Art in Conflict

This is a story of three first years in their practical training:

Ilona, Minttu and I started to work for Pekka Niskanen who was putting up an exhibition to Werstas in the end of May. Our job included building video cubicles, painting and hanging up the art. On top of this I was working on Jyri Jaakola’s interview tape and translating all the piece descriptions. In my opinion the work in the time before the opening, was very helpful for future use.

We also had to get into the art works and their backgrounds for our goal was to make sort of conversational tours. The point was not to be your regular tourist tour guide, but to inspire conversation about the themes around the pieces, violence, human rights and how do people see modern art.

Finally we get to D-Day 31.5.2011. We still had some things to work on at the opening day, but we managed to get all done in time. Facebook informed that around 215 people would be there. Honestly I can’t tell how many their where, but I’d say quite a few. Everything started with a speech from Werstas’s representative introducing the artists and people working behind it and naturally opening the exhibition.

There is a lot of art about the situation of Mexico so all of the serving was following the theme, nachos, Corona and everything. Speaking of food, we also saw a food performance by Riikka Kuoppala, The International Cooking School. It was informative about the situation of people from Thailand working in Finland and all the information was served with delicious cooking. Even tough the performance was quite long, it inspired people to watch all the way and ask questions all threw the performance.

During the opening I was asking people of what they thought of it. Many said that it was visually very strong and sending the message in a provocative but not in a grotesque way. They also said that it made them truly think and see things from a new perspective. Though it was not all seen as good, for some said that it reminded them of intellectual social porn in which people can feel empathy for things they don’t really care about, but can together be horrified of all the violence and feel themselves as good people when being so empathetic. Judging by the comments, it seems that the exhibition came out as provocative as we thought it would.

So, come and see for yourself how it is or follow our blog about all the conversations and extras that we find in our websites: See you there!