An interview with Carina Jaatinen, Chairperson of the International Committee on Exhibitions and Exchanges (ICEE), at TEM 2015
Our recent conference, TEM 2015, provided the perfect opportunity for TEN to catch up with many of the producers covered in our features section over the past few months, as well as others that had yet to receive their own feature, among them Carina Jaatinen, Chairperson of the International Committee on Exhibitions and Exchanges (ICEE) and Head of exhibitions at the Espoo City Museum in Finland. Conference editor, Garry Shaw, met with Carina in Istanbul to talk about TEM, ICEE and the upcoming ICEE conference in Cape Town.
Garry: Welcome to TEM 2015! What do you most enjoy about TEM?
Carina: Meeting people, of course. Meeting professionals and hearing their different approaches. Coming from the museum scene, I can see that the professionals gathering here are those with whom museums need to cooperate, but their approach to exhibitions – from the point of view of the producers from the big companies – is not totally similar to that of museums. The museum world is a little bit different. We have multiple tasks and not all are related to exhibitions. I think we’ll have a fruitful cooperation – we have already – but meetings like TEM, enabling us to get to know each other, are crucial. So, I’m also here to invite all of these individuals to join us – the museums people – at our exhibitions network in Cape Town this year.
… meetings like TEM, enabling us to get to know each other, are crucial.
Garry: I was going to ask you about that. So let’s talk about more about Cape Town now …
Carina: ICEE arranges annual conferences. Last year, we went to Finland, now we’re going to Cape Town, South Africa. We are global, so we’re trying to cover the world equally. Next year, we’ll be in Milan. In Cape Town, we are working with local museum professionals and exhibition professionals to create a great conference. We will invite exhibition professionals to go there to see the South African museum scene, to meet with people and create connections, but also to exchange know-how skills, projects, to look for partners and also to learn from each other.
We will invite exhibition professionals to go there to see the South African museum scene, to meet with people and create connections, but also to exchange know-how skills, projects, to look for partners and also to learn from each other.
Garry: Which part of the TEM conference are you most looking forward to or have most enjoyed so far?
Carina: I think that Gerri Morris’ speech was excellent; it’s really important to have something that is based on research and data, but presented in a nice way, an accessible way. And of course the flea market is another highlight – it’s a broad umbrella under which you can present a huge amount of projects. It’s also something that we’ve had at ICEE since the 1980s – a Marketplace of Exhibitions and Ideas – and it’s something that our attendees value highly. Everybody has five minutes; it’s a place to show who you are, and then afterwards, you can reconnect and talk. My experience is that these conferences are not just simply about meeting people; there are concrete results from these meetings, such as the huge networks that exist nowadays, concrete projects, project initiatives, and other kinds of results.
So now I think TEM and ICEE are like parallel networks, from different worlds with different approaches.
So now I think TEM and ICEE are like parallel networks, from different worlds with different approaches. I can see from your delegate list that it’s mainly business people, with very few museums. So, I think this conversation between TEM and ICEE is very important, because your clients, they talk about museums, but don’t have museums. We have the museums, and of course would like you to come and speak with us. But as we heard in Gerri’s speech, you are running businesses, and the business world is a little bit different from the museum world because you can adjust your product and your strategy, and should be very quick in your moves, intellectually thinking to make rapid changes if needed. The museum world is a little bit different: It has a long past, it has collections, it is a world that changes slowly (and there are reasons for this), so we need to learn how to take steps into the future together, at this time when the museum profession is changing rapidly and we are outsourcing things. We need to decide how we will put together our intellects and heritage to make more meaning.
Garry: Thank you Carina.
TEM 2015 was a great success, with 145 delegates from 31 countries travelling to Istanbul to take part. We would again like to thank everyone for coming, and we hope you enjoyed our speakers and events. Whether it was Gerri Morris’ analysis of the importance of museums in cities, or Jasper Visser’s advice on how best to use digital engagement, or even the TEM Flea Market, where delegates had three minutes to present their projects or venues, there was always something to enjoy and to learn from over the course of the two days in Istanbul.