Skip to content

Minister Arhinmäki at Venice Biennale: "The Finnish exhibition is very exciting"

Ministry of Education and Culture
Publication date 30.5.2013 18.30
Press release -

The Finnish Minister of Culture and Sport Paavo Arhinmäki is currently visiting the 55th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale. The 2013 Finnish exhibition is entitled Falling Trees and includes works from two artists, Terike Haapoja and Antti Laitinen.

"I am delighted that, in principle, Terike Haapoja and Antti Laitinen now have the opportunity to showcase their work to a global audience interested in fine arts. This is a wonderful opportunity. It is my hope that the exhibition at the Biennale will enhance the international career of these two talented Finnish artists," Minister Arhinmäki said in Venice on Thursday night.

The opening of the Finnish Alvar Aalto Pavilion and the Nordic Pavilion was held in Venice on Thursday. Finland?s joint exhibition Falling Trees takes place in both pavilions and also spreads out to the Giardini Park surrounding the exhibition premises. Historically, the exhibition is exceptionally vast, as this is the first time that Finland has had the use of two pavilions.

The Falling Trees exhibition was named after an accident that took place in the exhibition area two years ago, when a large tree abruptly fell on the Alvar Aalto Pavilion causing various kinds of trouble.

"Art imitates life and life imitates art. Instead of perceiving the falling tree exclusively as a negative incident, we in Finland were interested in seeing what new things could come out of it. We can now witness the end result all around us in the form of this unique exhibition focusing on the link between nature and humans or, more accurately, the connection between all living things," Arhinmäki said.

Employing organic matter as material, the Finnish exhibition this year represents BioArt. Terike Haapoja has built a laboratory in the Nordic Pavilion where she seeks answers to such basic questions of life as could nature or its elements, such as trees, be subjects in their own right? Antti Laitinen has put together an exhibition consisting of video and photographic works, installations and performance at the Alvar Aalto Pavilion. The series of works stems from a forest area the size of one hundred square metres in Somerniemi in Southern Finland. Laitinen felled the forest on the piece of land, sorted its different elements and arranged them to form an entirely new whole in Venice.

"For me, this is a very exciting and fresh exhibition with a novel approach that talks about things that are topical in all parts of the world today. We must be able to solve problems associated with the environment in order to preserve our planet for future generations. I feel that this exhibition addresses issues that are also important for me personally," described Minister Arhinmäki.

Minister Arhinmäki?s visit to Venice will continue until the end of the week. The Falling Trees exhibition and the International Art Exhibition as a whole will open to the public on Saturday 1 June. The Biennale will be open until late November.

The Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture is one of the main co-operation partners of the Falling Trees exhibition. The arrangements for the exhibition are the responsibility of Frame Visual Art Finland.

Further information:
- Ms Anne Moilanen, Minister Paavo Arhinmäki?s Political Adviser, [email protected], +358 (0)50 347 8299
- Ms Raija Koli, Director, Frame Foundation, [email protected], +358 (0)44 728 9938
- Ms Heljä Franssila, Communications Manager, Frame Foundation, [email protected], +358 (0)44 728 9908