|20.11.13 Exhibition Faces of Power at City Hall November
The exhibition Faces of Power November 20, 2013 - February 12, 2014 portraits from the Collections of Helsinki City literally takes you face to face with some of the most powerful people in Helsinki's history. These portraits of Helsinki's decision-makers are usually hidden away from the public in the closed-off corridors of the City Hall.
The paintings feature the most important and best known politicians in Helsinki since the early 20th century. Each portrait is like a bridge between art and local politics. The works also give visitors a glimpse into the history of the City of Helsinki. Although the focus is on the characteristic features of the individual, the works also depict the symbols of power related to each subject, such as the sparkly livery collars of the Lord Mayor or the wooden gavel of the chairman.
The City Hall's collection of portraits comprises 64 pieces, of which 40 are featured in the exhibition. The exhibition also includes one portrait on loan. The newest piece in the collection is a portrait of Deputy Mayor Paula Kokkonen, who retired in 2011. Her portrait is revealed during the opening ceremony. The pieces in the exhibition were chosen with an eye to creating a representative sample of the collection and a gratifying visual experience. The artists behind the collection include both some of the greatest names in Finland's art history and lesser-known portrait painters. Among the featured artists are Albert Edelfelt, Eero Järnefelt, Kimmo Kaivanto and Elina Brotherus. The exhibition is broken down into various themes that provide different perspectives on the portraits, the artists, the political arena and the rooms of the ruling elite.
In addition to the portraits, the exhibition includes a few objects that illustrate the background of a specific portrait or theme. Video installations in Virka Kino and around the exhibition space give the exhibition another, dynamic dimension. The colour scheme of the exhibition reflects the bright tones chosen by Anitra Lucander for the interior of the City Hall. Visitors can also use their mobile phones to have themselves immortalised in a portrait using our photo stand-ins.
Virka Gallery, Sofiankatu 1, opening hours Mon-Fri 9:00 am-7:00 pm, Sat-Sun 10:00 am-4:00 pm, free entry