Touch is the permanent exhibition of the Saastamoinen Foundation’s collection at EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art. Showcasing Finnish and international contemporary art, it explores the human condition and approaches fundamental questions thematically from a variety of perspectives, such as identity and perception and our relationship with our bodies and space. The Touch exhibition displays are designed by experts of the Saastamoinen Foundation in collaboration with EMMA. The exhibition is regularly updated with new displays and artworks.
The title of the exhibition points to the evocative power of art. Art can touch us aesthetically, emotionally, experientially, intellectually and spiritually. We all have our own ways of experiencing art, and that experience can bring about a connection to another person.
The new display in the Touch exhibition is entitled Human and Nature. It showcases artworks in which nature is present in various ways. Humanity is part of nature and the animal kingdom, yet the balance between us is often lost. The relationship between the natural and the unnatural has become blurred in our time, and it is hard to find a place anywhere in nature that would be untouched by human influence. The Human and Nature display features works by the following artists: Tilo Baumgärtel, Maria Duncker, Latifa Echakhch, Juhani Harri, Pekka Jylhä, Kimmo Kaivanto, Sanna Kannisto, Otto Karvonen, Essi Kuokkanen, nabbteeri, Inka Nieminen, Roland Persson, Jani Ruscica, Hanna Saarikoski, Olli Suorlahti, Jaakko Tornberg, Janna Syvänoja, Ferdinand von Wright and Wilhelm von Wright.
The display entitled Humanity, Architecture and the Built Environment is an exploration of our existence in designed space. The featured works reference buildings and their history, building systems and our own place in that context. Media works by Elina Brotherus and Artor Jesus Inkerö examine the relationship of the human body to architecture and the cultural environment. Kaiken osana (2011–2019) by Hans Rosenström, an artist known for his site-specific works, is a sound installation located in a designated space of its own. Recorded on site with a binaural head, the audio track of the work simulates an authentic listening situation and produces a powerful sense of presence. Other artworks in the display include Alicja Kwade’s Trans-For-Men (2018) and Olafur Eliasson’s Pentagonal Mirror Tunnel (2017), both of which were commissioned by the Saastamoinen Foundation and designed specifically for the environment and architecture of EMMA. The display was curated by Laura Kokkonen, Ingrid Orman and Henna Paunu from EMMA.
Previous displays in the Touch exhibition were curated by Pilvi Kalhama, director of EMMA, with Päivi Karttunen, collection expert at Saastamoinen Foundation, and Henna Paunu, chief curator of collections at EMMA. Human Space and Encounters explores the experimental and interactive nature of art. The reality fabricated by the artist merges with the viewer’s reality in the act of experiencing the works.
Photo: Ari Karttunen, EMMA