This year the Helsinki International Curatorial Programme (HICP) welcomes four curators to one-month curatorial residencies in Helsinki. The curators selected for the programme for 2024 are Gantuya Badamgarav (Ulan Bator, Mongolia), Kevin Bellò (Milan, Italy), Evelyn Simons (Bruxelles, Belgium) and Malena Souto Arena (Buenos Aires, Argentina). Their residencies will take place in August and September 2024 in the HIAP residency center on Suomenlinna Island.
Co-organised by Frame and HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme, HICP offers one-month residencies for contemporary art curators. The programme aims to allow internationally active, professional curators to connect with the Finnish contemporary art field and plan projects in collaboration with artists and partner organisations in Finland.
Overall 66 applications were received to the Open Call organised in October 2024. Selections were made by Frame’s Head of Programme Jussi Koitela, HIAP’s Director Juha Huuskonen and independent curator Ilari Laamanen.
Gantuya Badamgarav (Ulan Bator, Mongolia) holds an MA in macroeconomic policy from Williams College, MA, USA. Gantuya established 976 Art Gallery and Mongolian Contemporary Art Support Association in 2012, to support and promote contemporary art in Mongolia. She has worked actively to support contemporary art, uniting organizations and people to channel their resources and passion. Her residency in Helsinki aims to facilitate intercultural exchange between local and international artists and the community.
“I accumulated all my experiences of managing and curating art exhibitions, events, and programs through 11 years of my independent practice, working in my organization, learning by doing. Art has become an inseparable part of my life and I would like to continue diving into this world to a deeper level, through meeting and collaborating with different artists and art practitioners.”
Kevin Bellò (Milan, Italy) is an independent curator and researcher investigating edible knowledge, experimental writing, field research art, and inter-species collaborations. Their curatorial approach moves from food to investigating ecological and political super-structures, promoting cognitive justice and developing practices of care.
“For HICP, I am departing from the mutualistic exchange between human animals, ecosystems, and living yeast to research Nordic bread-making practices and forest foraging traditions. Developing a network among local bakers, artists, storytellers and bacteria, I reflect on ecological kinship via convivial gatherings and moments of co-creation. Additionally, a collection of poetic and curatorial field notes on bodies of water, food rituals, and more-than-human encounters accompanies this research. The work ultimately combines experimental meal sharing and intuitive interspecies collaboration to root practices of mutualism in Helsinki.”
Evelyn Simons (Bryssels, Belgium) is a freelance curator and writer based in Brussels. Her curatorial practice operates on the intersection between site-specific art commissioning, social practice and mediating contemporary art in public space. She is particularly interested in transdisciplinary approaches to culture, working at the crossroads between art, nightlife, music, architecture, performance and fashion, and fostering collaboration between creatives from various fields.
“During my residency, I will delve into the art scene of Helsinki, more precisely by conducting studio visits and visiting Helsinki’s vast collection of public art commissions. I will also take the time and isolation to work on my first novel.”
Malena Souto Arena
Malena Souto Arena (Buenos Aires, Argentina) is a curator, researcher, and teacher specializing in digital electronic, sound, and audiovisual art. Since the beginning of her practice, she has focused on exhibition and research projects in the field of installations, both virtual and physical.
“During my residency, I will work on a research project about installations and expanded image shows, introducing cases from Finnish artists and exhibitions. I will hold weekly interviews in my workspace, open to the public. We shall examine the transformation of the nature of the image through the installation device as well as exhibition designs that conceptualize the symbolic, narrative, and material aspects of the artworks. My studio space will fold back on itself, displaying the notes, images, video projections, and theoretical framework as a map and memory of my encounters throughout my stay. I will document this process to create a digital publication and a public presentation for the institutions involved.”