Bang, bang, bang. Balls bounce against a wall, over and over again. One shot after another, in an unrelenting rhythm. Only a perfect shot will hit the target. Winning the game is possible, but it takes talent, a sharp eye, and good luck.

Attempting Ideal is an exhibition hosted by Salon Dahlmann presenting the work of fifteen artists from the Lipponen Collection. Borrowing its name from a video by Tiina Palmu, it features a selection of paintings, videos, photographs and graphic art. The show is designed around video works by three women artists. The bouncing balls in Palmu’s video carry on the legacy of 1970s conceptualism, while Iiu Susiraja’s Hamburger tells the story of a couple in a narrative laced with wicked black humour. Jenni Toikka’s Atonement is a minimalistic study of psychological tension filmed at the Paimio Sanatorium, an early masterpiece by the famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. The videos are accompanied by a selection of paintings and works on paper by emerging talent in Finnish contemporary art, including Ville Andersson, Alma Heikkilä, Hannaleena Heiska, Olli Piippo and Tiina Pyykkinen.

Achieving professional success as an artist takes talent, determination, luck, and fortuitous timing. The same goes for collecting art. Building a collection of works by new graduates fresh out of art school is a bold move – and a fascinating exercise. At the very outset of their career, it is impossible for an artist or collector to time every move perfectly or to anticipate exactly where the future might nudge them. As the collection grows, it will provide an eye-opening overview of how the Finnish contemporary art scene has changed in recent years. Preserving the early works of emerging artists is an important task that will later yield valuable insights into the mature stages of their career.

The Lipponen Collection and Art Fund were established in 1999. Augmented every year, it has been deposited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma since 2008. The Lipponen Collection currently comprises 42 works. The collection is unique in that all new additions are purchased every spring from the Academy of Fine Arts’ MFA show, which showcases works by fresh graduates from four degree programmes. Its mission is to give visibility to young artists starting out in their career. Leevi Haapala has been the collection’s expert adviser since 2008, and he is also the curator of this exhibition.

The exhibition is a co-production between the Museum of Contempoarary Art Kiasma, The Fund of Päivi and Paavo Lipponen, People’s Culture Foundation and Salon Dahlmann | Miettinen Collection.