Art Academy Biennial Antwerpen 1989, Rijksakademie van Beelden Kunsten collection since the same year.

The Rijksakademie van beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam is one of the most important institutions for young visual artists in Europe. I am the first Finnish artist to work at Rijksakademie. Finland was not a member of the European Union in the 1980s, but I nevertheless acted in the Netherlands like a Western European. 

I was on an Erasmus exchange in the spring of 1989 in Berlin, at the Hochschule der Künste. This was not in line with the European student exchange, the Erasmus agreement, because Finland did not belong to the European Union or the Erasmus program. Despite this, I became probably the first Finnish student on an Erasmus exchange. After returning to Amsterdam to carry out my work, The Collection Identity Manual, an employee of the Rijksakademie spoke about the problem of the Erasmus exchange and asked if I could report to Brussels that I was Danish. It suited me well, after all, I had adopted an European way of thinking where insignificant problems can be ignored by “looking through the fingers”.

In my works at Rijksakademi, I often dealt with the branding, identity and power of art and related institutions. I also consider the same questions in relation to European countries. Some of my works were published in the Rijksakademi’s own journal, such as an announcement about the Rijksakademie and a short story about the academy based on logos and signs. My works were finstitutional critique of art. I did art in Amsterdam, wrote and talked about visual art instead of marketing my works to collectors, curators and galleries. Despite this, I was listened to, viewed and researched. I made them for public discussion, not for private. At the same time, I tested the boundaries of Dutch contemporary art and discovered them. I was censored. The censorship of my work is an indication of the existence of boundaries and their reality. I also found the borders later in Finland.

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