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João Laia. Photo: Mike Ghost.

João Laia Named Chief Curator at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art

The Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki has appointed Portugal-based curator João Laia as its new chief curator of exhibitions. Once he takes up the post on June 3, he will work closely with museum director Leevi Haapala on all upcoming programming. Laia succeeds Marja Sakari, who stepped down to become director of the city’s Ateneum Art Museum.

“I am thrilled to join Kiasma as the chief curator of temporary exhibitions,” Laia said. “As part of the museum’s team, I look forward to presenting challenging, experimental, and poetic work to engage the eclectic range of audiences that make up the wide local, regional, and international constituencies of the institution by addressing key social debates defining our present and near future.”

Laia holds an MA in film studies from King’s College, London, and an MA in film curating from the London Consortium. He also participated in the post-graduate research program CuratorLab at Konstfack, Stockholm, and a curatorial residency program at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin.

Laia’s most recent curatorial projects include “Vanishing Point” (2019) at Torreão Nascente, Lisbon City Hall Gallery; “Drowning in a Sea of Data” (2019) and “Transmissions from the Etherspace” (2017), both at La Casa Encendida, Madrid; “foreign bodies” (2018) at P420, Bologna; and “10,000 Years Later Between Venus and Mars” (2017–18) at Galeria Municipal do Porto. He is also a frequent contributor to Mousse magazine, among other publications.

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