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Prize exhibition introduces artist Outi Pieski’s works on an unprecedented scale


The first comprehensive museum exhibition by artist Outi Pieski titled Čuolmmadit opens at EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday 12.9.2018. Pieski’s art takes part in the conversation around Sámi culture. The exhibition is part of the prize awarded to Pieski in 2017 by The Fine Arts Academy of Finland.

The name of the exhibition, Čuolmmadit, comes from Northern Sámi and in English it means “to tie several knots”. At the centre of the exhibition is a large installation Falling Shawls, realized by hand-knotting and using Sámi craft traditions. The materials and shape of the work refer to the shawl of the Sámi regalia. The exhibition also features paintings, photographs and lithographs.

The central themes of the exhibition are the history and future of the Sámi, the rights of indigenous people, our relationship with nature and sustainable development. Outi Pieski examines unwritten history by harnessing delicate and minute handcrafts to answer pivotal questions.

Various collective work processes are important to the artist. Two of the ensembles in the exhibition – Kisses from Borders and Moratorium Office – have been realised in collaboration with activist and an artist Jenni Laiti and poet & musician Niillas Holmberg. Moratorium Office operates in the interim of art and activism and offers tools and information for the deconstruction of foreign authority. Together with archaeologist Eeva-Kristiina Harlin, Pieski has also investigated the history of the horn hat, a Sámi women’s headdress which is no longer in use.

”The restoration of the horn hat tradition highlights the vitality of Sámi women and a decolonial attitude of equality. Traditional Sámi handcraft Duodji has preserved both the worldview and the practical knowledge and skills of the ancestors,” artist Outi Pieski adds.

The Fine Arts Academy of Finland Prize is awarded every second year to an active artist of international appeal. In addition to a private exhibition, the prize includes a publication produced by EMMA which will be available at a later date. The previous recipients of the prize were Tuomas A. Laitinen and Camilla Vuorenmaa.

Outi Pieski (b. 1973) has taken part in several private and group exhibitions in the Nordic countries especially, but also elsewhere in Europe and North America. Falling Shawls was on show at Southbank Centre in London in 2017. The artist has held private exhibitions for instance at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery in London and at Gallery Korjaamo in Helsinki. Pieski was an Ars Fennica art award nominee in 2015.

Outi Pieski represents Finland at the 2019 Venice Biennale as a part of the Miracle Workers Collective. Apart from Pieski, the founding members of the group include curator Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, assistant curators Giovanna Esposito Yussif and Christopher Wessels, and spatial designer Lorenzo Sandoval.

Pieski’s works are represented in many significant collections such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma’s collection, the Art Collection of Norway, the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation Collection and the most comprehensive collection of Sámi art Sámiid Vuorká-Dávvirat – De Samiske Samlinger (The Sámi Museum in Karasjok).

Outi Pieski: Čuolmmadit
12.9.2018 – 6.1.2019

Press images:
Password: emmamuseum

More information:
Pilvi Kalhama, Museum Director, EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, 040 533 4070

Antti Linnovaara, Chairperson, Fine Arts Academy of Finland, 040 559 972

Milja Liimatainen, Exhibition Curator,EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, 043 825 2600

Interview Bookings:
Iia Palovaara, Communications Coordinator, EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, 043 826 8713

EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art showcases Finnish and international modernism, contemporary art and design. EMMA is located in Espoo’s Tapiola at the Exhibition Centre WeeGee, an iconic example of Brutalist architecture designed by Professor Aarno Ruusuvuori. EMMA has the largest exhibition space in Finland. The clean-lined modern architecture enhances the experiential presentation of works from the changing exhibitions and the permanent collections of EMMA, Saastamoinen Foundation and Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation. EMMA has been awarded Museum of the Year 2018. Welcome! 


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