Unto Pusa: Two Timber Floaters, 1960.
AS the nature of employment continually evolves, an exhibition at Amos Anderson Art Museum is taking a closer look at the complexities of our relationship with working in Finland.
So, is work a labour of love, or is it forced labour? The idea for many years has been that years of hard work is its own reward – but is it really? Here, 31 artists present some 70 paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs and video art, as well as an installation; all offering their own perspective.
The change in perception towards work in Finland in recent times is the beating heart of the exhibition. Earlier decades depicted work as lumbering and log driving, with the struggles of a log driver in particular presenting a romantic view of the hard slog of living.
These days hard labour cannot be captured in one iconic image, when the dynamism of workers carrying out their daily task on mass while staring at a computer screen is difficult to capture.
Visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to ponder their own relationship to work and the meaning of work in the current age of fluid job descriptions emerging at the expense of more traditional ideas of employment.
The transformation in the representation of work can be seen in the works selected. “Traditional” occupations on display are depicted by the likes of Alvar Cawén, Pekka Halonen, Lennart Segerstråle, Felix Nylund and Juho Rissanen. Meanwhile, modern work can be seen in efforts of Aino-Marjatta Mäki and Jaakko Karhunen, Tuomo Manninen, Meri Peuran, Kalle Turakka-Purhonen and Jussi Valtakari.
Furthermore, a series of documentary photographs from the 1950s from the Finnish Labour Museum Werstas are being displayed with the exhibition.