Artsi in Vantaa – and Ateneum part 2

On Friday I attended historically first exhibition of newly opened Artsi museum in Vantaa. I know, Vantaa (and even so worse Myyrmäki, one of capital area ghettos… in Finnish sense of course) and art, how does this mix together?

Actually, it does. Yes, there were some flaws and technical troubles, yes, the website is not very well made or informative, and yes, the museum is heavily post-modern art orientated, but the whole concept of the museum is in my opinion great: it serves as a social meeting spot, a place of encounters. The venue is airy yet cosy and homey. The visitors are encouraged and allowed to exist in the museum, to breathe, talk, eat, sit, bring (even very small) children with them.

The exhibition I visited underlined the museum’s purpose – its name was You and Me, and it was, well, about people, about interpersonal relations, about our relationship to our surroundings… and other kinds of juxtapositioning, for example contemporary grafitti art to portrait drawings more than 100 years old.

And this, my dear readers, was and will always be for free (although I found out about this museum on Museokortti map).


And what does one do on a Sunday afternoon? Applies for grants, makes presents for co-workers – and visits Ateneum with friends.

Sometimes it feels that having Museokortti has made me less attentive to detail, less striving after remembering as much as possible from the exhibition for which I just paid some (relatively high) money. But when I know that I can return to the museum any time I want with my magic card, I enjoy the exhibition in a different way. I tend to focus on the atmosphere. I pay more attention to co-visitors. Links between facts become more obvious, the context of the artist’s time appears in front of me like a Magic Eye image (intentional reference to the 90’s, my childhood years, and to how I started seeing those 3D images only after I tried trying too hard). I enjoy the exhibitions more. I feel more comfortable, less stress and more social, more connected to the art.

Now, there are two amazing exhibitions going on in Ateneum right now: Japanomania in the Nordic Countries (very floral, very aesthetically pleasing, very positive) and Auguste Rodin’s statues – including The Thinker. Both were great – well how much can one remember in Raphael’s company to be honest? –  although I was a bit disappointed by the amount of DIFFERENT Rodin’s works; the exhibition included a lot of “studies”, plaster models and alike. Having said that, I’ll be back and take a long, closer look at the Kiss and The Thinker. Pure oozing emotion.


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