Point of view

Kiasma on International Forums

International operations have always been a natural and important part of Kiasma. The meaning of the international orientation has, however, changed with time. In the global field of contemporary art, Kiasma self-evidently produces international exhibitions and carries on a dialogue with the contemporary art field and operators in the whole world. Still, bringing international art and artists to Finland is not enough. When seeking a position on major international forums, visibility in international art events is crucial. Kiasma also strives for closer teamwork with several museums of international fame. One of the most important openings was the launch of cooperation with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in 2008.

Last year, Kiasma was invited to participate in the Art Basel event. Presence in Basel meant a great leap in the international recognisability of Kiasma and resulted in many new contacts. After Art Basel, the natural course was to present Kiasma operations in Venice through art: This year, Kiasma will participate in the Venice Biennale for the first time. Jussi Kivi’s exhibition will be co-produced with the Finnish Fund for Art Exchange (FRAME) at the Finnish Pavilion ‘Aalto’. The exhibition gains particular importance for marking the permanent reacquisition of Aalto Pavilion into Finnish hands. Having a designated space in the Biennale area will provide Finnish contemporary art with an interesting international venue, offering oppor-tunities for dialogue with wide audiences and other contemporary art organisations during the Biennale.

Cooperation with FRAME provides Kiasma with a natural platform for international operations. Finnish art organisations must work as a unified front in their international relations: the joint purpose of promoting the recognisability and appreciation of Finnish artists and art organisations must be kept in mind.

For Kiasma, strategic promotion of international operations is divided into three main objectives. All operations are based on the promotion of international partnerships, the international recognisability of Kiasma, and the global promotion of Finnish contemporary art. To support and advance these objectives, the entire Finnish contemporary art field must combine its forces and engage in concrete operations. One major point of development lies in the securing of the continuing operations and strategic development of Finnish Pavilion. The Pavilion is not only a vital part of Finnish art history, but also a future resource in the increasingly competitive market. Opportunities for such a tangible and visible presence on one of world’s most important art forums are rare and precious.

Berndt Arell
Director, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art