Finland

Superflex envisions the decay of capitalism

The Danish artist group premiers a new film at Helsinki’s IHME Contemporary Art Festival

Superflex, model for "Modern Times Forever (Stora Enso Building, Helsinki)" Photo: Propeller Group

Helsinki. Danish artist group Superflex is presenting what is said to be the longest film ever screened continuously. The work is having its premier in Helsinki until 2 April and is being shown on a 40-square-metre LED open-air screen in the Finish capital.

The work deals with the headquarters of Stora Enso, which can be seen from the market square where the film is being screened, close to the President’s Palace and City Hall. Alvar Aalto, Finland’s most renowned architect, designed the building. Using animation, Superflex predicts how the building would deteriorate over the years if it were not properly taken care of. “This building has always been very much discussed in Finland and Stora Enso is one of our traditional big industry companies. Now in a film the building’s decay is animated. That deals with the future of capitalism, the possible impact of climate change, the future of industry and much more”, said Paula Toppila, executive director of the Pro Arte Foundation that organises and together with others finances the annual IHME Contemporary Art Festival event. An unnamed private donor established the foundation and provides most of its funding.

The Superflex film is commissioned by Pro Arte together with Kiasma, the Finish Museum of Contemporary Art, which bought one work out of the edition of five for its collection. The screening is the main project during this year’s IHME Contemporary Art Festival, which is entirely free to the public. Addition films by artists including Yoko Ono, Jani Ruscica, Cyprien Gaillard and Jeremy Deller are being shown. There will also be a lecture on Alvar Aalto as well as a panel discussion with former Venice Biennale director Daniel Birnbaum and art critic Jennifer Allen, scheduled for 3 April.

Pro Arte has organizing the IHME festival since 2009, bringing internationally well known artists and their projects to Helsinki. Two years ago, Anthony Gormley invited the public to create their own sculptures from a massive block of clay housed in am inflated tent near the railway station as part of the project Clay and the Collective Body, and over 1,000 people participated. “It is extremely important for us to meet more than the people who usually go to a museum”, said Toppila.

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