Collateral Programme #FocusFinland


Sara Bjarland, Erika Erre, Jonna Kina, Bita Razavi, Jan Soppela: ¿FINLAND?

Sala Alcalá 31, 18.2.–30.3.

Can we speak of a genuine Finnish contemporary art? And if it is possible, how does it manifest? Madrid-based curatorial collective hablarenarte reflects in this exhibition, together with the Finnish curators Anna- Kaisa Rastenberger, Helena Björk, Kimmo Modig and Juha-Heikki Tihinen, whether there is a link between nationality, identity and the newest contemporary creation.

Collaboratively the curators selected five emerging artists from Finland to participate in the exhibition: Sara Bjarland, Erika Erre, Jonna Kina, Bita Razavi and Jan Soppela. The artists work with a range of media, from photography to sculptural installations. Together their works address a complex set of interwoven aesthetic and critical questions, such as the manifestation of traditions and values in material culture, everyday objects and visions of nature.

Sala Alcalá

Browse the ¿FINLAND? exhibition catalogue


Otto Karvonen: Alien Palace Birdhouse Collection: Helsinki–Madrid

CA2M (Móstoles), 21.2.–

Site-specific installation on the CA2M terrace of birdhouses based on immigrant detention centres in Helsinki and Madrid.

Alien Palace Birdhouse Collection consists of birdhouses that are architecturally inspired by detention centres for immigrants in different European countries. The collection includes already birdhouses that resemble detention centres in the Netherlands, Finland and some Mediterranean countries.


Hannu Karjalainen: Towards an Architect & Woman with Dark Hair

Plaza de Callao 19.2.–23.2.

Hannu Karjalainen (Born 1978 in Haapavesi, Finland) has graduated from The University of Industrial arts Helsinki, Department of Photography in 2005. His video and sound installations and screenings have been shown in galleries and festivals since 2003. Karjalainen’s silent video and film based works often question the gap between still and moving image and also the tradition of portraiture.

Towards An Architect (2010) is a video work inspired by a colour palette designed by architect and urbanist Le Corbusier for the Swiss wallpaper manufacturer Salubra. In a fictive scene an architect is put into close contact with his own product and has to deal with the critical response to his work.


Kaarina Kaikkonen: Touching the Sky

CentroCentro 19.2.–29.8.

Touching the Sky (Taivaan kosketus) is Kaikkonen’s site-specific installation for CentroCentro. She was inspired by the height of the main lobby, and also by how visitors will enter the dome-covered installation area, step by step, without knowing what to expect. The early 20th century neo-Gothic building with a set of towers is also known as the Catedral de las Comunicaciones thus making it an ideal place to host her installation. Touching the Sky is about communication. A cloak-shaped installation invites visitors to gather under its protection and also to feel the presence of the crowd, even to touch the clothes previously worn by inhabitants of Madrid. Moreover, it directs our gaze up to the sky. Glances might wander in both directions – so the mundane and heavenly intertwine.


Kustaa Saksi: Hypnopompic

CentroCentro 6.2.–31.3.

The Amsterdam based artist Kustaa Saksi (b.1975) showcases the collection Hypnopompic, presenting surreal and unique artworks manufactured with jacquard weaving technique. The textiles are made of mohair and alpaca wool, cotton and synthetic materials, such as phosphate and metallic acrylic thread. Jacquard technique is named after the French inventor, Joseph Marie Jacquard (1752–1834), who designed the jacquard loom. With Jacquard’s automatic loom, it was possible to weave complex mechanically patterned silk fabrics. The technology was revolutionary in the textile manufacturing industry around the world.

Kustaa Saksi lives and works in Amsterdam. In addition to his artistic production, he is known as an awarded graphic designer in Finland and abroad. Saksi has designed wall paintings to cover skyscrapers, as well as patterns and tapestry.


Series of Finnish documentaries


Finnish Film Foundation. For the entire programme, please visit


IC-98: Abendland – Tierras Crepusculares

Conde Duque, 30.1.–20.4.

IC-98 is artists Visa Suonpää (b. 1968) and Patrik Söderlund (b. 1974). IC-98 projects often take the form of installations or publications, combining research, drawing and animation. Their intensely abstracted, identifiable visual language weaves myriad bridges between the material and mythical, individual and collective, nature and culture. The investigations running through the works concern the body politic, social formations and architectural constructions, heresies and pure systems of thought, and the presence of history in everyday life. IC-98 also represents Finland at the 2015 Venice Biennale.

Conde Duque


Adel Abidin: Bread of Life

Finnish Institute in Madrid, 13.2.–4.4.

Video installation (2008–2009). Curated by Arja Miller, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art Helsinki.

In his works, Abidin explores cultural encounters. The works speak often about power relations and war, but also about the conditions of existence that are common to all people.

In some cultures bread is thought of as being the source of life and so treated as a holy object, as something to be respected and not joked about. ‘As I visited a restaurant in Cairo, I received this bread that to me seemed more suitable for playing music with than to be eaten – it was so hard it made a pleasant sound, like an instrument. I gathered together four rhythmic musicians who earn their living by playing music for belly dancers in nightclubs. I approached them with the idea to play music by using the bread – the source of life.’


Mika Taanila & Erkki Kurenniemi

La Casa Encendida, 5.2.; 12.2.; 19.2.; 26.2.

5 Feb & 19 Feb (8 pm)
Documentary about Erkki Kurenniemi by Mika Taanila, award-winning artist and film maker + Q&A with Mika Taanila (Q&A only 19 Feb)

12 Feb & 26 Feb (8 pm)
Films by Erkki Kurenniemi, a pioneer of electronic music and multimedia art

Mika Taanila is a film-maker who works in-between documentaries, experimental film and visual arts. Human engineering, utopias, failures and man-machines are recurring themes in his films and installations. His works have been screened at over 300 film festivals and dozens of exhibitions.

Erkki Kurenniemi is a Finnish designer, philosopher and artist, best known for his electronic music compositions and the electronic instruments he has designed. He is considered one of the leading early pioneers of electronic music in Finland.


Series of films by Peter von Bagh

Filmoteca Espanola

For the entire programme, please visit


Essi Kausalainen, Mikko Kuorinki, Jaakko Pallasvuo and Nestori Syrjälä: El Ranchito

Matadero 21.2.–30.3. (exhibition)

El Ranchito at Matadero brings together a cross-disciplinary group of Finnish and Spanish artists to a 6-week residency in Madrid. The collective residency follows the format of a reading group around the themes of acceleration and dispersion: the participants investigate together the questions pertinent to creative practices today regarding immaterial labour. The residencies will culminate in an exhibition of new works by the artists.

See the blog:


Wilma Hurskainen: Growth

Matadero 20.2.–31.5.

Wilma Hurskainen (born 1979) studied photography at Lahti Institute of Design and University of Art and Design (today Aalto University) in Helsinki. She has had several solo exhibitions in Europe and participated in group exhibitions in Europe and Japan. The photographic series, Growth, was published as an artist monograph by Musta Taide in 2008.

Growth (2004–2006) is a project in which the artist reconstructed old family photographs that her father took of her and her sisters when they were children. In the series, she has tried to make the new photographs similar to the old ones: the place, the composition, positions and facial expressions are the same.  In the photographs time takes a strange form, creating a dialogue with past and present. In the pictures the models try to capture past by adopting old poses, gazes and roles, but have to fail – there is no return in time.


Aki Kaurismäki: masterclass and screening

Museo Nacional Centro de Reina Sofia, 21.2. and other dates in February in March

For the entire programme, please visit


Collective exhibition of Mustarinda members

Espacio Trapézio 19.2.–9.3.

Espacio Trapezio collaborates with the Finnish Mustarinda artist collective on an exhibition and a programme of discussions. The collaboration focuses on ecological urgencies and sets out to reflect on the current economic and political situations in Finland and Spain. The exhibition features works by a number of Mustarinda’s member artists, including Saara-Maria Kariranta, Laura Wesamaa, Mika Palonen, Tuomo Tuovinen, Alma Heikkilä and Elina Tuhkanen. The discussions are coordinated by artist Antti Majava  and researcher Paavo Järvensivu.


Panel discussion on Finnish art education

Universidad Complutense 19.2. 10–14

The Ibero-American Institute of Finland and the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Complutense organize a panel for experts to discuss arts education and its methodology in the side events of ARCOmadrid #FocusFinland held in the same Faculty of Fine Arts the 19th of February from 10 am to 2 pm. The Finnish education system is based on continuous assessment of its quality, in addition to it´s assessments on equality and free access. For Finland, education is the foundation of the society and its values. The objective of this panel, organized by the initiative of Ibero-American Institute of Finland is to discuss the educational knowledge in the artistic fields of Finland and Spain. Different methods involve different outcomes and in that way, teaching methods are a way to gain excellent quality.




#FocusFinland is a joint effort of various organisations. The programme is coordinated by Frame Visual Art Finland. The programme at the fair is a collaboration between Frame and the Finnish galleries in the ARCOmadrid programme. The Kiasma Lounge is hosted by Frame and Kiasma. The collateral programme is organised by Frame, the Finnish Institute in Madrid and the venues in Madrid.

(Photo: Hannu Karjalainen: Towards An Architect, 2010.)