Sunday, April 20
Naa spent the night with Sampo and Irma and I both slept for about twelve hours. We woke up to bright sunlight.
After breakfast we set off to Kiasma, where the Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar was having his first Finnish solo exhibition: Tonight No Poetry Will Serve. We had seen an installation of his in the Kochi bienniale, and Irma and Auo had seen some of his work in Santiago, so off we went.
We were told by the publiciy that it would make us think and it did, but not in the way intended. Every single thing in the exhibition seemed to either be a direct quotation or to piggyback on the (more substantial) work of others. Jaar’s “work” itself seemed to be a series of annotations to the work of others. The programme, in effect, constituted the art.
The title of the exhibition “alludes to a poem by the American writer Adrienne Rich (1929-2012) who has been an important source of inspitation for the artists”. The piece we are standing in front of right now “is taken from a short novel bythe Japanese author and Nobel Laureate Kenzaburö Öe… The author, recognising the failure of his generation, asks his son’s generation to teach him to outgrow its madness.” The words on the poster we took away are “of uncertain origin but often attributed to the US photographer Ansel Adams”.
And so on.
Afterwards we walked to Kamppi to put Irma’s mother’s garden chair on the balcony for summer, before walking back to the car, still talking about the exhibition.
In the evening we tried to find something to watch on television and sampled a glass of eggnog from a bottle we had bought in Warsaw. It was the least liquid drink either of us had ever had, and the sheer effort involved in coaxing it out of the glass ensured that we didn’t have a second one.