Teemu Mäenpää, Aimless, 2013, ink and acrylic on canvas, 121cm x 105.4cm x 2.1cm The Seppo Fränti Collection, Finnish National Gallery / Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Kirsi Halkola

When a Passionate Collector Meets a Museum

Saara Hacklin, PhD, Curator and Kati Kivinen, PhD, Chief Curator, Finnish National Gallery / Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma

Also published in Saara Hacklin and Kati Kivinen (eds.), Hullu rakkaus / Galen kärlek / Mad Love. The Seppo Fränti Collection at Kiasma. A Museum of Contemporary Art Publication 170/2020. Helsinki: PARVS, 2020. Transl. Eva Malkki

The curators’ look at the Seppo Fränti Collection

In 2017, Christmas came early for Kiasma. The museum received an extraordinary donation from the Helsinki-based collector and art-lover Seppo Fränti. The donation was preceded by a long dialogue between the collector and the museum’s director Leevi Haapala, and the final seal was placed on the agreement just before Christmas.

For nearly four decades, Fränti has been collecting mostly Finnish visual artists. The main emphasis of his collection, which comprises around 650 works, is on Finnish paintings. As art historian Juha-Heikki Tihinen has said, ‘as a collector, Fränti is a patron who reacts quickly and relies on his gut feeling’.[1] Fränti wants to become friends with the people behind the artworks because, for him, collecting is a passion and a way of life. In recent years, this passion filled up his home.

Generally speaking, Fränti’s collection is a grand gift for the Finnish National Gallery; at the same time, it hides behind it a large amount of work. The museum dived into the project through the processes of transportation, examination, documentation, maintenance, conservation, and restoration. This article looks at the reception of the Fränti Collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. It considers how the character of this private collection might have altered when it became a part of a large public contemporary art collection, and describes the process that the works underwent on arrival and during exhibition planning.

[1] Tihinen, Juha-Heikki, 2016. Häpeämättömästi taiteen puolesta – Seppo Fräntin kokoelma. Helsinki: Lapinlahden Lähde project & Mental Health Finland, 9.

Featured image: Teemu Mäenpää, Aimless, 2013, ink and acrylic on canvas, 121cm x 105.4cm x 2.1cm, The Seppo Fränti Collection, Finnish National Gallery / Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma
Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Kirsi Halkola

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Sari Palosaari, Time is out of Joint 1, 2018: By your Side, stone and double seat, and Atmospheric #1, railing, pole, light, poly bag, light and colour sensor; stone, soundless cracking agent Finnish National Gallery / Finnish State Art Deposit Collection Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Pirje Mykkänen

Time out of Joint – Temporality and the Anthropocene in Contemporary Art

Saara Hacklin, PhD, Curator, Finnish National Gallery / Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki

Also published in Saara Hacklin and Satu Oksanen (eds.), Yhteiseloa / Coexistence. Human, Animal and Nature in Kiasma’s Collections. A Museum of Contemporary Art Publication 166/2019. Helsinki: Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Finnish National Gallery, 2019. Transl. Silja Kudel

A large rock rests upon one of two blue seats. Another waits on the floor. When the viewer enters the room, they might observe a crack in the first rock – or not. A flickering light bulb wrapped in a plastic bag is attached to a metal railing above. Time is out of Joint 1 (2018), by Sari Palosaari (b. 1974), emulates the atmosphere of an anonymous waiting room, possibly in a hospital or railway station. The static environment belies a hidden tension. Inside the rock is a silent cracking agent that does its work with simple efficacy: a hole is drilled, the cavity is filled, and the agent slowly expands, eventually splitting open the rock.

This article looks at issues of temporality raised by works in the ‘Coexistence’ exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki – exploring perspectives on the past, present and future, and also ideas about decelerated and accelerated time. The notion of accelerated time is associated with a modernist faith in progress, yet also, to a growing degree, with a rising concern about climate change and discourse on the Anthropocene that raises salient questions about the future and the role that humans will play in it.

Featured image: Sari Palosaari, Time is out of Joint 1, 2018, Finnish National Gallery / Finnish State Art Deposit Collection
Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Pirje Mykkänen

Read more — Download ‘Time out of Joint – Temporality and the Anthropocene in Contemporary Art’, by Saara Hacklin, as a PDF

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Saarikoski, Hanna, See Paris and Die, 2012, HD video 16:9, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Finnish National Gallery

To Touch and Be Touched: Affective, Immersive and Critical Contemporary Art?

Saara Hacklin, PhD, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma

This article was recently published in Stedelijk Studies, Issue No. 4/2016, and is based on a paper Hacklin presented at the conference Between the Discursive and the Immersive: Research in the 21st Century Art Museum, 3–4 December, 2015, co-organised by the Louisiana Museum in Humblebaeck, the University of Aarhus, and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

Hacklin presents as a case study the collection exhibition shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in 2016.

Featured image: Saarikoski, Hanna, See Paris and Die, 2012, a still from an HD video 16:9, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Finnish National Gallery

To read Saara Hacklin’s article, visit

http://www.stedelijkstudies.com/journal/to-touch-and-be-touched/