The collection exhibition on the third floor of Kiasma updates our view of contemporary art in the Baltic region, bringing together 26 artists from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland and Russia.
Countries around the Baltic Sea are united by geography and history. The region is a point of confluence for many economic, political and cultural interests. Hansa towns, the Soviet Union, Via Baltica, a gas pipeline and nature protection have unified countries and people while also separating them.
There and Back Again is an exhibition about a time characterised by the mobility of people, goods and work but also by political tensions between superpowers. The palpable backstory is the Soviet era with its restrictions, traumas and memories.
Themes shared by the works are travelling, migration, place and the sense of belonging. The artists depict journeys across seas, settling in a new place and dreams of change.
The journeys are also inner explorations of identity. The works invite us to consider where we are coming from, where we are going and where we belong, but they also make visible very ordinary things: travelling between Finland and Estonia, social media events and even booze cruises.