This spring EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art will feature two Saastamoinen Foundation’s recent acquisitions that discuss the relationship between art and society. Candice Breitz’s Profile and Jan Ijäs’ The Raft of the Medusa both examine the artificial boundaries between people in different ways. They are featured in the collection exhibition Touch, an exhibition based around the central theme of humanity. In 2018 Saastamoinen Foundation celebrates 50 years of work in the advancement of science and art. The Saastamoinen Foundation is one of Finland’s most prominent art collectors and enablers of scientific research.
Candice Breitz: Profile 14.2.–16.9.2018
Candice Breitz (b. 1972, Johannesburg, South-Africa) represented South-Africa in the 2017 Venice Biennale. Breitz’s video work Profile discusses identity and how conflicting it is to work as an artist and to represent from a national standing point in one of the world’s most prominent contemporary art events.
The work is based on Breitz’s own personal history. Instead of featuring in the work herself, Breitz turns the focus on ten other South-African artists. In the video work the artists appear one by one and utter dialogue about identity. The self-conflicting claims challenge structures and assumptions about race, class, gender, profession and religion. It is not about what first meets the eye, or what kind of story is being told. The artist has made three variations of the work that are alike in form but differ in dialogue. The different versions are shown in EMMA on alternating days.
Candice Breitz is of South-African origin and currently works in Berlin. Her works have been represented in major international contemporary art arenas all around the world.
Jan Ijäs: The Raft of the Medusa 14.2.–6.5.2018
The Raft of the Medusa by Jan Ijäs (b. 1975, Jyväskylä, Finland) contrasts the shipwrecks of African immigrants seeking refuge on the island of Lampedusa in Italy with the abandoned cars of asylum seekers that have ended up in Salla Finland via Russia and Théodore Géricault’s painting The Raft of the Medusa (1818-1819). Located in the Louvre in Paris, Géricault’s dramatic painting depicts the fate of the French frigate Medusa. The frigate carrying French administrative personnel was supposed to land on the coast of Senegal in 1816, but instead got shipwrecked: 147 souls took refuge on a rickety raft which ended up sailing for over a week in inhumane circumstances before being discovered. In the end only ten passengers survived. The video work by Ijäs associates Géricault’s painting with today and the rafts used by refugees.
Jan Ijäs is a media artist and filmmaker who lives and works in Helsinki. His films have been screened in museums and galleries and several film festivals in Finland and abroad.
The regularly renewed Saastamoinen Foundation art collection exhibition Touch has been on display at EMMA since 2014. This spring it will also feature new works from such artists as Grönlund-Nisunen, Jussi Goman, Henna-Riikka Halonen, Emma Helle and Iina Terho.
Press images: https://kuvat.emma.museum/kuvat/Lehdistokuvat-Press/Kosketus-Saastamoisen+säätiön+kokoelmanäyttely/Breitz+Ijäs/
Henna Paunu, Chief Curator, Collections, EMMA
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Laura Kokkonen, amanuenssi, EMMA
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Päivi Karttunen, Saastamoinen Foundation
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Located in Tapiola, Espoo, EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art’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.