Under the Ground of Our Times

Under the Ground of Our Times:

deconstruction of collectivity in and through collection


Download the exhibition catalogue, with a text by Alina Belishkina, and a text by Vanessa Kowalski here:


The concept of the museum is a promise, a promise of value, of experience, of learning and subjectification. Above all, it is a promise of a shared history and meaning. Under the Ground of Our Times: (de)construction of collectivity in and through collection is a curatorial project, an experimental speculation on how the promised togetherness can be understood and enacted in the times when the museum’s collection is stored and represented digitally.

For several months, the Project Room has been empty—yet filled with the sound of a repeating utterance: “I promise to be here.” Through intermittent research activities and a series of workshops realised within public programme, the exhibition gradually took its shape.  The exhibition consists of a video installation comprised of the entirety of the museum’s online collection, displayed in a continuous loop throughout the hours of the museum's working day. Working with the collection of the Pori Art Museum, the curators accessed the online database and filmed every artwork as they appear on screen, for a time calculated according to the following algorithm:


year of the work’s production (minus) author’s year of birth (plus) year of accessing database (minus) year of the database’s establishment = filming time in seconds.  


The resulting videos were initially conceived as attempts of thinking the time of labour crystallised in artworks as one of the elements of a value-building process in which the museum as a cultural institution is engaged. However, in the process of filming, the relationship between the images of the artworks and the bodies engaged in the recordings got complicated by the motions of unforeseen wavering. What made the bodies move? What does this movement stand for as it is transmitted from the body to the image? In order to investigate these questions the curators invited Stockholm based choreographer and artist Tove Sahlin to engage with the installation.  Sahlin´s performance opens the exhibition on the 1st of June 2017 and echoes in the Project Room throughout the summer.



Curated by: Alina Belishkina, Elina Hämäläinen, Vera Kavaleuskaya, Živa Kleindienst, Vanessa Kowalski, Pamela Medina López, Miina Pohjolainen


Video editing: Sourya Sen

Graphic design and visual identity: Joosung Kang

Proofreading: Vanessa Kowalski

Translation: Elina Hämäläinen, Marko Karo


The project is conducted in collaboration with students of the CuMMA Curating, Managing and Mediating Art Master’s Program at Aalto University School of Art and Design (under the supervision of Lecturer Marko Karo and Professor Nora Sternfeld), the Aalto University Pori Urban Platform - PUPA, and the Pori Art Museum.