NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

Launched in 2018, the Kiasma Commission by Kordelin is a new concept for supporting and promoting contemporary Finnish art. The third artist in the series is Emma Jääskeläinen, whose new installation will be displayed at Kiasma in June 2020.

“Emma Jääskeläinen’s sculptural installation invites the audience to take part in a playful and highly visual fantasy journey in the iconic lobby of the museum. As a sculptor, Jääskeläinen’s work is characterised by lively sense of narrative and an alluring sensitivity towards materials brimming with memories. Instead of seeing the rigid history of sculpture as a burden, Jääskeläinen lightens it up through playful inclusivity,” Museum Director Leevi Haapala describes the choice of artist.

Emma Jääskeläinen (b. 1988, Espoo) uses sculpture as her principal medium of expression but reinterprets it boldly, incorporating elements from everyday contexts into traditional stone sculpture. Her commentary on the history is liked amused poking, dialogue, flirting. A piece of marble sculpture rests on a yoga mat, and a sofa serves as a pedestal; a baseball cap, chewing gum, earplugs, or dried fruit can serve as material for sculpture just as well as stone. Emma Jääskeläinen’s choice of materials is guided by strong mental impressions. The machine blade sinks into travertine like into cheese, and rose marble is reminiscent of fatty sausage. She finds herself getting excited about unpredicted outcomes and playfulness of materials. Embodiedness of the practice is a central part of her work. Often, Jääskeläinen’s work depict body parts, fingers, hands, buttocks, sometimes comical, distorted and out of proportion. Parts of the commissioned artwork refer to an aging body, a body weary from childbirth, fingers worn from playing an instrument, or limbs tired from sculpting.

The commissioned work titled Proper Omelette comprises of stone, bronze, and textile elements. The works are deeply founded in the artist’s personal memories, including her grandmother’s collection of potholders and the calloused fingers of her guitar-playing brother. Proper Omelette is a layered mix of past happenings, memories, and images of what will be.

The installation will be included in the collections of Kiasma/Finnish National Gallery. Emma Jääskeläinen graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki in 2019. Her work has most recently featured at the Rauma Triennale in 2019 and in Raatihuoneen galleria in Turku and HAM Gallery in Helsinki in 2018. She has worked in several residencies, including Dublin and Berlin.

For the selection of the third artist in the Kiasma Commission by Kordelin, experts from Kiasma were assisted by Lydia Yee, Chief Curator of the Whitechapel Gallery in London. The two previous artists in the series were Maija Luutonen and Alma Heikkilä. Project is curated by Satu Oksanen.

The richly illustrated exhibition catalogue includes a foreword by Museum Director Leevi Haapala, an artist interview by curator Satu Oksanen, and an essay about Emma Jääskeläinen’s work by curator Martha Kirszenbaum.

Gallery name: Kiasma

Address: Mannerheiminaukio 2, Helsinki

Opening hours: Tue, Sat 10:00 - 18:00, Wed-Fri 10:00 - 20:30, Sun 10:00 - 17:00

Open: 02.06.2020 - 22.11.2020