I haven’t been to enough art shows this past winter but I did manage to visit Kiasma, the museum of contemporary art in Helsinki, for the ARS17 exhibition, which centered around the art of the digital age and was titled “Hello World!” (referencing the phrase often used to check code). ARS is a huge exhibition that shows contemporary art from all around the world and is organized about every five years or so.
I really loved the pieces by Swedish artist Anna Uddenberg: she made sculptures with female figures balancing on suitcases. They look like they are doing rodeo. The sculptures are supposed to be provocative ideas of what the current It Girl would look like. Included in ARS17 there were three ”rodeo” pieces and Swirl Lounge, reminiscent of airport waiting areas (pictured above, right).
Canadian Jon Rafman had two animal-themed sculptures in the show. A piece with a deer trying to swallow a gorilla is pictured above, on the left. The other piece was also a herbivore trying to eat a carnivore.
A Spanish artist Julia Varela was responsible for the black broken screens (pictured above, bottom left). The smashed pieces of electronics seem to ask whether this is all that will be left of us in a short while?
A Russian artist Andrey Bogush had blown up a photos of the human body into one huge picture that looked like a massive curtain.
Charles Richardson’s piece Headbone (pictured above, bottom right) consisted of a flowery couch and videos of 3D characters reflected on the wall in front of the couch. There was something strangely meditative about the whole experience. The installation was in a small darkened room in the museum so it felt like its own little world.
American Yung Jake had made several smaller pieces about pop culture (example above, on the left), which made me think of my own childhood.
All in all, ARS17 was a great exhibition and I can’t wait to see this year’s ARS.