The Listening Eye

Association of Finnish Fine Arts Foundations’ exhibition at Chappe and Gallery Elverket in Ekenäs 24.5–15.9.2024  

The exhibition The Listening Eye brings together a varied selection of works from the Finnish Fine Arts Foundations. The exhibition is spread across Tammisaari’s culture quarter, to Chappe and Gallery Elverket. 

The exhibition concept is based on a painting in The Fortum Art Collection, Juhana Blomstedt’s (1937–2010) Listening Eye (1982). The painting is from the series by the same name, which Blomstedt exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1982. In 1986, he wrote about the series:  

“In any event, the concept of infinity is our dearest friend, but at the same time the worst enemy of our peace of mind. Lurking behind all of this is the big question: Why? Things float around us and inside us, drifting in the ocean of our memories and ​​our minds, unbeknown to ourselves or to each other, but with their own purpose. The eye listens.” 

With poetic precision Juhana Blomstedt illustrated that when perception and its interpretation are occurring, the main thing is openness and uncertainty. What am I seeing, or am I seeing anything at all? The exhibition has been inspired by Blomstedt’s works and ideas, and has its starting point in intersensoriness, in the relationship between outer and inner, and temporality. Blomstedt wrote about what he painted, in which case we should note that he usually dealt with continuity and infinity, space, perception, and the relationship between the figurative and non-figurative, using the means and mode of expression of painting. Furthermore, the exhibition deals with how we are to depict our perceptions and experiences, and whether it is possible to share personal experience, and how? 

Landscapes and depictions of nature are combined with portrayals of personal feelings and self-portraits. The main theme of the exhibition is multisensoriness and intersensoriness, which are comparable to multimediality and multi-materiality in art. Through the mediation of the historical continuum formed by the selected works, the exhibition opens views into the relationship between personal experience and investigative observation, and how this is seen in artistic work from the 19th century up to the present.  The positioning of the artworks creates a variety of spatial sensory responses that affect the visitor’s feelings as they move from one space and one building to another. 

See the brochure for the exhibition here.

The exhibition is the first one produced in collaboration by Chappe and Gallery Elverket/Pro Artibus Foundation. The exhibition has been curated by Pro Artibus’ curator Juha-Heikki Tihinen and Chappe’s exhibition curator Pia Hovi. 

Finnish Fine Arts Foundations’ members include: 
Alfred Kordelin Foundation, Fortum Art Foundation, Föreningen Konstsamfundet, Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation, Lönnström Art Museum, Nordea Art Foundation Finland, OP Art Foundation, Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation, Pro Artibus Foundation, UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation, Åbo Akademi University Foundation 

@Ahmed Alalousi
@Ahmed Alalousi