HAM Helsingin taidemuseo

Nastja Säde Rönkkö’s stirring installation about survival opens at HAM on May 17

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Nastja Säde Rönkkö’s thought-provoking installation Survival Guide for a Post-Apocalyptic Child invites viewers to reflect on the uncertain future facing humankind and all living beings. Centred around 26 videos proposing strategies for crisis survival, the exhibition runs at HAM from May 17 to September 8, 2024.

Nastja Säde Rönkkö: Survival Guide for a Post-Apocalyptic Child (still), 2022. Photo: Aake Kivalo.
Nastja Säde Rönkkö: Survival Guide for a Post-Apocalyptic Child (still), 2022. Photo: Aake Kivalo.

Survival Guide for a Post-Apocalyptic Child was created for everyone living in this era of radical social upheaval, climate change and inner transformation. The underlying idea behind the piece is that an unstoppable chain of events affecting all life on Earth has already begun. An irreversible political, social or environmental chain reaction has thrust us into the midst of a world-changing event. What should we remember about the present era? What should we learn and pass on? How can we dream up new ways of living?” comments Nastja Säde Rönkkö.

Filling one of HAM’s upstairs grand arched galleries, the videos are narratives about loss, longing and the last moments of civilization as we know it. Proposing strategies for coping with both the physical and emotional challenges of our planet’s impending breakdown, the content of the videos varies from practical nutrition tips for roamers lost in the forest to speculative imagining of worlds on other planets. The material gains personal relevance situated both against today’s global crises and individual emotional experiences.

The installation was originally produced by Lönnström Art Museum as part of the Lönnström Projects series in autumn 2022. Curated by Satu Metsola and Head of Exhibitions Kati Kivinen, the HAM version is rounded out with a new series of sculptures, paintings, and a soundscape by Timo Kaukolampi. The accompanying English-language publication Survival Guide for a Post-Apocalyptic Child is published in collaboration with the artist and Lönnström Art Museum.

“Despite its solemn theme, the exhibition conveys a message of hope. It imagines a future of caring and compassion. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to explore these themes together with Nastja Säde Rönkkö at such a relevant moment in time. The subtle yet powerful message delivered by this exhibition chimes perfectly with the new frequency of dialogue our museum is tuning into,” says HAM’s museum director Arja Miller.

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Nastja Säde Rönkkö (b. 1985) is an award-winning Helsinki artist who works in the genres of media art, performance, and writing. Her art explores the foundations of humanity, power hierarchies, social relations and quiet radicalism in today’s era of social change. Rönkkö was awarded the title of Young Artist of the Year in 2019 and the Below Zero Art Prize in 2023.

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The opening of Nastja Säde Rönkkö’s Survival Guide for a Post-Apocalyptic Child coincides with another new exhibition, Who is An Animal?, located in the other grand arched hall at HAM. Together the two exhibitions invite audiences to reflect on the interconnectedness of all living things and the fundamental importance of empathy.

The exhibition is supported by the Finnish Heritage Agency.

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Nastja Säde Rönkkö: Survival Guide for a Post-Apocalyptic Child

May 17–September 8, 2024
HAM Helsinki Art Museum

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Nastja Säde Rönkkö: Survival Guide for a Post-Apocalyptic Child (still), 2022. Photo: Aake Kivalo.
Nastja Säde Rönkkö: Survival Guide for a Post-Apocalyptic Child (still), 2022. Photo: Aake Kivalo.
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Nastja Säde Rönkkö: Survival Guide for a Post-Apocalyptic Child (still), 2022. Photo: Aake Kivalo.
Nastja Säde Rönkkö: Survival Guide for a Post-Apocalyptic Child (still), 2022. Photo: Aake Kivalo.
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Nastja Säde Rönkkö: Survival Guide for a Post-Apocalyptic Child (still), 2022. Photo: Aake Kivalo.
Nastja Säde Rönkkö: Survival Guide for a Post-Apocalyptic Child (still), 2022. Photo: Aake Kivalo.
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Nastja Säde Rönkkö: Survival Guide for a Post-Apocalyptic Child (still), 2022. Costume design: Juha Vehmaanperä. Photo: Aake Kivalo.
Nastja Säde Rönkkö: Survival Guide for a Post-Apocalyptic Child (still), 2022. Costume design: Juha Vehmaanperä. Photo: Aake Kivalo.
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Nastja Säde Rönkkö. Photo: HAM / Maija Toivanen.
Nastja Säde Rönkkö. Photo: HAM / Maija Toivanen.
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Nastja Säde Rönkkö. Photo: HAM / Maija Toivanen.
Nastja Säde Rönkkö. Photo: HAM / Maija Toivanen.
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Nastja Säde Rönkkö. Photo: HAM / Maija Toivanen.
Nastja Säde Rönkkö. Photo: HAM / Maija Toivanen.
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Nastja Säde Rönkkö: Survival Guide for a Post-Apocalyptic Child, 2024. HAM Helsinki Art Museum. Photo: Maija Toivanen.
Nastja Säde Rönkkö: Survival Guide for a Post-Apocalyptic Child, 2024. HAM Helsinki Art Museum. Photo: Maija Toivanen.
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Nastja Säde Rönkkö: Survival Guide for a Post-Apocalyptic Child, 2024. HAM Helsinki Art Museum. Photo: Maija Toivanen.
Nastja Säde Rönkkö: Survival Guide for a Post-Apocalyptic Child, 2024. HAM Helsinki Art Museum. Photo: Maija Toivanen.
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Nastja Säde Rönkkö: Survival Guide for a Post-Apocalyptic Child, 2024. HAM Helsinki Art Museum. Photo: Maija Toivanen.
Nastja Säde Rönkkö: Survival Guide for a Post-Apocalyptic Child, 2024. HAM Helsinki Art Museum. Photo: Maija Toivanen.
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Nastja Säde Rönkkö. Photo: HAM / Maija Toivanen.
Nastja Säde Rönkkö. Photo: HAM / Maija Toivanen.
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HAM Helsinki Art Museum

HAM Helsinki Art Museum is one of the most significant art museums in Finland and the Nordic region. HAM actively curates a broad international exhibition program and houses a rich collection of over 10,000 artworks, which includes the city of Helsinki’s public art collection. HAM is responsible for art conservation, curation, public art commissions, and acquisitions within Helsinki’s art collection, encompassing both domestic and international works. Furthermore, HAM oversees organizing the ambitious contemporary art event Helsinki Biennial. Since 2023, HAM has operated as a foundation under the Helsinki City Group’s umbrella.
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