Aalto University students’ exhibition in the Museum of Cultures 9 May – 2 September 2012

The WHY GATHER? exhibition will open in the Museum of Cultures in May. In the exhibition, students of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture at the Aalto University will contribute, in the language of art, to the ongoing discussion on immigration, tolerance and racism in Finland. The students will also, on a more general level, reflect on the role of ethnographic museums in society.

The exhibition has been created in the Museum as artist media undergraduate course. The course created exhibitions for the Helsinki City Museum between 2006 and 2010 and an event at the Ateneum in 2011.

WHY GATHER? exhibits contrasts between past and present. The exhibition draws parallels between artifacts brought from East Africa by Akseli Gallen-Kallela and virtual role-playing games (Timo Bredenberg), and makes a student artist’s belongings in their entirety, archived in museal style, a part of the exhibition for four months (Ilari Laamanen). German-born Dinah Grünther has made observations on German artifacts she has discovered in Finland, and Italian Gianluigi Biagini brings anarchy to the museum by smashing a display case, among other things. A portable Tibetan altar belonging to the museum’s collection gains a new dimension as part of the installation (Enni Kömmistö), and the collectors of the museum’s collections are compared to modern parallels (Anna Virtanen). Iranian clothes, on the other hand, attempt to float into a Finnish home (Outi Turpeinen).

Museums can be veritable treasure chests for artists and designers, but their operating methods must simultaneously fall under critical scrutiny. This is the icing on the cake of cross-disciplinary cooperation. Everyone benefits from the cooperation of students and museums: the museum gets, for example, an avant-garde exhibition that challenges people’s prejudices on a small budget, and the students are able to take a peek into the endlessly fascinating world of objects and stories offered by the museum.



Outi Turpeinen, course director, artist, DA tel. +358 40 5387 079

Eija-Maija Kotilainen, director tel. +358 40 128 6431 eija-maija.kotilainen(at)


Tennispalatsi 2nd floor
Eteläinen Rautatiekatu 8, Helsinki
Open Tue-Sun 11-18, Mon closed (Closed 22.6.–30.7.2012)
Free entry

Ticket office tel. +358 40 128 6441