Call for curators: intensive residency in Hanasaari, Helsinki

Hanasaari ­– The Swedish-Finnish Culture Centre in collaboration with Frame Visual Art Finland announce an open call for chambers of commons: a collective curatorial investigation focused on rooting alliances between sites of production, situated knowledges and practices of commoning in September 14–18, 2015.

HanasaariThe program takes the form of an intensive residency designed to explore curatorial and artistic practices engaging with self-organized initiatives. It provides a framework to discuss the roles of self-organized, artist-run and non-profit models in the contemporary art economy, the ideologies involved in the production of these spaces and how do their configurations influence our capacity for action.

How do we articulate questions of autonomy, self-determination and survival within the framework of these initiatives? What is at stake when we locate curatorial and artistic practices as critical instigators that work towards non-capitalistic alternatives? What can we learn from discussing feminist and decolonial perspectives – and their efforts to construct alternative imaginariums, desires, histories, relations, epistemologies and economies – and how can these nurture the way we work?

The residency aims to be a forum from which to conceptualize and experiment with new relations, strategies and narratives, and to envisage self-organized initiatives as sites that propitiate the (re)emergency of the commons.

The program includes lectures, workshops, readings and open conversations with local curators and artist-run initiatives. The concept and framework for chambers of commons is developed by Giovanna Esposito Yussif in collaboration with Frame Visual Art Finland.

The residency covers travel within Finland and Sweden, accommodation in Hanasaari, meals, workshops and lectures.For program updates and detailed bios of the participants coming soon.

Application guidelines

  • Open to curators and artists currently based in Finland and Sweden.
  • The language for the residency will be English.
  • The program can host a maximum of 10 participants.
  • Motivation letter and / or statement of interests – maximum 700 words
  • Bio or CV – maximum 700 words
  • Deadline for applications: June 25, 2015
  • Send an application to: chambers.of.commons@gmail.com
  • The recidency will be arranged on September 14–18, 2015.
  • For further information on the residency program: chambers.of.commons@gmail.com
  • Contact at Hanasaari: Heidi Salminen / Program Coordinator (heidi.salminen@hanaholmen.fi)


Saša Nabergoj • Art historian, curator and critic. she is a head of World of Art, School for Curators and Critics of Contemporary Art (since 1998) and Studio 6 (since 2004); Assistant Director at SCCA−Ljubljana, Center for Contemporary Arts (Slovenia), member of AICA (International Association of Art Critics) and IKT (International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art, Amsterdam). Writer, editor and lecturer on contemporary art, focusing on curatorial and critical practices.

Dr. Bonaventure Soj Bejeng Ndikung • Independent art curator and biotechnologist. Founder and art director of the art space SAVVY Contemporary Berlin, artistic director and curator at Galerie Wedding, and editor-in-chief of the journal SAVVY|art.contemporary.african., the first bilingual e-journal on contemporary African art.He has worked as independent curator, art director or adviser for several international exhibition projects or festivals in Germany, France, England and Cameroon and has published more than 20 exhibition catalogues.

Airi Triisberg • Art worker based in Tallinn. Her activities include writing, curating and organizing. She is interested in the overlapping fields between political activism and contemporary art practices, issues related to gender and sexualities, collective working methods, self-organization, and struggles against precarious working conditions in the art field and beyond.

Nora Sternfeld • Educator and curator. She is professor for curating and mediating art at the Aalto University in Helsinki. She is also co-founder and part of trafo. K, Office for Art Education and Critical Knowledge Production based in Vienna (w/Ines Garnitschnig, Renate Höllwart and Elke Smodics). Moreover she is part of Freethought, a platform for research, education, and production based in London (w/Irit Rogoff, Stefano Harney, Adrian Heathfield, Mao Mollona and Louis Moreno). In this context she is one of the curators of the Bergen Assembly 2016.

Taru Elfving • Curator and writer based in Helsinki as Head of Programme at Frame Visual Art Finland. Her practice focuses on nurturing cross-disciplinary encounters and context-specific artistic investigations with a long-term commitment to the critical discourses on sustainability and feminism. Her curatorial projects include the Finnish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2015), Frontiers in Retreat residency platform (HIAP 2013-2018), Contemporary Art Archipelago CAA (Turku 2011). Elfving holds a PhD from Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths University of London.

NÆS – Nomadic Agency/Archive of Emergent Studies •  NÆS is a collective-connective artistic-research agency and a cultural production studio focusing on emergent and resilient dynamics of social organization. NÆS functions as a platform for activating transversal forms of knowledge production and critical thinking. We are driven across notions of nomadism, decoloniality, radical-ecology and radical-pedagogy.

About Hanasaari – The Swedish-Finnish Culture Centre

Hanasaari’s mission is determined to foster a bilateral development and exchange between Sweden and Finland. They actively organize diverse programs that bring together people, organizations, authorities and companies that operate in both locations.

About Frame Visual Art Finland

Frame supports international initiatives, facilitates professional partnerships and encourages critical development of the field through grants, visitor program and residencies, seminars and talks, exhibition collaborations and network platforms. Frame is in charge of the Finnish participation in the Venice Biennale alongside other major international art events.

Read more: Hanasaari chambers of commons