The artworks and artists in this exhibition share a common rebellious stance expressed through the gesture of occupying urban space and questioning the notion of anyone “owning” public property.
The first hall provides an introduction to graffiti as a subculture, lifestyle and art form. The roots of graffiti culture are documented by Martha Cooper in her iconic photographs of New York’s painted trains and graffiti artists. An onsite piece painted by living legend Blade brings history to life in HAM’s gallery space. The unfolding story of Helsinki’s colourful graffiti history is presented in a timeline from the 1980s to the present day.
The second hall presents artworks that occupy urban space in the name of art. The featured artists include the Guerrilla Girls, a US group who have spent decades using posters and video installations to expose gender and ethnic bias in the art community and society. Visitors have the opportunity to commandeer their own slice of the city with Otto Karvonen’s Urban Space Occupation Kit. The exhibition also highlights HAM’s own collections with a selection of works by artists who drew early inspiration from the graffiti scene.
The exhibition was curated by Heli Harni, Satu Oksanen and Sanna Tuulikangas, HAM. The exhibition design is by architect Tuomas Siitonen.
Pulutunneli, 1992 © HAM / Donation from EGSGet started Exhibition at hamhelsinki.fi