EMMA’s exhibition programme for 2022 has been announced!

Jakob Kudsk Steensen, RE-ANIMATED, 2018-2019. Video & VR still.
Jakob Kudsk Steensen, RE-ANIMATED, 2018-2019. Video & VR still.

In 2022 EMMA turns the spotlight toward visionaries of art and design under the theme Crystal Ball. The title is a metaphor for visions of things to come, creative dreams and artists’ knack for anticipating the future.

The 2022 exhibition programme at EMMA showcases exciting contemporary practitioners of art and design alongside iconic modernists, all of whom are or were visionaries of their eras. The theme is reflected in the exhibitions as well as in the events programme.

The year kicks off with an exhibition by world-famous artist Daniel Buren that will extend beyond the museum into the urban space. The autumn will feature a new show in the In Search of the Present series. Featuring international contemporary art, the extensive exhibition will explore current issues affecting both art and society, with a special focus on the relationship between humanity, nature and technology. An exhibition of sculptures by Tapio Wirkkala, master of Finnish modern design, also opens in the autumn. The year culminates in November with the opening of a show featuring the design collection of Commercial Counsellor Kyösti Kakkonen, which will be permanently displayed in a new exhibition space on the ground floor of the WeeGee building.

The theme Crystal Ball encapsulates the visionary and bold approach of the artists and designers featured in the programme. Are artists in possession of a crystal ball, or are they able to anticipate the future through their artistic processes? A crystal ball is like a prism that reflects different realities and reveals new ways of seeing and experiencing.

French artist Daniel Buren (b. 1938) is a radical reformer of the visual arts who for 50 years has challenged our concept of art and pushed the boundaries of the art museum. Still very active, Buren will create a completely new, large-scale body of work for EMMA that plays with the museum’s architectural features: horizontality and natural light streaming through the windows. Daniel Buren is an iconic giant of contemporary art, with an extensive career that spans over 3,000 exhibitions in venues and locations around the world. In addition to the show at EMMA, Buren will include art interventions and events in the public space in Espoo. The exhibition is curated by Arja Miller, chief curator of exhibitions at EMMA, in collaboration with Simon Friese, director of Creator Projects in Denmark.

Daniel Buren: Les Deux Plateaux, sculpture permanente in situ, cour d’honneur du Palais Royal, Paris, 1985-1986. Détail. © DB-ADAGP Paris.

Autumn at EMMA will be dominated by a major international group exhibition, In Search of the Present. Part of a serial exhibition concept, the show uses art to explore the character of this day and age and to anticipate future developments through an artistic, intuitive process. Artists are exceptionally gifted in thinking outside the box, which makes it particularly interesting to turn to artists as we search for new ways to consider humankind and navigate the challenges of today, such as the climate crisis and algorithm-controlled systems. One of the issues explored in the exhibition is whether technology can help us not only to achieve a greater understanding of ourselves but also to forge a new non-exploitative relationship with nature.

The artists in the exhibition are Refik Anadol, Dora Budor, Sougwen Chung, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Stephanie Dinkins, Teemu Lehmusruusu, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Agnieszka Kurant, Brandon Lipchik, Jaakko Pietiläinen, Sondra Perry, Anna Ridler, Raimo Saarinen, Jenna Sutela, Jakob Kudsk Steensen and Lu Yang.

The first exhibition in the series was shown at EMMA in 2016. The series borrows its title from a 1929 collection of essays by writer Olavi Paavolainen in which he explores the experience and identity of the modern person in an era of rapid change. In 2022 the In Search of the Present show will extend to include the Touch exhibition, which showcases the Saastamoinen Foundation art collection. The foundation has purchased a large installation by Dora Budor entitled The Preserving Machine, as well as works by Sondra Perry and Jaakko Pietiläinen, all of which are linked to the themes of the In Search of the Present exhibition.

Dora Budor, The Preserving Machine, 2018–19. © Philipp Hänger / Kunsthalle Basel. The Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection / EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art.

In 2022 the media space of the Touch exhibition will host a series of three media works, which are linked to the thematic Listening to Silence collection that opened in autumn 2021: Wonderland by Erkan Özgen, Black Bullets by Jeannette Ehlers and The Fantastic by Maija Blåfield.

Tracing Boundaries is an immersive installation by Chiharu Shiota jointly commissioned by the Saastamoinen Foundation and EMMA. Consisting of maze of red yarn and old found doors, the show opened at EMMA in autumn 2021. The work invites viewers to step inside a labyrinth of thread to embark upon a journey into their memories and their own inner selves. The exhibition will be on display at EMMA until 27.11.2022.

Form is an exhibition produced by EMMA in collaboration with the Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation. Curated by architect Juhani Pallasmaa, the show explores sculpturalism in the work of Tapio Wirkkala. Entitled Tapio Wirkkala – Form, the exhibition opens in the Bryk & Wirkkala space in EMMA 5.10.2022.

The year will culminate with the inauguration of the Collection Kakkonen display in November. Consisting of the collection of design objects that Commercial Counsellor Kyösti Kakkonen deposited permanently at EMMA, the show will open to the public in November 2022. The agreement concerning the permanent deposition and display of the collection at EMMA was made between Kakkonen, the City of Espoo and EMMA. Housed in a new exhibition space in the WeeGee Exhibition Centre, the collection represents a significant expansion of EMMA’s operations. Notable even on an international scale, the Collection Kakkonen exhibition showcases gems of Finnish glass and ceramic art from modernism to the present day.

Liisa Hallamaa, plates 1950s–1970s. Helena Tynell, Forest, 1966. Collection Kakkonen © Rauno Träskelin.

The popular Children’s Museum Festival will once again be presented jointly by all resident organisations at the WeeGee Exhibition Centre in April 2022. The festival is a journey of discovery through history and art.

The shows at EMMA in 2022 are:
Erkan Özgen: Wonderland 1.2.–1.5.2022
Daniel Buren 2.3.–17.7.2022
Jeannette Ehlers: Black Bullets 10.5.–14.8.2022
In Search of the Present 24.8.2022–5.2.2023
Dora Budor: The Preserving Machine 24.8.2022–
Maija Blåfield: The Fantastic 24.8.–27.11.2022
Tapio Wirkkala – Form 5.10.2022–
Collection Kakkonen 9.11.2022–
Chiharu Shiota: Tracing Boundaries until 27.11.2021

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