MARIA PERSU contemplates her discovery of Nordic environmentalist art. I arrived in Helsinki on Midsummer Night, a celebration where Finns light up huge bonfires and go to the countryside to mark the beginning of the warm season. It occurs at that time of the year where it doesn’t get pitch dark at all for twenty-four hours. The city was mostly empty, apart from the occasional tourist, youngster, or seagull. Yet this did not detract from its charm; Helsinki is a city full of high-quality public spaces for locals, and local businesses thrive there. Testament to this are the second hand stores, the vegan cafés, the newly built public library, and the airy parks. Helsinki lives for its locals.   Prior to my trip to Helsinki, my only experience of Nordic art was Ruben Östlund’s harsh satire on curatorial obnoxiousness, The Square (2018). Kiasma, the famed Finnish contemporary art museum, as well…Continue Reading

NORDIC ARTISTS CONCERNED

ASIA CHOUDHRY reviews Olafur Eliasson’s In Real Life at the Tate Modern. Scrolling through Instagram one day during summer, I stumbled upon pictures of my friends standing in a dreamy, orange fog. It was both eerie and aesthetically pleasing, and I immediately had to know more. After briefly searching online, Olafur Eliasson’s name appeared on the first try, alongside words such as ‘mind-bending’ and ‘glorious’. I began to grow excited as I read more about him: a Danish-Icelandic artist, famous for his sculptures and large-scale installation art, who often employs elemental materials in his work. The exhibition itself, named In Real Life at the Tate Modern, is stated to explore his ‘deep engagement with society and the environment’, and the viewer is encouraged to ‘discover what an artist’s perspective can bring to issues of climate change’.  On that particular summer’s day, I was undergoing a familiar bout of climate anxiety,…Continue Reading

OLAFUR ELIASSON: IN REAL LIFE

MARTA BIINO considers the sustainability of food consumption and waste production. Addressing social and environmental issues is a growing trend in the contemporary art world. And yet, it is still uncommon to see an exhibition confronting one of the most pressing issues of our time: the problem of unsustainable food production and waste disposal. Food: Bigger than the Plate, hosted by the V&A, presents itself as a journey through the history of Western food consumption and waste production. The visitor is immersed in a four-step itinerary: composting, farming, selling and eating. Each section is conceived to uncover the inherent unsustainability of the contemporary food industry while focusing on the importance of promptly undertaking major changes. The exhibition starts off with a simple, often unacknowledged reality: human activity produces waste. Every action we undertake contributes to a polluting process that’s slowly destroying our planet. According to statistical estimations, every year the…Continue Reading

Food: Bigger than the Plate