Sini Mononen

  • Honkasalo-Niemi-Virtanen, Lazarus (detail), 2021, mixed media. Installation view. From the Helsinki Biennial. Photo: Maija Toivanen.

    Helsinki Biennial

    In his 1984 poem “The Same Sea in Us All,” Estonian poet Jaan Kaplinski wrote about the ocean as something that both unites and separates. Organized by the Helsinki Art Museum’s Pirkko Siitari and Taru Tappola and taking inspiration from Kaplinski, the inaugural Helsinki Biennial, “The Same Sea,” brings the works of more than forty artists and collectives to the island of Vallisaari, a short ferry ride from the mainland. With a budget of seven million euros and free admission, the biennial is the largest contemporary art event in Finland today. Beyond its maritime theme, the exhibition tackles

  • Timo Vaittinen, ‹([0])›‹([0])›, 2021, cotton, softshell, polyester, machine embroidery, 71 x 114 ".
    picks May 19, 2021

    Timo Vaittinen

    Timo Vaittinen’s exhibition “‹([0])›‹([0])›” offers a contemporary update on the botanical imaginary. Plant motifs pervade the five paintings and two textiles, while wifihenge (all works 2021) arranges six acrylic casts of internet routers on the floor like a fairy circle of sprouted mushrooms. To further set the mood, the installation Drug Influenced High Emotional Culture hooks a common houseplant, the fiddle-leaf fig, to a biodata sonificator in order to translate its biorhythms into sound. The result is then fed through a sampler, producing a kind of trap music in the key of D minor: “the

  • Stiina Saaristo, Seitinohuet (Gossamers), 2021, glazed ceramics, 14 x 20 x 20".
    picks April 25, 2021

    Stiina Saaristo

    Around twenty years ago, Stiina Saaristo started drawing a woman that looked very much like the artist herself: a blonde with a somewhat square face, blue eyes, and girly braids. The figure was typically depicted alone, surrounded by piles of clutter that suggested something soft and fairy-tale-like and yet, at the same time, vaguely menacing. In the two decades since, Saaristo has created an entire oeuvre of large-scale portraits of her character, rendered in exquisite detail.

    While Saaristo may be best known for her intricate pencil drawings (three of which are included here), this exhibition