Helsingin kaupunki, kulttuurin ja vapaa-ajan toimiala

The Everyday Strangeness online exhibition challenges you to look beyond routines


The strangeness of everyday life is revealed and the line between fact and fiction is blurred when spaces and the people in them are examined from a different perspective or focusing on the smallest details. The Everyday Strangeness online exhibition opens the collection activities of Helsinki City Museum and HAM Helsinki Art Museum to the public through a common theme. The online exhibition features photographs from Helsinki City Museum’s collections documenting life in Helsinki during the coronavirus pandemic and a video art installation from HAM’s collections. Employing a similar tone, the photographs and video pieces challenge viewers to look beyond routines.

Herttoniemenranta, April, 2020 / Photo: Yehia Eweis/Helsinki City Museum
Herttoniemenranta, April, 2020 / Photo: Yehia Eweis/Helsinki City Museum

Helsinki City Museum has been recording the lives of the residents of Helsinki and contemporary phenomena for over a hundred years. City Museum photographer and winner of the 2016 Fotofinlandia award Yehia Eweis started documenting the ways in which the state of emergency caused by the coronavirus is reflected in the cityscape in March 2020. At first, his photographs depicted the city devoid of people and the phenomena that arose as a result of quarantine measures, such as the rise in outdoor activities and staying home. However, his range of subject matter has since become broader: distance learning and the end thereof, teddy bears in windows and other visual messages, safe distances, the city orchestra’s streaming activities, public transport, the closing of libraries, health care, mask use, the easing and re-tightening of restrictions. The coronavirus pandemic will ultimately be recorded in hundreds of photographs that will become part of Helsinki City Museum’s collections, many of which are featured in this exhibition.

HAM’s media art collection includes approximately two hundred works, of which nine were selected to feature in this exhibition. The featured video pieces subtly test the boundaries of reality, highlighting details that are usually ignored or depicting the activities of those we live with in an incongruous and comical way.

Johanna Ketola’s three-channel installation offers views of the city’s outdoor and indoor spaces where a stationary camera has recorded possible, but in some way strange everyday occurrences. Anssi Pulkkinen’s seemingly still indoor image depicts a surprising transformation. Anneli Nygren replicates Japanese artist Yoko Ono’s (born 1933) performance piece from 1963. In the video, a woman entertains her guests by showing off the contents of her laundry basket. Iiu Susiraja’s three videos are portraits in which the artist’s stare entrances the viewer in the middle of situations that challenge the norms of being. Pasi Autio utilises the combined effect of image and sound to underline the subtle details of street views. In Olli Keränen’s piece, an everyday trip to the grocery shop expands to become a choreography of gestures and movement. Pilvi Takala sits the viewer behind a hidden camera to watch what happens inside public transport vehicles. Genuine reactions mix with character performances, making a suspicious situation seem believable.

Everyday Strangeness / an online exhibition produced by HAM Helsinki Art Museum and Helsinki City Museum on HAM’s website 16.2.-30.9.2021 at the address: www.hamhelsinki.fi/everydaystrangeness 

Press photos:
hamhelsinki.fi/en/ham-info/media-bank/ (password: hammedia).



Curator Sanna Tuulikangas
tel. 040 178 3537


Herttoniemenranta, April, 2020 / Photo: Yehia Eweis/Helsinki City Museum
Herttoniemenranta, April, 2020 / Photo: Yehia Eweis/Helsinki City Museum

About Helsingin kaupunki, kulttuurin ja vapaa-ajan toimiala

Helsingin kaupunki, kulttuurin ja vapaa-ajan toimiala
Helsingin kaupunki, kulttuurin ja vapaa-ajan toimiala


HAM Helsinki Art Museum

HAM Helsinki Art Museum looks after an art collection that belongs to the people of Helsinki, which includes over 9,000 individual works of art. HAM maintains and accrues this art collection, which also includes the city’s public artworks. In its domestic and international exhibitions held at Tennis Palace, HAM showcases modern and contemporary art. HAM Helsinki Art Museum

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