research based exhibition of Finnish Art
Markus Luiro, Catch, 2016, charcoal Маркус Луиро, Поймаю, 2016, рисунок углем
Katri Kainulainen & Maximilian Latva, Anasyrma, 2019, performance photo by Lukas Kolm Катри Кайнулайнен и Максимилиан Латва, Анасырма, 2019, перформанс фото Лукас Колм
Maarit Mustonen, Poems, 2016, xerox prints Маарит Мустонен, Поэмы, 2016, ксерокопии
Nuutti Koskinen, The Sleeping Saturn, 2012, animation Нуутти Коскинен, Спящий Сатурн, 2012, анимация
Minna Langstrom, To Melt, 2014, film installation Минна Лангстром, Растаять, 2014, видео инсталляция
Date: November 30, 2021 — January 30, 2022
Venue: MMOMA Education Center, 17 Ermolayevsky Lane


Curated by: Margarita Osepyan

The Moscow Museum of Modern Art, with the support of the Embassy of Finland in Moscow and the Finnish Institute in St. Petersburg, presents the exhibition together, noting, which showcases the works of 11 Finnish artists following the research trip to Finland. The works are combined into a conceptual unit through the curator’s travel notes and explore the nature of language as a system of notions, a technology that shapes actuality. The exhibition will be complemented by a public program featuring talks with the artists, a discussion about language from an anthropological perspective, a conversation with a Finnish self-organized art platform Mustarinda and a lecture by Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art collection curator.

The title of the exhibition together, noting refers to the meaning of the Latin word connotatio, which literally translates as joint denotation. The linguistic matrix defines collective ethical principles, aesthetic tastes, and interpretations of the world at large. Language is a system of signs, a conceptual instrument describing reality. Every language carries its own reality, whether it is a language of the Latin or Indo-Iranian group, Finnish or Russian, the language of modernism or postmodernism, the language of the artistic environment or digital technology. Language is a set of names, codes, the possession of which allows you to give meaning to the sum of the different meanings, to build a conceptual continuum.

In each particular art symbol, in each work of art, it is possible to recognize several overlapping meanings — personal, national, subcultural and global. The curator, reading these meanings, deciphers and constructs a statement with certain accents, paying attention to specific codes of meaning. The unifying basis for the final selection of artists and works in this exposition was the intention to interpret the selected works precisely through language as a system of notions, creating descriptive narratives that enclose the observed in an organized, specific reality.

The exhibition features the works of Finnish artists arranged in four conceptual blocks associated with language: meaning, power, perception and witnessing.

Poems by Maarit Mustonen, The Ctongue by Tuomas A. Laitinen, Felt the Moonlight on My Feet by Jani Ruscica, and Broken Strings by Maximilian Latva point to the distinction between meaning and signification. In these works one can notice how conceptual language is replaced by the language of sensory perception, sound, movement or signs that cannot be combined into a semantic whole, yet make it possible to convey something at a signal-reception level in the present time, be it a mood or a state. The Sleeping Saturn by Nuutti Koskinen, Admirer by Pilvi Takala, and Scene Shifts, in Six Movements by Jani Ruscica tell of misinterpretations, the conditioning of cultural differences, language as a political force, and the personal need to control and manipulate others through language.To Melt by Minna Långström and Anasyrma by Katri Kainulainen and Maximilian Latva explore different facets of perception — memory, dreaming, and the unconscious, where language serves as an outline for observation and inconsistently occurring images.In Marcus Luiro’s drawings, in Hanna Marno’s installation Living Dormant, and in Anna Estarriola’s work Performance for a Rock, the problematic of bearing witness emerges, where the perceiving subject either loses its identity or turns into an inanimate object.

The exhibition is structured to contrast the objective and the subjective with the former including information provided by the artists about themselves and their works, and the latter featuring curatorial texts compiled in the format of travel notes. These interpretations sometimes contradict or even utterly alter the meaning of the works on display, questioning the essence of language and the ways in which it shapes reality.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Connecting Points (Finish-Russian Exchange) for their help in organizing the research trip.


With the support: