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And what a splendid year it will be!

31.1.2017 by

This year, we are celebrating Finland’s one hundred years of independence. We have only just reached the end of January, but there is already an unusual and extraordinary amount of events highlighting Finnish culture all over Denmark.

So what did January bring us?

The Finland100 celebrations were kicked off in Denmark in a very exciting way with the first ever visit by the Finnish National Ballet. It was a jam-packed weekend with four shows of the Snow Queen, or Snedronningen, hosted by Det Kongelige Teater. The Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, the Danish Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik were all in attendance on the opening night.

The ballet, based on a story by H. C. Andersen, has previously enjoyed fantastic success in Finland. It was received very well with sold-out shows at the Royal Opera House in Copenhagen as well.

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Another important event was the opening of the exhibition Alvar Aalto – Second Nature at Kunsten in Aalborg. It is only on very rare occasions that you are able to incorporate the physical museum building into an exhibition, and this is exactly what Kunsten has done. With Alvar Aalto having designed the building, you are welcomed and surrounded by Aalto’s work even before stepping into the actual exhibition. Alvar Aalto – Second Nature is a retrospective exhibition, held in collaboration with Vitra Design Museum, the Alvar Aalto Museum and the Alvar Aalto Foundation. It showcases Aalto’s architecture and design, and its dialogue with the art of his time. The exhibition is open until April 17th 2017, and is warmly recommended a visit.

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January also brought with it the opening of Japanomania at Statens Museum for Kunst, the National Gallery of Denmark. In collaboration with Ateneum in Helsinki and Nasjonalmuseet in Oslo, Japanomania explores the influence of Japonisme on Nordic art during the years 1875-1918. In the exhibition, you can find works by several famous artists, e.g. Edvard Munch, Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet, and Finnish artists such as Albert Edelfelt and Helene Schjerfbeck. It is open until April 23rd 2017, so be sure to check it out.

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Furthermore, four artists with ties to Finland are involved with the exhibition Nordic Delights at Fotografisk CenterNordic Delights is a group exhibition that focuses on the concept of the Nordic countries and provides another perspective on Nordic identity and the notion of the “Nordic model”. The exhibition consists of works by photographers and visual artists who live and work in one of the Nordic countries, but with roots elsewhere. You can experience it until March 5th 2017.

What to keep an eye out for in the near future? 

This first week of February has a lot in store.

Firstly, Kunsthal Charlottenborg’s Spring exhibition is opening! The exhibition showcases both Danish and international artists and their work, representing various art forms, architecture and design. Key inspirations for this year’s exhibition include the use of the digital and electronics, as well as semi-religious and mysterious themes.
There are a total of six artists representing Finland, ranging from seasoned professionals to some newer voices. The artists are:

Collateral. Photo: Timo Wright

Collateral. Photo: Timo Wright

The official opening takes place February 2nd at 19-22, and the exhibition will be held until March 11th 2017. The spring exhibition has been organised annually since 1857 and it will be very interesting to see what this year’s exhibition has in store!

Secondly, Cinemateket will, in honor of Finland’s 100th year of independence, show a series of Finnish films. The films include, among others, the silent movie Anna-Liisa (1922), The Unknown Soldier (“Tuntematon sotilas”; 1955) and Aki Kaurismäki’s The Man without a Past (“Mies vailla menneisyyttä”; 2002).
The film series kicks off with a showing of The Grump (“Mielensäpahoittaja”; 2014) on February 3rd, and a reception after the viewing which director Dome Karukoski will attend.
For more information about the films and when they are showing, take a look here.

Lastly, the Finnish award-winning film The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki (Hymyilevä mies; 2016) will be shown in different cinemas across Denmark, premiering on February 2nd. The movie follows professional boxer Olli Mäki who is preparing for the biggest fight of his life, and what is to be a major event in Finnish sporting history. The run-up to the fight does not go entirely according to plan, and Mäki suddenly falls in love.
Directed by Juho Kuosmanen, the film won the prize Un Certain Regard at the 2016 Cannes film festival.

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For more information about the film (in Danish) have a look here and for information about viewing times and dates, check out the cinemas’ websites;

And this is by far only the beginning to what is to become an unbelievably interesting year. We will keep you updated on all future events both here and on our social media accounts, so do keep an eye on our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram and Twitter; @finindk. We are eagerly awaiting everything else this year has in store, and hopefully you are too!

Alvar Aalto retrospective coming to Kunsten

23.1.2017 by

From January 26th to April 17th 2017, you have the chance to learn more about world-renowned Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) at Kunsten in Aalborg.

Photo: Göran Schildt

Photo: Göran Schildt

Kunsten, in collaboration with Vitra Design Museum and the Alvar Aalto Museum, is bringing the exhibition Alvar Aalto – Second Nature to Aalborg. This retrospective exhibition gives you the opportunity to take a closer look at Alvar Aalto’s life and work. It also offers new perspectives on his highly influential style and sources of inspiration. One major addition to the exhibition is the building itself, designed by Alvar Aalto and completed in 1972. Other famous buildings by Aalto include the Paimio Sanatorium (1928-33) , Villa Mairea (1939) and the Finlandia Concert Hall (1975).

Finlandia Concert Hall. Photo: Rune S.

Finlandia Concert Hall. Photo: Rune S.

Aalto drew inspiration from both art and nature to create architecture and design with an organic, natural feel. His attention to detail and personal interpretation of functionalist design made for an exciting career spanning from the early 1920s to the 1970s. Through the years, Aalto created more than 400 buildings and a great deal of furniture, glass and lamp designs. He also co-founded the gallery and furniture company Artek, which is still viewed as a major contributor to modern design.

Paimio Armchair. Photo: Jürgen Hans

Paimio Armchair. Photo: Jürgen Hans

The exhibition Alvar Aalto – Second Nature includes architectural models, furniture design, lamps and glassware. It also includes pieces by artists such as Alexander Calder and Jean Arp to showcase the important relationship between Aalto and the art of his time.

The exhibition will be open 26.1-27.4.2017 so do go and have a look!

More information can be found here or here.

Snedronningen – Kenneth Greve and the Finnish National Ballet are visiting

9.1.2017 by

With the arrival of some short-lived but beautiful snow during the past few days, it feels more than fitting that Kenneth Greve and the Finnish National Ballet are soon coming to Copenhagen with Snedronningen, also known as the Snow Queen or Lumikuningatar. The ballet will be in town for four shows from the 27th to the 29th of January 2017 at the Royal Danish Ballet.

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Photo: Mirka Kleemola

The family friendly ballet, based on H. C. Andersen’s fairytale from 1845, follows the adventures of Kai and Kerttu, two children in Helsinki at the turn of the 19th century. When a mirror bought by Kerttu’s grandmother in Lapland turns out to be the Snow Queen’s magic mirror, the two children find themselves on an adventure that will forever change them. The Snow Queen tries to get back her stolen mirror by sending an ugly troll and his goblins after it but they are in such a hurry that they manage to break it. Pieces of it scatter, one of which falls into the eye of sleeping Kai changing the way he sees the world. Because of this, Kai is kidnapped and forced to try to glue the pieces of the mirror back together. In order to find Kai, Kerttu embarks on a long journey, taking her to the most remote places on earth. Through the people she meets, she discovers that they all have one thing in common; their fear of the Snow Queen. Together they decide to free Kai, but they need help from all the children watching!

Snedronningen is a story about love, fortitude and compassion in a whirlwind of magic and bravery.

Dates and times:
27.1: 19:30
28.1: 15:00 & 19:30
29.1: 12:00

There are still a few tickets available for all four shows, but be quick! Tickets can be found here.

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Photo: Mirka Kleemola

Choreography  –  Kenneth Greve
Music  –  Tuomas Kantelinen
Sets  –  Erika Turunen & Mikki Kunttu
Costumes  –  Erika Turunen
Lighting Design  –  Mikki Kunttu
Makeup Design  –  Pekka Helynen
Dramaturgical Advisor  –  Raija-Sinikka Rantala
Projections  –  Jan Yrlund & Mikko Linnavuori
Sound Design  –  Petri Peltovako
Principal Ballet Mistress  –  Ingrid Němečková
Ballet Masters  –  Anastasia Dunets, Francis Guardia, Joseph Kerwin, Kimmo Sandell & Tuuli Tuominen-Sandell
Children’s Instructor  –  Satu Soldan

ICE HOT Nordic Dance Platform is coming to Copenhagen

28.11.2016 by
Tero Saarinen Company, Morphed.

Tero Saarinen Company, Morphed. Photo: ICE HOT 2016

Ready yourself for a week dedicated to dance! ICE HOT Nordic Dance Platform is a biennale platform and showcase festival for Nordic dancers and dance companies. Taking place every second year, the festival location has shifted between the Nordic capitals and has now made it to Copenhagen. For five days, between November 30th and December 4th, the festival will present more than thirty new, high quality and diverse performances by professional dancers from both established Nordic groups as well as newcomers. A jury, consisting of members from all Nordic countries, has chosen all performances for the program.

Apart from onstage performances the festival offers several offstage and site specific presentations. The program is specifically targeted at international dance professionals, artistic directors and bookers at festivals and theaters, but some of the performances are also open to local audiences. In addition to the artistic program, board discussions, workshops and networking forums will be organized for dance professionals from around the world. This year’s program features performances by seven dance groups from Finland.

 

Onstage performances from Finland

Dance Theatre Hurjaruuth: Thumbelina, Thursday December 1st at 3pm, Dansehallerne (for children)

Pirinen, Hindi, Donovan, Walsh, Saivosalmi: Meadow, meadow, meadow, Thursday December 1st at 5pm, Dansekapellet

Carl Knif Company: RED, Friday December 2nd at 1pm, Dansehallerne

Milla Koistinen: A Cloud of Milk, Saturday December 3rd at 1pm, Dansehallerne (for children)

 

Offstage presentations from Finland

Petri Kekoni Company: Non-Linear, Thursday December 1st at 11am, Dansehallerne (site specific)

Jarkko Partanen: Fields of Glory, Thursday December 1st at 11am, Dansehallerne (site specific)

Tero Saarinen Company: Morphed, Saturday December 3rd at 11am, Dansehallerne

 

Check out full program here.

Art goes social media – Whom and what to check out?

16.11.2016 by

Social media is changing the way we connect with art. Once considered exclusive and elite, art is now opening up to the masses through blogs and picture sharing platforms. Where artists in the past had to get support from galleries, critics and collectors before anyone could view their work, today everything can be uploaded, viewed and reviewed directly by the public.

So lets talk about Instagram. Since launched in 2010 the picture-sharing social media platform has, with its 500 million users, become one of the most famous social media sites in the world. It is also much more than just selfies and cute kittens. Scroll past the images of your neighbour’s lunch and you’ll find a whole world out there of artists, curators, collectors, art dealers and other art lovers sharing their experiences and exchanging ideas about art. It’s basically a virtual gallery in your own pocket and an easy access to the global art scene. By seeking out interesting accounts to follow, you discover new artists and new works of art, but you also stay updated on current trends within the art market.

For many artists social media has become a way to promote their work. This challenges the traditional artist-gallery relationship, in which the galleries slowly develop an artist’s career. By using Instagram, as well as other picture based social media platforms such as Snapchat, to exhibit, distribute and tell stories about their work, artists are engaging directly with the masses, making social media an important platform for business. In fact, a 2015 survey made by Artsy found more than half of collectors had bought works by artists they had initially spotted on Instagram. We also know, that despite an overall slowdown in the global art market in 2015, the online market grew 24 percent.

 

Five Finnish artists to check out on Instagram:

jani.leinonen – Jani Leinonen, currently exhibiting at Aros Aarhus Art Museum has used social media for years to carry out his projects

elinabrotherus – Elina Brotherus is a noted Finnish photographer who’s work has been exhibited in Denmark at several occasions

malinahlsved – Malin Ahlsved is known for her small paintings with peculiar figures, her work was last seen in Denmark at Odrupgaard museum in 2012

villeand – Ville Andersson is a young award winning artist from Finland

tommitoija – Tommi Toija is the artist known for his pissing statue Bad Bad Boy at Helsinki harbour

 

For bigger institutions social media has high marketing value. It is also a good tool for networking and building brands. According to Carrie Barrett, the Associate Director for Collections and Administration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the number of yearly visitors online is ten times the number of visitors at the actual museum. Much like for the artists, galleries and museums have found a way to easily communicate with their audience through social media. Several institutions are also using live broadcasting platforms, such as Periscope, to broadcast artist talks and other presentations to their live audience. Keep an eye out for Sotheby’s, for example.

The rapid changes taking place within the world of the digital are constantly giving rise to new forms of engagement. The National Gallery of Denmark, for example, has since 2012 been part of Google Art Project. This Google run database gives online visitors the possibility to visit museums around the world without leaving their homes. The Helsinki based art gallery Helsinki Contemporary launched their app, ARTAP, earlier this year. By downloading the app to your mobile device you’ll have the possibility to scroll through works by the gallery’s artists and try out how the artworks would look on your wall before you make the decision of buying them. In 2017 the Danish app, Artland, will be launched in English. Artland is the social network for art collectors giving them the possibility to open up their private art collections to the online community. Wydr, also known as the art world Tinder, is a comparable app where artists can sign up to sell their work. Similar to dating app Tinder, buyers can choose to swipe left or right depending on whether they like the art work displayed on the screen or not.

 

Five museums to check out on Instagram:

kiasmagram – part of the Finnish National Gallery, Kiasma museum of contemporary art in Helsinki is one of the most important institutions of contemporary art in Finland

ateneummuseum – part of the Finnish National Gallery, Ateneum in Helsinki is home to one of the finest collections of Finnish art, from classics to modern

emmamuseum – Espoo Museum of Modern Art is one of the biggest art museums in Finland

hamhelsinki – HAM, officially the Helsinki Art Museum, looks after an art collection that belongs to the people of Helsinki

sarahildenart – Sara Hildén Art Museum is a modern and contemporary art museum in Tampere

 

Five galleries to check out on Instagram:

helsinkicontemporary – Helsinki based commercial art gallery

galerieforsblom – Galerie Forsblom is a Helsinki based commercial art gallery

galerieanhava – Galerie Anhava is a Helsinki based commercial art gallery

muugalleria – MUU gallery is an uncommercial artist run gallery based in Helsinki

titanikgalleria – Titanik is an uncommercial artist run gallery in Turku

 

The demand for qualitative content online has generated many interesting platforms where arts is discussed, valued and sold. Sites like Artsy, Artnet, Artspace and Paddle8 deal with the high-end commercial side of the industry. These sites are for those who want to browse through massive databases, read the latest news from art fairs all over the world, and learn about the business. By signing up to their newsletters or just following them on social media you have the opportunity get updated on the latest from the art world. For those of you, who are not too fond of newsletters, tune in on the Artsy podcast and listen to the editors of the site talk art at their office in New York.

There are also more laid back platforms like much-hyped start-up Gertrude, a worldwide meetup platform for art saloons. Gertrude, named after writer and collector Gertrude Stein, is built on the idea that the experience of art is for everyone. By organising saloons in different parts of the world, the start-up aims to make art and talking about art more approachable to whoever you are. Gertrude i also behind Artlist, an online marketplace for private art sales with artworks coming directly from private collections worldwide. However, the fact that the site was shut down earlier this year shows how much in the making the online-based art market still is. To be launched in November, the Finnish platform Taiko is much like Artlist was, trying to change the ways in which we buy and sell art. By connecting artists and collectors though their online gallery platform, the people behind the project wish to make it easier for artists to sell their work, but also for collectors to buy art directly from the artists.

 

Other accounts to check out on Instagram: 

unknowncargo – Unknown Cargo is an international art gallery for unknown artists

artnewsfinland – keeps you updated on the latest art news from Finland

finnishcontemporaryart – for checking out contemporary art from Finland

frame_finland – Frame is an advocate of Finnish contemporary art

finnishartagency – Helsinki-based service for artists, companies, art organizations and private individuals

chartartfair_official – Chart Art Fair is one of the leading art fairs of Nordic contemporary art, based in Copenhagen

kopenhagendk – the Copenhagen based online magazine keeps you updated on the Danish art scene

ihmefestival – IHME is an annual contemporary art festival in Helsinki

idoartdk – IDOART.DK is a personal Dansih blog about art, design and culture

finindk – that’s us, the Finnish Cultural Institute in Denmark

 

Finally, lets talk curating. With social media growing and becoming all the more important, people have started to pay more attention to the followers they have and the amount of them. The wish to be noticed and heard has resulted in a growing interest in how social media is done. Discussions have emerged of curated social media accounts with clear narratives, focusing on carefully selected subject matters and an aesthetic that reflects the visual world of the account’s owner. Visions and strategies are important, and one thing is certain, in order to catch people’s attention your pictures need to be visually interesting. As Rosie Dawkins, manager of the Instagram account of Sotheby’s Institute of Art, puts it: “in museums people stroll, on Instagram they scroll”.

And they scroll fast.