Coexistence // Ragnar Kjartansson “The Visitors”


A small leap in geography (compared to last week), a bigger one in time - the Kiasma Museum for Contemporary Art in Helsinki is currently showing two exhibitions.

The first is the group show "Coexistence", consisting of contributions from 39 artists or groups  dealing with the relationship between humans, animals and nature. One example is by Outi Pieski, who in her installation "Our Land, Our Running Colours" uses the fringes of traditional Sami scarves to recreate the fells of her native Lapland. A somewhat separate focus of the exhibition deals with neo-spiritualism and the boundaries between human knowledge and imagination. And here, I saw a video work I really liked, which is a rare occasion, and it’s "When I go out I bleed magic" by Ingrid Torvund. Again it has to do with the artist's home, this time the Norwegian Telemark, where the film takes place. It is part of a trilogy; in the sequence shown here, mystical figures wander through forests and caves, in the atmosphere of a gloomy, ambivalent fairy tale. Perhaps, though, the work does not only speak about the coexistence of and interaction between spiritual and real world, but also about the co-existence with one's own imagination.

The second exhibition will delight friends of the Nordic music scene, as it is Ragnar Kjartansson with "The Visitors". The music video (which is actually what it should be called) first shows the musicians playing separately on nine screens - singing in the bathtub, for example - until they start to gather and finish the song together on the veranda. It is to be understood as a celebration of friendship and creativity, whereby the lyrics are a poem about separation.

If you are not planning to travel to Finland, but are still interested in the exhibitions, you can kind of  take a virtual walk through Kiasma with the thorough and informative online guide (




Julia Maurer





Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma

Mannerheiminaukio 2

FI – 00100 Helsinki









Header, 1: Outi Pieski, “Our Land, Our Running Colours”, 2016 , Photo: Kansallisgalleria | Finnish National Gallery / Pirje Mykkänen

2, 3: Ingrid Torvund, “When I go out I bleed magic”, 2015, Photo: Kansallisgalleria | Finnish National Gallery / Pirje Mykkänen

4: Charlotta Östlund, “Pokaali”, 2017, detail, Photo: Kansallisgalleria | Finnish National Gallery / Pirje Mykkänen

5: Ragnar Kjartansson, “The Visitors”, 2012, Collection: TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Wien. Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and i8 Gallery, Reykjavík. Photo: Kansallisgalleria | Finnish National Gallery / Pirje Mykkänen