There and Back Again

The collection exhibition will update ideas of contemporary art in the Baltic region.

  • 9.2.2018–24.3.2019

Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Pirje Mykkänen.

The collection exhibition on the third floor of Kiasma updates our view of contemporary art in the Baltic region, bringing together 26 artists from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland and Russia.

Countries around the Baltic Sea are united by geography and history. The region is a point of confluence for many economic, political and cultural interests. Hansa towns, the Soviet Union, Via Baltica, a gas pipeline and nature protection have unified countries and people while also separating them.

Where Do We Come From, Where Are We Going?

There and Back Again is an exhibition about a time characterised by the mobility of people, goods and work but also by political tensions between superpowers. The palpable backstory is the Soviet era with its restrictions, traumas and memories.

Themes shared by the works are travelling, migration, place and the sense of belonging. The artists depict journeys across seas, settling in a new place and dreams of change.

The journeys are also inner explorations of identity. The works invite us to consider where we are coming from, where we are going and where we belong, but they also make visible very ordinary things: travelling between Finland and Estonia, social media events and even booze cruises.

Featured Artists

Many of the artists featured in the show grew up in the Baltic region in the 1980s and 1990s and lived through the restoration of independence of their homeland. Many of them have studied and worked abroad, some of them in Finland.


Tanya Akhmetgalieva, Roma Auškalnyte, Miķelis Fišers, Alexei Gordin, Artor Jesus Inkerö, Alge Julija Kavaliauskaitė, Flo Kasearu, Tiina Ketara, Karel Koplimets, Kris Lemsalu, Inga Meldere, Daria Melnikova, Mindaugas Navakas, Katrīna Neiburga, Jüri Okas, Anna Reivilä, Jaanus Samma, Tea Tammelaan, Maria Toboła, Jaan Toomik, Gintautas Trimakas & Nomeda Urbonienė & Elena Valiukaitė, Gediminas Urbonas, Jenni Yppärilä and Darius Žiūra.

Art from a Widening Sphere

The works in the exhibition all belong to the collections of Kiasma/ Finnish National Gallery, and most of them are on show for the first time at Kiasma. The most recent works were created specifically for this exhibition.

The Museum of Contemporary Art has from its inception collected art not only from Finland but also from nearby regions. It is like a widening sphere, acquiring art from Finland and the Nordic countries, from Baltic countries and Russia, and from farther yet, the rest of Europe and the Western world.

The exhibition is supported by Estonian Embassy in Helsinki, Embassy of Republic of Latvia in Republic of Finland and Lithuanian Culture Institute.