Handle with Care explores Turku Art Museum’s contemporary art collection from the perspective of care and caring. The exhibition proposes care as a way of doing and being, where we live responsibly and reciprocally with both human and non-human worlds. Museum work can also be characterised as an act of care, performed for the sake of remembering. Similarly to artists, musems have recently taken on an increasingly active role as social influencers and advocates for sustainable development.
The rapid loss of biodiversity and the worsening effects of the climate crisis demand that we find alternative ways of thinking beyond the human-centric view and that we shift towards a more equitable lifestyle, that respects different life forms. The works selected for the exhibition demonstrate how current themes in social discussion and posthumanist thinking, such as care, environmental relations, interspecies relationships, intergenerationality, new materialism and neospirituality are reflected in contemporary visual arts. The texts providing background information on the selected works combine ideas from scientific research, contemporary philosophy, and art theory. They shed light on the multifaceted nature of our existence, interdependence, reciprocal care, the active agency of animals and plants, and the constant presence of nature everywhere.
The exhibition showcases contemporary art acquired by the museum and received as donations, primarily from the 2000s. The exhibition includes paintings, prints, photographs, moving images, and sculptures by 26 contemporary artists: Erika Adamsson, Emma Ainala, Maija Albrecht, Rita Anttila, Elina Brotherus, Saara Ekström, Jussi Haro, Juhani Harri, Alma Heikkilä, Kati Immonen, Ulla Jokisalo, Ismo Kajander, Hertta Kiiski, Kaisu Koivisto, Essi Kuokkanen, Mikko Kuorinki, Elina Merenmies, Esko Männikkö, Umppa Niinivaara, Nelli Palomäki, Roland Persson, Eeva Peura, Anna Reivilä, Ann Sundholm, Katja Syrjä and Miikka Vaskola. In addition to the museum’s own acquisitions, there are also donations on display, including those made by the Friends of Turku Art Museum, Lars Göran Johnsson and the Paulo Foundation.
The exhibition has been curated by Selina Kiiskinen, Elli Liippo and Annina Sirén from Turku Art Museum, and the accompanying online publication has been written by Outimaija Hakala, Susinukke Kosola, Meiju Niskala, Panu Savolainen and Virpi Valtonen. The texts in the online publication, which utilise various perspectives and genres, serve as a companion and co-experiencer for the museum visitor in the exhibition, but they can also be studied independently on the museum’s website.