According to the chairman of the board of Turku Logomo, political reasons did not affect the cancellation of the exhibition plans, but the e-mail seen by HS says otherwise.
Artist Kaj Stenvall told In an interview with HS earlier this week, that Turku’s Logomo cultural center canceled his planned exhibition, citing reputational damage and a possible security risk. Stenvall has recently painted satirical works dealing with Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine.
CEO of Sunborn events oy and chairman of the board of Logomo oy Riikka Kuusniemen according to him, it was about normal design practices and the sum of misunderstandings.
Read more: Kaj Stenvall’s Putin paintings have been an international hit for a year already – the article shows 15 satirical pictures of the war
Kuusniemi says that during January he was in contact with two operators regarding the revival of exhibition activities in Logomo. One of the operators was the visual artist Stenvall and the other was the operator of the Makasiini Contemporary gallery in Turku Frej Forsblom.
After the meetings, Logomo operators concluded that the exhibition will be organized in cooperation with the Makasiini Contemporary gallery. According to Kuusniemi, the Joint Exhibition of several artists was the most profitable option in terms of the continuity of Logomo’s exhibition activities.
The small size of Stenvall’s works also contributed to the burying of the exhibition plan. Forsblom’s exhibition spoke for its spectacularity.
Turku Sanomat in an interview Kuusniemi saidthat Stenvall’s exhibition was left unorganized because of the politics of his works.
However, in the e-mail message seen by HS, Kuusniemi writes that the most pressing reason for rejecting the exhibition plan was the security risk that came up in the discussion with the company’s owner members and the possibility of the resulting reputational damage. The owners of the company were afraid that Putin-themed works would lead to a possible terrorist act, Kuusniemi wrote in an email.
Kuusniemi did not want to comment on the content of the email.
Helsingin Sanomat in an interview, Kaj Stenvall reflected on the potential danger of his works:
“We often ask, Aren’t you afraid? I feel that I am on the right track and I assume that many others also think that something needs to be done.”
Correction 22.2. at 3:14 p.m.: The company’s owners, not the company’s board, were afraid of the reaction caused by the Putin-related works, as the story erroneously read earlier.
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