The year is kicked off with an exhibition by Matti Hyvönen and Celeen Mahe at the Academy of Fine Arts Project Room. The exhibition will run until 20 January.

Exhibition Laboratory to explore bodily experience, sound art and effects of modern technology

The Exhibition Laboratory will tackle some very topical issues in spring 2019: the exhibitions will offer their own perspectives on themes such as feminism, modern technology, and soundscapes and their effects. Tuesday evenings at the Exhibition Laboratory have been reserved for public lectures, and the much-anticipated MFA Degree Show Kuvan Kevät will take over the galleries in May–June. The Project Room, also located in the Helsinki city centre, will once again display projects by master’s degree students.

As always, admission to the Academy of Fine Arts exhibitions and events is free of charge. More detailed information on the exhibitions is available on the Exhibition Laboratory’s revamped website

From classroom settings to galleries

The spring exhibitions at the Exhibition Laboratory have drawn their inspiration from last year’s course work, as the students will now continue exploring their respective themes in an exhibition setting.

The spring season is opened with SHARING NOTES (feminist gathering), which shares and listens to thoughts about what feminism can be from 11 January to 3 February. Besides an exhibition, SHARING NOTES (feminist gathering) also features open gatherings, discussion sessions and bodily exercises that take place in the exhibition space. On Saturday evening on 2 February, during the exhibition’s last weekend, the group of young artists will hold lecture performances, while the MYÖS collective, which strives to develop a club culture that respects the principles of safe space, will arrange an open decks party. The events are open for everyone – check out the more detailed schedule on the website!

The exhibitions running from 15 February to 10 March revolve around modern technology and its effects. Maria Kojonen’s video installation studies the modern phone technology and the way it can both enable and hinder the presence and contact between other people. As for the lower floor of the gallery, students of Professor of Photography Katja Eydel will organise a photography-based exhibition, where the students’ creation process has focused on studying and challenging perceptual ability.

From 22 March–14 April, master’s students studying in Uniarts Helsinki’s Sound Art & Sonic Arts study module will share the gallery space with the RAATO collective, originating from the Academy of Fine Arts. The sound art project has derived its inspiration from sounds that one hears outside, and it examines the practices of sound art in public space, audio messages produced by nature as well as sound interventions. 

What unites the members of the RAATO collective is that their work utilises bodily experience both as the creation method and as the topic of the art. The collective consists of four second-year students of sculpture and time and space arts, and in their debut exhibition at the Exhibition Laboratory, they will reflect on tensions between the mind and the body, the mundaneness of humanity in all its peculiarities and the body’s ability to experience, remember, guide and express the private self.

The MFA Degree Show Kuvan Kevät will present art by soon-to-be graduating MFA students in both of the Academy of Fine Arts galleries in May–June. The exhibition will run from 4 May to 3 June, and because the number of participants is nearly 50, the exhibition will also expand to other gallery spaces. Stay tuned for more details coming up later this spring! 

Thesis project exhibitions take over the Project Room

The other major gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts, Project Room, is located near Hietalahti Market Square among the cluster of galleries in the Kamppi District. The first exhibition of the year will run until 20 January and give visitors the chance to delve into the worlds represented in the art of Matti Hyvönen and Celeen Mahe. Following this, starting from 25 January, will be an exhibition by Emelie Luostarinen, who will examine things she has experienced and learned: the journey that she has made while working with different techniques of image-making.

Master’s student in painting Tuuli Kerätär is interested in things and observations that transport our thoughts into something that we’ve experienced in the past. From 15 February to 3 March, she will share the gallery space with Vilma Määttänen, whose exhibition will review the clash of direct action and bureaucracy through the means of documentary material and discussions in the gallery.

Elisa Aaltonen and Harriina Räinä both reflect on the theme of death in their artistic work: What is the price of life? Who must die so that others may live? Their joint exhibition, centred around traitors and murderers and the meaning of death and killing, can be seen in the Project Room between 8 and 24 March. 

Before it’s time for the MFA Degree Show Kuvan Kevät, the Project Room will be filled with works by Astrid Strömberg and Maria Valkeavuolle from 29 March to 14 April. Strömberg’s works explore the experiences of speed and acceleration that characterise the modern reality: Excessive stimuli and impulses that produce the sensation of profusion and alienation. In her art, Maria Valkeavuolle questions the hierarchy of emotions and the mind. The exhibition plays around on the interface of light and heavy and studies the fringe areas of absurdity with sincere earnestness. 

Tuesday evenings are for public lectures

For the fourth time this spring, a prominent international speaker from the world of fine arts will visit the Exhibition Laboratory as part of the Saastamoinen Keynote Lecture series. The name of the lecturer will be announced later on in the beginning of the year.

Public lectures will continue on Tuesday evenings in the spring term. The Prognostics lectures focus on some of the burning questions in art and society, while the Avoimet opet lecture series, which was launched last autumn, is a platform for the Academy of Fine Arts teachers to talk about their artistic work and interests. Details on the lectures will be updated to the website in the near future.

Other events include an installation-based performance put together as a collaboration between dancer Selma Reynisdottír and dramaturgy student Milka Luhtaniemi. The performance reviews the sensation of pressure as a bodily and climatic phenomenon, and it can be seen on 12–13 March. 

More events will be added to the schedule throughout the spring: to stay updated, remember to follow the Exhibition Laboratory websiteFacebook page of the Academy of Fine Arts as well as the Exhibition Laboratory Instagram account @exhibitionlaboratory.

Welcome to the exhibitions and events of the Academy of Fine Arts in spring 2019!

Exhibition Laboratory, Merimiehenkatu 36, 00150 Helsinki
Project Room, Lönnrotinkatu 35, 00180 Helsinki
Opening hours Tue–Sun 11–18, the galleries are closed on Mondays and in between exhibitions for installation. Admission is free of charge.

The Exhibition Laboratory is accessible, but as for the Project Room, there are a few steps up to the main entrance door, but entrance through the courtyard is accessible. If you have questions or need more information on accessibility, contact: (at)

The events and schedules are subject to change. Check the latest information: