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Leevi Haapala

Born September 24, 1972, Keuruu

Master of Arts (art history, museology, cultural history) 1997, University of Turku
PhD (art history) 2012, University of Helsinki

Museum Director 2015–, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art
Professor of Praxis 2014–15, Academy of Fine Arts/University of the Arts
Acting Chief Curator of Collections, amanuensis and member of the acquisitions committee 2007–2014, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art
Researcher 1997–2007, Central Art Archives/ Finnish National Gallery
Civilian national service 1994–95, Museum of Contemporary Art

Jury member for the Ars Fennica Award 2015–
Board member of the Kiasma Foundation 2015–
Board member of the Pro Arte Foundation and member of the working group for the IHME Contemporary Art Festival 2008–15
Member of the expert group for Young Artist of the Year, Tampere Art Museum 2012­–15

Photo: National Gallery/Pirje Mykkänen
Written by Olli Siitonen

Translated by Matthew Billington

My best memory from the University of Helsinki

From my PhD studies at the University of Helsinki, I remember a study group led by Dr Harri Kalha, docent in art history and gender studies. It was on visual culture and art studies, and it turned out to be the one group that did the most to help me with my dissertation. Some of my current colleagues and subordinates were in that group, composed of researchers of both photography and motion pictures.

We demanded that Dr Kalha also bring his own writings for the study group to critically review, and we were equally merciless towards each other. In a constructive spirit, but you really had to defend your scribblings. Our three-hour sessions alternated between tears and laughter. Everyone got their share of both praise and blame. We were really engaged, and you had to provide a really good reason for missing a session.

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