A police car is an unusual sight in an art gallery. Well, let’s face it, cars and indoors don’t really go together and though cars do feature in museums from time to time it’s still a little surprising to see one right there in the foyer but that’s the case at Kiasma in Helsinki at the moment. The police car in question is just by the cloakroom. There’s one of those museum ropes round it so it’s clearly art rather than the police answering a call somewhat over-zealously. Get a bit closer and it’s apparent that the police car is unusual in other ways too. I’m not thinking of the fact that it’s a Skoda. That’s fair enough. But police cars are almost never knitted.
The reputation of the 1970s isn’t great. If you type ‘1970s the decade’ into its search box, Google helpfully suggests the additions ‘that taste forgot’ and ‘style forgot’. Thanks for that. In fairness, in all sorts of ways it was a pretty rubbish decade. But it was also a decade in which some pretty great art was made and one in which women used art as a political weapon as never before. Probably. I’m sure there are plenty of earlier examples, but there was a pretty significant connection between female artists and the emerging women’s movement. Feminist artists like Mary Kelly, Martha Rosler, Judy Chicago and others made work that challenged previous modes of representation and sought to celebrate women and the female body on their own terms. Inevitably, the results weren’t always pretty. Continue reading →