TURKU ART MUSEUM AND PUBLIC PLACES IN TURKU
Sediments consisted of independent new works by four artists and groups, who opened up fascinating
perspectives and surprising back doors to the Turku Art Museum. The renovation and rebirth of the
museum provides a poignant moment and a fruitful ground for creative investigation of this significant
national institution. With the varied tools of artistic research the artists in the project mapped out
personal and collective, material and symbolic, temporal and spatial layers of the museum. The works
resulting from these processes unveiled many aspects of the museum, about its building and collection,
spaces and changes, as well as its location, which the museum goer rarely gains insight into.
Saara Ekström’s installation of works Greta grew furtively within the museum and even beyond its walls.
The work was an homage to the artistically gifted daughter of the museum’s founder Ernst Dahlström,
Greta (1877-1902), who had a memorial ”shrine” of flowers at the opening of the museum in 1904.
The ornaments that spread within the memorial room and a video, as well as the light installation
reaching out from a balcony to the surrounding park, reflected the museum’s memory,
the story of creativity and illness that entwines with its birth.
The Living Paintings
video series, 2005
Turku Goes Oukkidoukki!
The Living Paintings by Gun Holmström combine a selection of classic works from the museum collection
with moving images of the city scape, entwining collective cultural imagery with the shared everyday.
Borrowing from the language of a computer game, her video Turku Goes Oukkidoukki! presents the museum
as a social space. The works were placed in the museum as well as in the window of Kapp Ahl on the
pedestrian street Yliopistonkatu and the Aschan cafe Sininen Juna in the Market Hall.
In their book Forays IC-98 focus on the messages between the lines and the surprising footnotes found
in the shared history of the museum and the city. These range from the construction of the museum
and the yearly art raffle to the raising of a statue of Lenin. The book, which appropriates archive
documents and pictures, was available at the museum as well as in a number of public spaces around
the city, such as cafes. Now it can be found in e.g. libraries. See also the website of IC-98,
Tres Blondes (Annika Dahlsten & Milla Vauhkonen)
The little touring tres blondes Museum of Tres Blondes (Annika Dahlsten & Milla Vauhkonen) provided
its own representation of the Art Museum’s collection, focusing on the detail. With its own categories
and intimate spaces it examined the museum’s role and opened it up for different interpretations as well
as participation. tres blondes Museum begun its tour from the Art Museum and moved then to Varvintori,
near Turku Art Academy and the river Aura. It offered daily guided tours, programme for school groups
and guest lectures by experts, such as researcher Taina Erävaara and professor Altti Kuusamo.
Comments at the tres blondes Museum:
-“Hey, the cute bunnies are here!” (girl, about 15)
-“Oh, here are the toy bunnies by Schjerfbeck. At the opening I did not get to look at them,
but now I see them here. Nice.” (woman, about 40)
-“This is very educational. First one goes to the museum and then can check here
how many paintings one recognises.” (man, about 40)
-“Wonderful!” “This is fun. This kind of art is nice.” (many women over 40)
-“Is this the ticket booth of the museum?” (older man)
-“Peeping is not fun, as we were told not to do that when little.” (woman, about 50)
Many visitors, particularly older people, were hesitant at first,
but after the first box usually got into it, climbed up and ??? nearly after every box:
-“Are we supposed to peep into these boxes?”
-“It is a bit too high.”
Numerous comments, often from men:
-“This is that Edefelt, isn’t it?”
-“This is Gunnar Berndtson’s summer, right?”
-“So skilfully painted. Fantastic painter this Berndtson. Which nationality was he again?”
Comments by the young:
-“This is really familiar!”
-“I should know this one.”
Berndtson’s Summer, Schjerfbeck’s Toy bunnies, Simberg’s Potato girl and
Edefelt’s Portrait of Louis Pasteur were clearly the most often recognised works.
Most were also very fond of these. Other works were recognised too: for example Daniel-Gambogi,
Jaakola and Mäkilä were familiar to many.
Many commented on the colour of the museum:
-“It’s very pink here, isn’t it.”
-"My relative this and that would love this, as s/he so likes pink and arts.”
Some were also interested in the structure of the boxes,
how they were built and what was in them. Slides appeared to be rather ancient,
because many were so surprised when they found out they were looking at a slide of a painting.
Few commented on the tres blondes categories. Some at least did:
-“How come this is in the Faceless, when there is a face here?” (man, about 30)
-“How lovely, oh, but this is in the Lovely.” (woman, about 25)