School of Business' public art explores humanity and its tensions
The art collection and art catalogue were published in the opening event of the new main building of the School of Business. The art concept Human approach respects the past, still keeping an eye on the future. Public art at the School of Business aims to create an inclusive and dialogical experience and to create an open and low hierarchy working and learning environment.
'Art can induce us to freely explore the world beyond fixed meanings or conceptions. In doing so, art can also create friction. Here at Aalto University, we believe that only through such collisions of different viewpoints, disciplines and knowledge communities can we create something new: the not-yet-known future,' says Anna Valtonen, Vice President of Arts and Creative Practices of Aalto University.
The main piece of the collection respects the past and looks to the future
'For me the art concept Human Approach means being aware of other people. It’s a question of being a part of community, not so much a question of someone individual goals,' says Kirsi Kivivirta, artist of the main piece of the Human Approach collection.
With harmonious colours that respect the architecture, STAGE welcomes everyone who enters the new building. The choice of ceramic as the material for an entrance artwork also respects the history of the former School of Business main building. STAGE creates an imaginary scene, a flexible frame for meetings and activities.
A video series of a startup event through the eyes of a performative researcher
School of Business' 2018 Artist in Residence Pilvi Takala's If your heart wants it video series focuses social interaction in the startup event SLUSH. Takala and her team infiltrated to the event and immersed themselves in SLUSH through different conversations and side events. The video series examines the tensions and interaction between the different actors.
'Start up entrepreneurs are glorified within Finnish society as perfect citizens. Ideas that prevail in startup culture branch out and effect society at large, for better and for worse. This includes the normalisation of suffering as "no pain no gain". Through this work I am looking critically at these phenomenas as a manifestation of the culture of ‘pöhinä’, which is promoted as new and fresh, but ultimately still functions to continue the neoliberalisation of society,' Takala says.
Human Approach is a versatile collection of public art
The art concept for School of Business was co-created by Aalto University’s Art Coordinator Outi Turpeinen with the students and staff of School of Business.
Turpeinen curated the other pieces of the collection together with Bassam El Baroni, Assistant Professor at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Artists of the other pieces, Anu Kauhaniemi, Navine G. Khan-Dossos, Saana Murtti, Tuomo Saali, Maiju Salmenkivi, Tatu Tuominen and GRRRR, are internationally renowned actors. The collection also includes works donated by the Paulo Foundation to the School of Business, some of which have been part of the School's art collection already in its former main building in Töölö.
Excerpts from the Human Approach collection
Kirsi Kivivirta's STAGE welcomes visitors. Image: Mika Huisman / Aalto University
A detail of Kirsi Kivivirta's STAGE. Image: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University
Capture image of Pilvi Takala's If your heart wants it video series. Image: Pilvi Takala
A detail of Donors Wall. Image: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University
Donors Wall. Image: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University
Saana Murtti: Disappearance 2. Image: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University
Navine G. Khan-Dossos: Pool Paintings, Kidney Series. Image: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University
Maiju Salmenkivi: Fallingwater. Image: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University
Aalto University, Art Coordinator
In 2017, Aalto University decided to comply with a one per cent art principle in its building projects. The art percent is a funding model for art purchases, where approximately one per cent of a building project's funds are allocated to art purchases. The one per cent art principle was first applied to Radical Nature art concept in Aalto University’s main building Dipoli. The vision of public art at Aalto University is to address and raise questions about what it is to be a university, what we do together in society, and what constitutes the public. Public art is site-specific and connects with the diversity of the university and its post-disciplinary communities. Public artworks reflect this diversity through different art forms, materials, techniques and traditions.
The School of Business' new main building was opened in February 2019. School of Business building is a part of a larger building block, and it’s two other parts are Väre, the School of Arts, Design and Architecture’s new building and the shopping centre A Bloc. The block was designed by Verstas Architects, consisting of alumni of Aalto University, which won the international architectural competition held 2012-2013. The main designer is Jussi Palva from Verstas Architects and the other main architects are Väinö Nikkilä, Riina Palva, Ilkka Salminen and Mikko Rossi.