THERE AND BACK AGAIN
Contemporary Art from the Baltic Sea Region
February 9, 2018–March 24, 2019
curators: Kati Kivinen and Saara Hacklin
Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland
The exhibition There and Back Again brings together 26 artists from the eastern Baltic Sea region: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland and Russia. This collection exhibition explores the themes of identity, belonging and memory through the metaphor of travel. The title, There and Back Again, refers both to physical travel and to the various internal journeys traversed by working artists.
The artworks in the exhibition reflect a time characterised by the mobility of people, goods and labour, but also by tensions between superpowers. The Soviet era with its restrictions, traumas and memories looms in the background. Many of the artists grew up in the Baltic region in the 1980s and 90s, and experienced their countries’ reindependence. Many have studied and worked outside of their homeland, some in Finland.
„The imagination is often the most important instrument of approaching experiences and memories. Inga Meldere, a Latvian artist curently residing in Helsinki, works a great deal with it, presenting works with multi-layered references. In the series created specially for the exhibition at Kiasma, Meldere has focussed on the presence of the process in the work on art and on pedagogic elements – how things are highlighted and how they are read. The illustration of the process incorporates a variety of references from history, images from magazines, impressions from travel and research (for example, her recent residency at the Baltic Art Centre in Gotland), as well as from the culture of the 1990s, the period when the artist was growing up. In searching for material, the aim had been to follow her inner voice and passion, thus stimulating self-reflection. In addition, the return to the 90s as a time that was crucial to the developement of her identity, full of creative experiment and the spirit of free expression of DIY culture, is certainly a critical factor right now at the beginning of the 21st century, because it also brings the issue of belonging and memeory of the forefront”
writes Maija Rudovska for the exhibition catalogue
Photo: The Finnish National Gallery: Pirje Mykkänen