The collection exhibition on the third floor of Kiasma updates our view of contemporary art in the Baltic region, bringing together 26 artists from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland and Russia. Countries around the Baltic Sea are united by geography and history. The region is a point of confluence for many economic, political and cultural interests. Hansa towns, the Soviet Union, Via Baltica, a gas pipeline and nature protection have unified countries and people while also separating them.
The Aalto Natives showcases artist duo Erkka Nissinen and Nathaniel Mellors who represented Finland at the 2017 Venice Biennale. The Biennale, which is organised every other year, is one of the most significant art events in the world. Kiasma’s exhibition features the video installation that was shown in Venice and a selection of new works by the artist duo. The Aalto Natives video installation is a humorous yet critical examination of Finnish identity that involves creativity, nerdy humour and a cast of national celebrities. The work reflects on themes such as national identity, creation myths and nationalism. The video installation tells the story of two aliens named Geb and Atum who return to explore a place they created millions of years ago, Finland. The aliens are especially interested in the society and culture that has developed in Finland in the meantime. The new installations in Kiasma continue the story of the video: many of the animated puppets from the video are featured in the new installations.