Seeking Company for the Marshal

The exhibition showcases the finalists of the competition. Together with Kiasma, the Finnish State Art Commission organised a competition for a new work of art to be installed near Kiasma.

  • 29.1.–27.3.2016

Exhibition showcases the finalists of the Kiasma Art Competition

The equestrian statue of Marshal Mannerheim is an almost iconic sculpture that is known to all Finns. Together with Kiasma, the Finnish State Art Commission organised a competition for a new work of art to be installed near Kiasma. The aim of the competition is to find a work that challenges conventional ideas and stimulates new ideas and debate about art in public space.

This exhibition showcases the finalists of the competition. It also includes presentations of all 363 submissions received. The entries were submitted anonymously under pseudonyms. The winner will be announced in Kiasma on 10 March 2016. The audience can also vote for their favourite.

The six finalists are the following artists and groups: Harri Ahonen, Antti Immonen, muesli art collective (Louis Darcel, Maëlle Delaplanche, Hannah De Corte and João Freitas), Anssi Pulkkinen, Nestori Syrjälä, and the team composed of Aet Ader, Andra Aaloe and Flo Kasearu.

The construction of the Museum of Contemporary Art next to the statue was hotly debated in he mid-1990s. Today the surroundings of Kiasma and the Helsinki Music Centre are an urban meeting point known for skateboarders, cyclists, demonstrations and cultural events. The area is far from finished, however: the Töölönlahti bay area is being developed even now.

The finalists


“Okulus is a device for new, surprising encounters, a symbol of transparency and a public eye, with Kiasma serving as its nerve and centrepoint.”

“Okulus consists of two circular screens that are connected to cameras. They both monitor the area in front of them and transmit the image in real time to the other screen. The result is a gigantic, soundless picture phone or virtual teleportal from one side of Kiasma to the other. In addition to a live feed, the screens can also be used to show video art or previously recorded images from the site. The sculptural housing of the screens alludes to the shape of the eye and the eyelid.”

The Kiasma Art Competition finalist


“Floating sculptures at sunrise”

“The proposal is a contemporary version of an old communication device, a semaphore. Every day at sunrise, the semaphore produces gigantic soap bubbles that emerge from the rooftop of the museum. The bubbles are sculptures created by wind and light that only last for a few seconds. Their presence will activate the museum every morning and accompany the people of Helsinki in their daily life, through the seasons. The installation forms a ritual and highlights the passing of time.”

The Kiasma Art Competition finalist


“And all of a sudden there was no ground beneath…”

”Over the next year the ground beneath Kiasma may shake and tear and passers-by may find themselves in the aftermath of an event. They can stop and try to fathom what narratives these mangled fragments of the urban environment are trying to convey, or they can just carry on. The incidents haunting the museum and its surroundings are twisted reflections of global actualities that leave the audience wondering ‘What on earth happened here?’, ‘How shall we go on?’ and ‘Who will feed these camels now?’”

The Kiasma Art Competition finalist

Discomposition (with a grid)

”A fragment of our contemporary national landscape, separated from its context and purpose.”

”Our public space has in the past half a century been shaped by the ordered grids of parking spaces. A painted field of asphalt cuts us off from the soil and the landscape, seeking to narrow down existence and action into external order and unambiguous performance. Nevertheless a parking lot provides also a platform for autonomous activity and encounter. The work encourages us to use our environment, to create situations. Creatively, without restrictions.”

Honorary mention for an interesting concept

Running man

Running Man is a dramatised image of contemporary humanity: a hurried and lost figure in a world beset by ecological, economic and political crises. The work consists of several runs, each lasting for one hour, conducted once a week for one year. The runners are actors and dancers. The choreography of the runs is derived from the physical manifestations of psychological reactions to crisis.”

Competition winner, shared first prize


”A Turneresque colour mist in the dark North”

”The work is a pulsating light and sound installation in the museum’s outside pools drained for the winter. After dark, the pools fill with a mist illuminated with coloured lights. The result is a living painting, a ‘Turneresque’ colour mist in the dark North, painted with modern technology. The wind will stir and blow away the mist at random. The soundscape consists of mysterious ‘Solarian’ buzzing and humming. In early spring the installation is dismantled to wait for the next dark season.”

Competition winner, shared first prize
Audience favourite
Friends of Kiasma favourite