Purkutaide (Finnish for "Demolition Art") is preparing to produce a new exhibition for 2024

After long negotiations, we have reached a situation where we can happily say that we are preparing a new exhibition, which is also the eleventh implementation of Demolition Art. The working title of the exhibition is "Ihmemaa X / Wonderland X."

This time there is more time to produce the exhibition than in any of our previous implementations, and there is also a need for it: the platform for the new exhibition is the old Anttila department store in the core of Kerava, which has about 4000m² of space to fill with art. The organizing body tries to choose as wide a range of representatives of different art styles as possible.

We are on the brink of something exciting again. After a lot of twisting and turning, we have a chance to make a new exhibition in a completely new space, and even I only have a rough idea what it will be like. I guess it also acts as a motivator here: let's start making something new and wonderful from an empty table, trust the process, and in the end let's gather with the artists to see where it got us this time around. At least so far it's been a working recipe, ponders the Artistic Director of Purkutaide & a graffiti artist Jouni Väänänen.

Purkutaide does art exhibitions in abandoned buildings and empty spaces

 The idea of making vacant properties available to art and culture operators is at the center of our activities. Purkutaide, through its exhibitions, aims to illustrate the potential of properties in the interim of construction projects or otherwise empty as platforms for art. Our ultimate goal is that, through enough examples, the idea of artistic use of empty spaces will become familiar, understood, generally accepted and eventually become a systematically applied national practice.

Purkutaide was founded in 2016. After that we've done 10 exhibitions and pop up art events in abandoned buildings in Southern Finland. Our last exhibitions attracted a crowd of nearly 50 000 visitors and we've inspired other groups around the country to organize their own art events in empty spaces. Art projects that have conceptual similarities with our project can be found in many European countries. Since we look up to the way exhibitions in other countries, for an example The Haus (Berlin, Germany) and Dedale (Vannes, France), have succeeded to turn something initially seen as worthless into phenomenal cultural experiences we're always on a lookout for the next great example of temporary adaptive repurposing of demolition buildings. Purkutaide is (and aims to be in the future also) the Finnish conceptual trendsetter in the scene.

Well-being and community spirit play an important role

A number of studies show that art has positive effects on mental and physical health and well-being. Based on this Purkutaide always involves art enthusiasts on our projects also by social grounds.

Below you can see photos from our previous exhibitions.

Do you need more information?

Below this text you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions. If you can't find what you're looking for below, please contact us via email and after we've answered you, we'll attach the question and its answers here as well for others to follow.

Contact information:
Laura Jarva


The most frequently asked questions:

1) Who can apply? Do I need to be a professional artist?

Whoever. No need. Professional artists, students and enthusiasts are welcomed to apply. Interesting visions and personalities are more important to us than titles and positions in the art community.

2) What kind of artists and artworks are you looking for?
As a general rule, the venue/exhibition property is not intended to be used for hanging paintings made elsewhere or for painting regular graffiti pieces – there are already gallery spaces for the former and legal graffiti walls for the latter. We hope to see works in the exhibition that take over the space in use as comprehensively as possible. We will intervene as little as possible in the implementation of the works of the selected artists and artist groups, although we will of course offer our support within the limits of our resources.

We consider the message and the story of the artworks to be important selection criteria. Artworks that take a stand on social or political issues are preferred, while the actual subject limitation is very free. Promoting the status of minorities and other underdogs in society is close to our hearts. There is also a very special place in our hearts for stories in which the artist has a strong, but such a special vision that no place has yet been found to realize it. As much as possible, we aim to offer places for artists and works of this kind. Our aim is to offer a safe space for artists to be their extra-ordinary self without feeling like an outsider for it - we're like that too, a bit extra-ordinary. 

Your proposal isn't super-deep and doesn't cut through the fabric of everything meaningful with precision of a surgeon, but rather tingles all senses like fireworks in it's own genre? Great, we find that kind of things to be very valuable too, and we have room for it too.

Oh yeah, it's okay with you to leave your ego at home, right? It is quite desirable to be proud of one's own work and the level it's on, but from the perspective of the dynamics of communal art implementation and everyone's common work peace, it is quite essential that none of the artists behave like this is their solo show. That kind of behaviour just makes everyone feel bad and we've got no use for that. Let's all be respectful and nice to each other.

3) Is there a fee for participation?

Unfortunately, the simple and sure answer is "no." The members of our own team also do their artistic work without compensation. However, it should be mentioned that although we do not promise a participation fee, we have paid one in practice in our three previous implementations: for "Taiteen kotitalo 2020 & 2021" and "Purkutaidevaltaus" exhibitions, the total sum of fees for the artists has been more than 100,000 euros. We naturally aim for a considerable amount of fees to be paid for our future exhibition as well, but we do not promise it in advance - after all, it's better to let everyone down immediately and to exceed expectations later on than it is to betray given promises.

Purkutaide also aims to act as a springboard for new art and "new" artists. On the art and culture scene, there is so much talk about "great visibility" as some kind of a reward that it is downright blah and a bad joke - you still can't use "visibility vouchers" to pay at the cash register. However, we can say with a clear conscience that our exhibitions have brought many artists to the attention of the general public and they have received a significant boost in their careers precisely because of it. We don't exactly promise you this in advance either, but we are aiming for it. We're always wildly excited when "one of ours" is the next new sensation at least partially because of our exhibitions.

4) Can I apply for funding for my artistic work myself?

Absolutely. We encourage you to apply for all possible and semi-impossible work grants. If statements are needed from us for such purposes, we will be happy to provide them. In our previous exhibitions the artists who participated in them have had a pretty decent approval rate for their grant applications.

5) Are expenses reimbursed to the participants? What about allowances for supplies?

Reimbursements apply on a case-by-case basis. While we do not have a specific budget (or actually a budget at all) for the travel expenses of international artists, we're willing to count our coins like crazy and to do our best to find other ways for get your travel expenses and accommodation paid.

Supplies for the artworks will be bought by the organizing party according to the needs stated by the artists. Various basic supplies (e.g. spray and roller paints) and tools will be available to the artists from a relatively large inventory. We encourage you to also use various recycled and waste materials as materials in the production of artworks.

6) If, in principle, no fees or expense or equipment reimbursements are paid for this, then why would I still apply?

This is a question that everyone has to answer for themselves. We understand perfectly that the conditions and motivators we offer for participation are by no means luxurious - we'd naturally love to offer more but, alas, this is what we've got. For us, the motivation is the exceptional operating environment, the opportunity to do new kinds of artistic experiments, challenging and developing ourselves through them, and the idea that by working together we can create a significant exhibition outside the institutionalized art. At the same time, the purpose is to have fun and network with other creative people.

7) Is it possible to use the premises of the venue as a workspace in addition to making the actual artwork for the exhibition?

Perhaps. Possibly. To some measure. Yeah, it is. Let's try to find a way and an opportunity for that.

8) Is the exhibition free for visitors?

It's not. Visitors will be charged an entrance fee, the amount of which will be decided later. In the production of our exhibitions, the salaries of our summer worker exhibition staff required by the authorities have clearly become the biggest expense item, which of course must be covered. In addition, we naturally aim to get income from the entrance fees to be shared among the artists. The goal is that the finished exhibition is a pleasant experience for the visitors, a meaningful work environment for the people who keep it open and that the artists also get more than a few nice words and a warm hand shake as a thank you at the end. So far, we've been successful at reaching this goal.