Getting in Touch with Boredom

The first Rauma Triennale invites its audience to explore boredom – a phenomenon seemingly to be avoided at all costs in our time, the stimulus-packed era of digitalisation and globalisation. What do we lose if we give up boredom? Does boredom hide something worth holding on to?

The name of the exhibition, In Praise of Boredom, is borrowed from Joseph Brodsky’s essay of the same name. Boredom is present in the works in a number of ways: as a laborious technique, slow-paced contents or an appearance that demands it be explored without hurry. The exhibition is hosted by Rauma Art Museum and Tarvontori, an abandoned shopping centre in the city of Rauma.

The exhibition showcases contemporary art from drawings to photography and from sculpture to video art, featuring works by Nabil Boutros (EG/FR), Emma Jääskeläinen (FI), Hertta Kiiski (FI), Maija Luutonen (FI), Paulien Oltheten (NL), Sari Palosaari (FI), Martha Rosler (US), Jaan Toomik (EE) and Elina Vainio (FI). It is curated by Anna Vihma.

As a format, an exhibition is flexible in terms of time. The physical existence of many artworks does not bind them to a certain period of time and, even when it does, the viewer alone decides how long they spend in front of a single work of art, or at the exhibition as a whole. Besides their temporal length, works of art can suggest ponderousness by other means, too. Their form can communicate a long and technically laborious working process involving much repetition and patience, for example. Or their materials or contents can include references to slowness or long periods of time.

Some of the works in In Praise of Boredom are older, while others were produced specifically for the exhibition, but they are all connected to boredom in one way or another. With these works of art, and the exhibition that takes shape around them, we encourage exhibition guests to get in touch with boredom, to take a moment and tolerate the silence, tedium and repetition that causes them to feel bored. Perhaps there is power invested in apathy.
— Anna Vihma, Exhibition Curator
IMAGE: Paulien Oltheten, La Defence, 2017-2018, still from video

IMAGE: Paulien Oltheten, La Defence, 2017-2018, still from video

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