Publicerat 1 oktober, 2014

The meaning of homeland

Starting 10 October, the result of an extensive collaboration is presented in the group exhibition Homeland at Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art in Vaasa, Finland. In the spring the exhibition will come to Umeå.

The final exhibition of the year at Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art in Vaasa is the group exhibition Homeland. It showcases contemporary artists with a link to the Kvarken region in Sweden and Finland. The exhibition will also visit Umeå and is a collaboration between Ostrobothnia and Västerbotten, seeking to strengthen communication and interaction between Finnish and Swedish artists. The exhibition is on show at Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art in Vaasa 17.10.2014–25.1.2015 and at Västerbottens museum in Umeå during the spring, 1.3–17.5.2015.

Homeland, hemland, kotimaa. What is home? Is it our birthplace or a place where we’ve grown? What do we remember of it, how has it shaped us and initiated us into the world? Or is it the place where we find ourselves now? To what extent does the notion of ‘homeland’ matter?

The main theme for the exhibition is the concept of homeland. To originate from the Kvarken region (or anywhere else for that matter) cannot be defined through language alone. Deep cultural associations to geography, territory, natural environment and climate are also important parts. Still, homeland is also something more, such as a deeply-felt attitude, state of mind, or emotional connection. The 12 artists from Finland and Sweden set out to question the notion of home and belonging, its historicism and the various interpretations and images traditionally associated with it. The exhibition also considers the need to preserve cultural heritage and values inherent to it.

The exhibition is produced by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland’s Regional Office of Ostrobothnia and Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art in Vaasa and is a collaborative project that also includes Region Västerbotten and Västerbottens museum in Umeå. Homeland is a project with a particular focus on dialogue and interaction. The two-way nature of the project, the exchange between the two regions, seeks to strengthen mutual understanding, communication and knowledge across the Kvarken.

The exhibition is curated by Australian artist Catherine Bourne and regional artist for international collaborations, Norah Nelson of the Arts Promotion Centre Finland’s Regional Office of Ostrobothnia.

Most of the works are video works and installations, produced especially for this exhibition. The project started in August 2013 when the artists participated in Art Camp Malakta, where they lived together and worked alongside each other for one week at Malakta Art Factory in Malax, Finland. There, plans were made for their works for the exhibition in a programme that also included daily group discussions with the curators. The purpose of the dialogue was to develop a more critical and informed approach to their artistic work. A second workshop, Art Camp Gammlia, was organized in Umeå in August 2014 as part of the Umeå – 2014 European Capital of Culture programme.

The twelve artists selected by open call are: Sylvia Javén (FI), Nina Lassila (FI), Juha Mäki-Jussila (FI), Sebastian Mügge (SE), Maria Nordbäck (FI), Mattias Olofsson (SE), Jukka Rajala-Granstubb (FI), Gunilla Samberg (SE), Lisa W Carlson & Janne Björkman / Thinktank Imbalance (SE), Ulla Thøgersen (SE) and Anna-Mari Vierikko (FI).

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