Friday, October 5, 2007

Reasonably Happy

Friday, so this must be cultural!
Today biked into downtown Helsinki; the weather was nice and it was Friday, when several city musea are free. In the morning read that Sweden yesterday celebrated its annual Kanelbullens dag, i.e. "Cinnamon Bun Day". So a good excuse to step into one of my favorite cafes, Cafe Esplanad, famous for its buns. After reading some foreign papers headed out to the Helsinki City Museum for Modern Art but that was closed as they were building up new exhibits.
Next target was to see some art and design that I'd read about. I thought it would be outside at Kamppi, but it actually was an excellent full blown exhibit inside the old bus terminal (at Kamppi). The exhibit is titled Kohtuullisen Onnellinen, which is Finnish for "Reasonably Happy". The exhibit showed a great variety of art and design made from very creatively recycled objects. In addition there were exhibits that provoked thinking about our perceived reliance on materialism, with its associated environmental impact, in order to be happy.
My favorites were the artwork in the picture above; made from old capacitors, and the magazine rack made from old wooden skis shown below. But there was a lot more interesting stuff; such as the beautifully done "anti-advertisements": parodies on famous advertisements, but this time seducing the audience into not buying something. Several are for display on the web, but to fully appreciate them you need to know Finnish. This one bring us back to Sweden, but without cinnamon buns....

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