MAKE A POINT – Interpretations of Checkpoint Helsinki

A project by students of Nordic Visual Studies and Art Education MA programme at Aalto University with the help and collaboration of Checkpoint Helsinki.

The course Contemporary Art and its Social Context studied the ways in which contemporary art engages with its spatial environment, creates temporal events, and encourages participation. Checkpoint Helsinki provided a case study and material for a practical project. MAKE A POINT continues the discussions about some important questions started by Checkpoint Helsinki.

MAKE A POINT was divided into three groups:

One group focused on the idea of art in public space. They dressed up as a construction crew and installed a discussion platform in Kiasma and at the railway station to engage passers-by to give their views about the subject. They aimed at expanding the idea of openness of Checkpoint Helsinki by constructing an active dialogue with all citizens about public art. The ideas gathered during the events are presented in the form of a poster and projections.

The second group took the Checkpoint Helsinki archive (physical & online) as their starting point. They studied the remains of the processes of creating the Checkpoint Helsinki network and the art projects. The group was curious about the gaps in the “official” archive and decided also to collect participants’ personal memories to question and to complement the archive. The material is gathered in a newspaper-poster.

The third group asked how such a free and spontaneous project can function in the long term and what are the minimum criteria for an institution. They felt that Checkpoint Helsinki with its temporary projects lacked visibility and permanence in public space and, as a response, decided to open CHIOSK – a pop-up kiosk that offers information and art related activities, including a tool kit that encourages alternative encounters with contemporary art – on December 11th 2016 (a pilot).

Participants: Aina Bexell, Allen Centina, Minjin Chung, Diane Hymans, Matilda Löytty, Agathe MorettiEija Mäkivuoti, Annika Sohlman, Alexandra Stroganova, Aliisa Talja, Yu Ziyu and Kaija Kaitavuori (teacher)