Working in a museum has always been both a dream and a goal for me. I have been privileged to do this work for 30 years. It is a long time, and I have enjoyed my it all enormously.
Kiasma was for me a dream come true. It afforded me an exceptional vantage point and an opportunity to work with many important, distinguished and competent people. The work has been demanding, but also very rewarding. It will soon be three years since I came to Kiasma. When I started, I had lots of ideas, thoughts and wishes. Cooperation has been ’colourful’ but productive. It gives me great satisfaction that many of the ideas and wishes – both mine and those of artists and colleagues – have been realised in Kiasma. I feel I have achieved a lot. I feel in fact that I have accomplished most of what I was hoping to do.
Contemporary art and Kiasma are important to me. They are more than just a job and a workplace. The Kiasma Foundation and the Kiasma Committee have both given me great pleasure. It is wonderful that things have progressed and that Kiasma has excellent sponsors and partners. I am happy that so many people have joined our venture, and that I have been able to contribute to the creation of the Kiasma Foundation and the Committee to support the museum.
I am now approaching my 50th birthday. How ever one may view it, it is a milestone in one’s life. It is a time to look both back and to the future. The past year on the Arts Council of Finland has given me a refreshing new outlook beyond the museum world. Even if one has a passion for one’s work, it is not obligatory, nor is it necessary, to have the same job all one’s life. Changing one’s views can be productive, both for oneself and for others.
An opportunity to start something new is exciting and tempting. At the same time it is a joy to see the ’results of one’s handiwork’. I feel like an actor after a successful performance: now it’s over, but it turned out well and it was great!
Berndt Arell was appointed in September as the incoming Director of Svenska kulturfonden. He will take up his new post in 2010.