This year’s Ars Fennica Award was presented to the artist Mika Taanila at a ceremony at Amos Anderson Art Museum on May 21. The winner was chosen by the independent British curator and museum director in The Netherlands, Charles Esche.
This was the 22nd time the Ars Fennica has been presented. The Award is worth 40 000 euros. An exhibition of works by Mika Taanila will be shown at Hämeenlinna Art Museum in autumn 2015. An e-book of Taanila’s works, including moving images, will be published and posted on the Foundation’s website for free download.
The candidates for Ars Fennica 2015 were Laura Könönen, Outi Pieski, Hans Rosenström, Mika Taanila, and Pink Twins (Vesa Vehviläinen & Juha Vehviläinen).
About Mika Taanila
Mika Taanila (b 1965) studied at the University of Helsinki and received a Diploma in Crafts and Design from the video photography course at the Institute of Design and Fine Arts in Lahti in 1992. Taanila’s works have been shown in numerous major exhibitions, art museums, video festivals and other art events around the world. In 2013, he had an extensive solo exhibition at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki.
Next on the agenda is an exceptionally wide-ranging retrospective showing of Taanila’s projects at Bildrausch Filmfestival Basel in Switzerland in May. This will include films on screen, a small exhibition of video art and a totally new work consisting of text, a live performance with Circle, and the launch of a new sound recording. In June, Taanila will have two short-film showings – six films altogether – at the Cineteca in Milan, as part of the I Boreali event.
The Ars Fennica is awarded by the Henna and Pertti Niemistő Ars Fennica Art Foundation, established in 1990. The prize is granted in recognition of distinctive artistic work of high merit. The purpose of the Award is to open up new international contacts for the Finnish art world, to encourage artists in their creative work, and to promote interest in contemporary art among the general public. The Ars Fennica is the biggest Finnish prize for visual art and is a mark of recognition of international importance for its recipients.