OBJEKTI - art as an actor for social empowerment

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperScientific


This paper presents OBJEKTI, an annual outdoor contemporary sculpture exhibition in Espoon Keskus, a suburban area near Helsinki, Finland. Now in its fifth year, OBJEKTI aims to bring challenging art into the everyday lives of local people, provoking and challenging them to look at their surroundings with fresh eyes. Surprising juxtapositions, new materials, shapes and forms placed into the city landscape can help to trigger positive emotions and open thoughts and eyes to new horizons.
Art works included over the years reflect the title and theme of the exhibitions – OBJECT. An object can be a thing, it can also be something that triggers emotion, or it can be a goal or aim we strive towards. In computer programming, an object is a data structure. Sculpture, of all the arts, is associated with physical presence, with being “a thing” in space. We particularly look for art works that challenge the notion of “objectivity” in public space.
Espoon Keskus is historically and socially important. The area includes the medieval Espoo Cathedral which dates back to the 15th century, as well as the city’s bureaucratic heart represented by 1970’s concrete brutalist architecture. There is also a lot of lower income housing in the area, both private and publically owned, with a higher than average immigrant and refugee population. New construction work is being carried out, with efforts to revitalise the area. Does access to contemporary art empower local people, or is it one part of the toolkit for gentrification?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2020
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventInternational Conference on the Arts in Society - NUI Galway, Galway, Ireland
Duration: 24 Jun 202026 Jun 2020


ConferenceInternational Conference on the Arts in Society
Internet address


  • Contemporary Art
  • Social Empowerment


Dive into the research topics of 'OBJEKTI - art as an actor for social empowerment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this