Scandinavian Culture Calendar: August 2023
By Hanna Heiskanen
Danish on a Sunday: The House That Jack Built (20 August)
Danish on a Sunday is a series of films showcasing some of the best cinema coming out of the southernmost Nordic countries. The House That Jack Built, set in the United States in the 1970s and starring Uma Thurman, was directed by Lars von Trier, the genius behind Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark and others. Cinemateket is a part of the Danish Film Institute, located slap-bang in the middle of Copenhagen.
Gothersgade 55, Copenhagen
Great Dutch Master Paintings Revisited (until 31 August)
Hendrik Kerstens is a Dutch artist who often photographs his daughter. In this series, Kerstens takes a fresh look at some of the best-known artworks created by his compatriots and reimagines them with modern props such as plastic bags. The result? Something that looks both familiar and alien. Skokloster, a baroque castle by Lake Mälaren, makes for a fascinating backdrop.
Skoklostervägen 98–100, Skokloster
Helsinki Biennal 2023 (until 17 September)
With the Helsinki Biennal 2023, you can hit two birds with one stone: exploring the Helsinki archipelago and getting to grips with the latest and coolest in contemporary art. Vallisaari Island is only a 20-minute boat ride from the centre of town and was previously used for military purposes before being turned into a haven for locals and tourists alike. This year’s Biennal has been curated by the Polish-born Joasia Krysa and includes works by roughly 30 artists around the themes of contamination, regeneration and agency.
When Copenhagen Became Wonderful – Poster artist Ib Antoni (until 31 October)
Brand Scandinavia would not exist today without clever advertising, for much of which the credit goes to commercial artists. One of these names is Ib Antoni, known as the Great Dane, whose whimsical post-war posters depicting Denmark and its capital are still used and recognised today. 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of this death. Do not forget to exit through the gift shop!
Stormgade 18, Copenhagen
If you have never heard of the Moomins, what are you even doing in Scandinavia? Even if you know your sniffs from your snufkins and snorks from your stinkys, do not skip the Moomin Museum in Tampere. This is a charming place to spend a few hours lost in the world created by artist, writer and polymath Tove Jansson (1914-2001). The highlight of the place is the five-story Moomin House built by Jansson, her partner (and artist in her own right) Tuulikki Pietilä and Moomin enthusiast Pentti Elstola.
Yliopistonkatu 55, Tampere
How to become Icelandic in 60 minutes (dates throughout the autumn)
Have you ever considered becoming Icelandic? If yes, this show is for you! Performed close to 1,000 times and counting, the English-language show is the brainchild of comedian Bjarni Haukur Thorsson. Find out for yourself if all the rave reviews are true!
Harpa, Austurbakka 2, Reykjavík
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