You can see the thought-provoking installation at Lux Helsinki, Source: Lux Helsinki

Helsinki light festival features burnt cars from Ukraine

Helsinki light festival features burnt cars from Ukraine

It’s an art installation that brings the horrors of war in the midst of the comfort felt by a European capital

The Finnish capital is currently hosting its annual lights celebration, called Lux Helsinki. The festival is running until 8 January and shows off a variety of artworks based on the concept of light.

A notable feature in this year’s edition of the event is a work titled The Physical Possibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living by Maxim Velčovský, a designer from Czechia. The installation features authentic burnt and damaged cars brought in from the war in Ukraine.

Velčovský's art piece was first publicly displayed in October in the Czech capital of Prague, at a symbolic spot between the city hall and the library. In Helsinki, the installation can be found in a similar place, by the capital's Music Centre — between Oodi library and Parliament House.

The spotlight shines on the war

The Lux Helsinki programme is now ready and more than 30 artworks will be seen and experienced throughout the city. The festival has earlier been arranged along one route but this year there will be several collections of artworks to create more space to experience the art. 

As for the burnt car installation, it is intriguing in several ways. For one, its title almost exactly copies that of an infamous art piece by British artist Damien Hirst. The Czech creation, however, is just as thought-provoking on its own and very current in its social and political commentary.

The art piece creates a picture of the horrors of warfare through smoking cars burnt in the war in Ukraine. The cars are infused with stories from Ukrainian citizens who have not only lost their belongings, but also their loved ones and who have had to flee their homeland.

The best thing about the work is that it doesn’t comment on anything, but brings us face to face with another reality. How fragile life can be, and how everyday life can change in seconds. An arresting, thought-provoking work which is a reality just over a thousand kilometres away,” says Juha Rouhikoski, Lux Helsinki’s artistic director.



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