink Twins, Anni Rapinoja, Stiina Saaristo, Jari Silomäki, Sami Sänpäkkilä, Mika Taanila, and Salla Tykkä.

The exhibition is curated by Alanna Heiss and Marketta Seppälä.

The exhibition is organised by P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in collaboration with Artists’ Association of Finland and FRAME. The exhibition will be on view from June 1 through September 15, 2008. On September 15, The Museum of Modern Art will present a special screening of contemporary Finnish video works.

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center
22-25 Jackson Ave at the intersection of 46th Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101

Issue 8/April ’08
In Need of Openness

framework 8 takes up the topical theme of openness – glasnost – in the sense it was introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1980′s as a third way for the then Soviet Union to react to the necessity of political transformation and new challenges of meeting the West. The inspiration for this theme was given by the international conference Revisiting Perestroika – Processes and Alternatives that was organized by the Aleksanteri Institute of the University of Helsinki in November 2007. The aim of the conference was to reassess twenty years later the epoch that led to dramatic changes both in Russia and in the world politics at large.

The articles of the issue address the need and possibility of openness from different perspectives. The critical potential of the arts gives assets for promoting the need for openness at any given time. The same is true of philosophy and science, by and large. As regards political life, historical experience gives guidelines. The recent Finnish history concerning relationships with Russia offers an example.

The Raw, The Cooked and The Packaged – The Archive of Perestroika Art exhibition co-curated by Ivor Stodolsky and Marita Muukkonen, which took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art KIASMA in parallel to the conference, provides material for the section FOCUS: Paths Not Taken. It poses such questions as are there not realistic and appealing historical precedents for alternatives – paths away from big-power geopolitics, cultural and political bondage and undemocratic economic ideologies? What are realistic prospects for alternative forms of globalisation?

Featured artists are Helena Hietanen, Anu Pennanen, and Kimmo Sarje.

To see the contents and information about the back issues, or to subscribe online, go to www.framework.fi or contact office@framework.fi

FRAME Finnish Fund for Art Exchange

framework: the finnish art review

framework: the finnish art review
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