Kiira Miesmaa began her role as the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma at the beginning of June. Photo: National Gallery / Pirje Mykkänen

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As the newly appointed director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Kiira Miesmaa is set to tackle two of the most pressing issues facing modern art museums: sustainability and freedom of expression. Miesmaa, who began her tenure at the start of June, brings a wealth of experience and a clear vision for the future.

"Sustainable practices in the production and presentation of art are essential," Miesmaa asserts. "Experiencing art physically is crucial, and we must achieve this with minimal carbon footprint."

This sustainability mandate extends across all facets of museum operations, from exhibitions and collections to audience engagement. Despite the challenges, Miesmaa remains optimistic about the opportunities to innovate and implement new methods in the current landscape.

When it comes to freedom of expression, Miesmaa believes that the situation in the Nordic countries is relatively stable but emphasizes the importance of vigilance. "I am committed to ensuring that Kiasma remains a safe space for diverse voices to be heard."

The economic landscape for art museums is also under scrutiny, with significant reliance on state funding in Finland and the looming pressure of budget cuts. "Museums must reassess their capabilities and determine where to make cuts while still fulfilling their legal obligations. There is a clear need to increase self-financing and private funding," Miesmaa explains.

Finland is experiencing a museum boom, with visitor numbers at art museums higher than ever. Miesmaa sees Kiasma's strong profile as a solid foundation to build upon. "Kiasma is a leader in the Finnish art museum sector and is closely watched."

As part of the Finnish National Gallery, Kiasma has a duty to make contemporary art widely known. While the exhibition program is already well-planned, Miesmaa's influence will gradually become apparent.

"I believe art should be impactful, timely, historically significant, and, most importantly, bring joy to our daily lives. It should help viewers better understand society, themselves, and the significance of art. I envision a diverse program at Kiasma that follows contemporary trends while also highlighting classic contemporary art pieces that may not have been seen in Finland before," Miesmaa concludes.

With her extensive background in art, international connections, and experience in curating exhibitions and securing funding, Miesmaa is poised to lead Kiasma into a future where sustainability and freedom of expression are at the forefront.

HT

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