Spanning all manner of contemporary topics, our 5 To See dives deep into the fabric of modern living in the 20th and 21st centuries. In Helsinki, Kiasma‘s ARS17 – Hello World! deciphers the world of the digital revolution through works by Ed Atkins and Nina Canell, while Moderna Museet reflects on Malmö’s alternative subculture from the 1960s to the 1980s. Closer to home, Brendan Earley takes a simplified perspective on life, creating new work away from the excesses of contemporary culture, and Shanghai Project‘s Seeds of Time invites artists to seek out solutions for urgent environmental and social concerns.
1. Brendan Earley, Life after Buildings, Mother’s Tankstation, Dublin
The artist Brendan Earley creates polemically sensitive sculptures and drawings, which often orbit around the philosophical ‘dialectic of hope’. Since studying under Robert Morris in New York, his studio practice has explored new ways to address dominant western paradigms and high Modernist solutions within contemporary practice. Life after Buildings shows a collection of work that stems from the artist’s time in the mountains, where he built his own cabin the woods. This act, along with its accompanying exhibition, demonstrates an alternative aesthetic to the art being made as a product of a culture living with excess. Featured drawings seek to rediscover primordial shapes that inhabit our unconscious.
2. We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85, Brooklyn Museum, New York
Focusing on the work of black women artists, this presentation examines the political, social, cultural and aesthetic priorities of women of colour during the emergence of second-wave feminism. It is the first exhibition to highlight the voices and experiences of women of colour in order to reorient conversations around race, feminism, political action, art production, and art history in this significant historical period. Examples of performance, film, photography, painting, sculpture and printmaking by artists such as Ana Mendieta, Lorna Simpson, Ming Smith and Carrie Mae Weems have been curated by Catherine Morris, Senior Curator for the Sackler Center for Feminist Art and Rujeko Hockley, former Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum.
3. Malmö’s Burning, Moderna Museet, Malmö
The exhibition Malmö’s Burning spans from the experimental and increasingly political 1960s to the 1980s, when new alternative cultures emerged just as the recession began. Drawing comparisons and disparities between the past and the present day, the group show provides a new and alternative image of Malmö’s transformation through both visual art and other styles of subculture that have made lasting impressions on the city. Curators Clemens Altgård and Ola Åstrand have explored the margins by exhibiting lesser-known works by Ninni Benediktson & Anne Nummila Rosengren, Lars Hejll, Art Bomba/Åke Dahlbom, Stina Ebers, Leif Eriksson, Allan Friis, Ola Åstrand and others.
4. Seeds of Time, Shanghai Project, Shanghai Himalayas Museum
Curated by Yongwoo Lee and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Shanghai Project Chapter 2 exhibition, Seeds of Time, takes its title from the documentary of the same name, whilst also sharing with it its call for action regarding the current climate situation. The presentation explores sustainability beyond an ecological lens in order to better understand possible solutions for urgent environmental and social problems. A single chapter within ongoing investigations by Shanghai Project, Seeds of Time unites the work of Root Researcher interdisciplinary teams led by Bruno Latour, Sophia Al-Maria, Qiu Anxiong, Otobong Nkanga and Zhang Haimeng.
5. ARS17 – Hello World!, Kiasma, Helsinki
Part of another series of exhibitions is Hello World! – the 2017 edition of the ARS surveys. A group of contemporary artists of the new millennium, including Ed Atkins, Nina Canell, Yung Jake, Cécile B. Evans, Melanie Gilligan and Juha van Ingen, are brought together to comment on the theme of digital revolution and its impact on both everyday life and the practice of art. Through a display of innovative artworks in a range of media, the showcase offers a fresh approach to developments in today’s industry, whilst also expanding the viewing experience into the online realm.
1. Lars Hejll, The Folk Festival, 1971 © Lars Hejll.