Highly topical contemporary art at the National Museum: IHME and Kone Foundation on the Day of Foundations


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The IHME Contemporary Art Festival and Kone Foundation are participating in the European Day of Foundations and Donors’ free film afternoon, 14:00–17:00, 1.10.2015, at the National Museum of Finland. This is a unique opportunity to see on a big screen art films made for the cinema in recent years.

The programme includes the 2014 IHME Project, the Israeli Yael Bartana’s True Finn — Tosi suomalainen. This takes up issues of Finnishness and national identity that are highly topical at the moment in Finland: How does national identity operate as a means of inclusion and exclusion? What are the mechanisms for this in Finland? Can an immigrant become a true Finn? Who actually is a true Finn?

The film combines reality TV, staged scenes and archive material, and has not been seen on the big screen in Finland since its premiere in March 2014. True Finn has toured internationally from New York to Amsterdam, and has met with an enthusiastic response from critics. “Optimistic that art can spark conversations and peaceful change, Bartana gives us representations of egalitarianism that are at once necessary, complex, and, yes, true,” writes Lauren O’Neill-Butler (Artforum 3/2015).

The planetarium film Kilpisjärvellä (2012), directed by Buenos Aires-born, Helsinki-based media artist and film director Axel Straschnoy, will be shown at the National Museum on the same afternoon. It tells the story of two explorers who set out for northernmost Finland, Lake Kilpisjärvi, with the sole objective of filming one of nature’s most sublime phenomena: the Northern Lights. The visually stunning film is shot specifically for planetarium theatres; at the National Museum, the film is shown in a planetarium tent. The film renewals planetarium cinematography by thinking of the planetarium in an art-house way and it renewals art-house cinema by transporting it to a screen of a spatial nature in which it has never before existed. Kone Foundation supported the Kilpisjärvellä project in 2011.

The National Museum of Finland’s film afternoon is part of the European Day of Foundations and Donors. The event is promoting the philanthropic work done by Finnish foundations. The IHME Contemporary Art Festival intends its participation to draw attention to the role of its backing organization, the Pro Arte Foundation, in boosting the standing of visual art and in developing its relationship with the public. Pro Arte produces the annually commissioned IHME Project and the IHME Days constructed around it. The Kone Foundation is now supporting the IHME Festival for a three-year period, from 2015 to the end of 2017.

The Day of Foundations and Donors is also promoting the Kone Foundation’s work. The goal of this philanthropic body is to advance bold initiatives in research and the arts. It is an independent, unaffiliated organization that awards grants to promote academic research, culture and art, and to popularize research, and also maintains the Saari Residence for artists and researchers.

The Day of Foundations and Donors includes six films that have been backed by Finnish foundations. The films broadly reflect the different roles and remits of the various foundations, but all of them address themes of Finnishness and changes in Finnish society.

Further information:

IHME Contemporary Art Festival, Executive Director Paula Toppila, paula.toppila@ihmefestival.fi, +358 (0)45 124 0096 or Communications Officer-Assistant Suvi Korhonen, suvi.korhonen@ihmefestival.fi, +358 (0)45 632 6267 (press photos of True Finn)

Kone Foundation, Executive Director Anna Talasniemi, anna.talasniemi@koneensaatio.fi, +358 (0)41 437 6976 or Communications Coordinator Laura Sahamies, laura.sahamies@koneensaatio.fi, +358 (0)44 276 7517

Each year, IHME produces a work in public space by an international artist. The public is able to witness the initial stages of this unique creation. The artwork and the interpretations it evokes encourage independent thought and discussion. Art and science, past and present, meet in a multi-faceted programme of events. IHME is open to everyone who is interested in contemporary art and life.