Portuguese appointed chief curator of Kiasma museum exhibitions

The Portuguese curator Joao Laia was appointed chief curator of the exhibition program of the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, taking office on June 3, was announced today.

“Joao Laia (born in 1981) of Portugal was appointed curator of the exhibitions at Kiasma and will be responsible for the exhibition program at the Kiasma, together with the director of the museum, Leevi Haapala. Joao Laia succeeds Maria Sakari, appointed director of the Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki, “Kiasma said in a statement on the e-flux platform.

The director of the museum, Leevi Haapala, quoted in the statement, was pleased to have Joao Laia in his team “to strengthen the international role of Kiasma and the Finnish National Gallery.”

João Laia, “a highly related curator”, is “well versed in the global scene of contemporary art and social theory of art”, and “in recent years has integrated projects in Brazil, UK, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Russia, Spain, and Sweden “.

The Portuguese curator, quoted in the same statement, was “very happy” to take the job, and as part of the museum team, he longs to present “challenging, experimental and poetic work, and engage the eclectic variety of audiences that form the broad local, regional and international groups of the institution, addressing the main social debates that define the present and the near future. ”

John Laia has a master’s degree in Film Studies from King’s College and a Film Consortium from the London Consortium both in London and a postgraduate degree from Konstfack’s CuratorLab program in Stockholm.

The Portuguese curator, who has been involved in organizing exhibitions not only in Portugal, but also Spain, Switzerland, Brazil and the United Kingdom, is curator of Opening, the section of the ARCO Lisbon art fair dedicated to galleries with less than seven years of activity, and member of the curatorial teams of the inaugural exhibition of the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), in Lisbon (2015-17), as well as collaborating with publications such as frieze, Spike Art Quarterly, Flash Art, Earthquake or Public .

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