AIR – the art of breathing in the architecture of breathing

Andreas Behn-Eschenberg, Toni Elg, Artor Jesus Inkerö, Ola Kolehmainen, Santtu Laine, Eeva Lietonen, Tuomas A. Laitinen, Josefina Nelimarkka, Nastja Säde Rönkkö, Emilia Tanner, Pekko Vasantola

Curator: Jari Saariaho

The summer exhibition AIR at Paimio Sanatorium spreads out into the stunning pine forest surrounding the sanatorium, the main building, and the dedicated exhibition space. AIR invites viewers to pause and recharge amidst experiential and tranquil contemporary art. The artworks engage in a dialogue with the iconic modernist architecture and nature.

We live in a time where profound, long-term concentration is exceedingly difficult for most people. A fragmented world has created fragmented minds, constantly craving stimulation. Our attention-seeking, pathogenic culture is its own kind of pandemic. Various media platforms demand constant sharing of short texts, videos, and images, requiring immediate reactions to what has been shared. Bite-sized information chunks fill our minds, compelling us to alter our perception of information, its significance, truthfulness, and, above all, its usage. Instant gratification takes precedence over understanding, and our brains have become accustomed to continuous stimulation, with endless scrolling being a clever solution.

As early as the late 1980s, French philosopher Jean Baudrillard criticized the media and its impact in his work “The Ecstasy of Communication”, long before the era of social media. Baudrillard was  alarmed by the transformation of private and public spaces due to media invasion. According to him, we were losing the sense of space and meaning, rendering the contents of communication meaningless. The only thing communicated is communication itself, and the orgasmic ecstasy it produces. Writer JG Ballard summarized our dystopian media age back in the 1970s by stating, “In the post-Warhol era, any single gesture, such as crossing one’s legs, takes on more significance than a whole Tolstoy novel.”

The Paimio Sanatorium was originally designed for breathing, as a medical instrument. AIR captures the essence of Aalto’s architecture and their design philosophy by providing a place to breathe, calm down, and think through artistic means. Now, AIR combines the art of breathing with the architecture of breathing, slowing down the pace.


Combined ticket for AIR and other exhibitions 10 €, free for children under 7
With a guided tour ticket: 5 €


More than just a building, Paimio Sanatorium has become seen as a world-renowned masterpiece of modern architecture. Subscribe our Newsletter and be first to learn more about Paimio Sanatorium’s events and exhibitions.

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