Admission with Museum Card

Niina Vatanen: Universus

The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki

  • 24.5.2024–1.9.2024

In the summer of 2024 science and ancient beliefs take over at The Cable Factory. The exhibition by Niina Vatanen (b.1977) combines the artist's interest in plants, natural sciences, art history, myths, rites and beliefs.


Human communities throughout history have sought to discover the essence of the universe. One of the most important subjects of study and philosophy has been nature and the order of the creatures in it. Different environments and the species of plants and animals that inhabit them have offered humans places to live and sustenance, and along with the heavenly bodies, they have also been the basis of different scientific and religious systems. Humans have looked to plants, animals, and the stars in search of the fundamental meaning of life. It seems that human communities have almost universally shared the notion that unless we understand nature and the different creatures in it, we cannot understand the world.

Niina Vatanens exhibition Universus dives into the fabric of semantic systems. Along with reflecting on the power of nature and its significance in various myths, creation stories and other forms of knowledge, this exhibition explores the crucial role that art plays in the construction and digestion of knowledge. The images, colors, movement and gaze created by artists are essential to our attempt to understand the world and our place in it. Art has always challenged, rebelled, enchanted, brought to life, broken apart, fascinated, explored and created something new.

In Universus, Vatanen exhibits alongside her own works a great number of artworks and photographs from the Finnish Museum of Photography collections. Vatanen often uses archival material as a starting point for her works and builds something new with it. Working with the museum collections has inspired Vatanen and given her a chance to enter into dialogue with different generations of artists. Part of this exhibition was born as a result of this dialogue. Universus is built of layers of intergenerational visual language creating a unique visual grammar. With this grammar, Vatanen seeks to capture the radiance, passion and richness of life, spanning from the mystical powers of plants and the movements of heavenly bodies in space to the human sense of time.

Niina Vatanen is an artist born in Kuopio and currently working in Helsinki. Vatanens works combine photographs, text, archival material, and moving image. Time and the human sense of time have become core questions in Vatanens art. In her multilayered works, Vatanen deliberately steers the viewers gaze while exploring the relationship between the perceptible and the unperceived.

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Museum contact details

The Finnish Museum of Photography
Kaapelitehdas, Kaapeliaukio 3, G-rappu, Helsinki

040 1922 300

Museum website

Yhteydet julkisilla

Näytä reitti museolle Matkahuollon reittioppaassa


Katso reitti Matkahuollon reittioppaassa


The Finnish Museum of Photography, Kaapelitehdas, Kaapeliaukio 3, G-rappu, Helsinki


Tai lataa Reitit ja Liput -sovellus

Admission fees

Admission with Museum Card
Admission with Museum Card

12/6/0 . Museokortilla ilmainen sisnpsy.
1.1.2024 alkaen 16/6/0

Payment methods

kteinen, kaikki yleisimmt pankki- ja luottokortit, Museokortti, kulttuurisetelit

Opening hours

Mon Closed
Tue 11:00-18:00
Wed 11:00-20:00
Thu 11:00-18:00
Fri 11:00-18:00
Sat 11:00-18:00
Sun 11:00-18:00

Free admission on every last Wednesday of the month, 5 to 8 pm.

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