Meeting artists through the Finland-Russia Curatorial Exchange Programme

The Finland-Russia Curatorial Exchange Programme was initiated in 2021 to facilitate new partnerships between curators, cultural workers, institutions, and artists in Russia and Finland. Ten curators based in Finland and Russia were selected to participate via an open call.

In the first phase in June, the curators presented their work to each other and introduced a selection of artists based in both countries to the group. After reviewing their work, a selection of eleven artists were asked to participate in an online session where each artist would get a chance to discuss their work in more detail with the curatorial group. These presentations were divided into two days, once in August and again in October, 2021.  

The following artists based in Finland and Russia presented their practices:

Jaakko Autio [↗]

Sara Blosseville [↗]

Alexandra Demina [↗]

Mariia Ermolenko [↗]

Art Duo Gorod Ustinov [↗]

Honkasalo-Niemi-Virtanen Collective [↗]

Pia Männikkö [↗] 

Jaakko Pietiläinen [↗]

Alena Tereshko [↗]

Niina Vatanen [↗]

Sasha Zubritskaya [↗]

During their presentations, the artists touched upon topics such as erased identity, and speculative fiction. Moreover, curators and artists in the programme engaged with discourses ranging from collective exhibition-making and authorship to empathy and healing. To conclude the programme, the curators will soon be producing critical texts with their takes on the contemporary art scenes in Russia and Finland.

“This was my first experience of Zooming with foreign curators and my first artist-talk. I spent a long time preparing and was very worried. But I should say that caring attention and support was shown to me, despite the fact that I am a very young artist. We discussed the experience of working with the Sami community in Russia and Finland; it seems to me that the decolonial message that we managed to outline despite the difference in the history of interaction with these people is very important.”

—Alexandra Demina

The 10 curators who participated in the Finland-Russia Curatorial Exchange Programme are: Jetta HuttunenPauliina Kaasalainen, Anastasia KamenskayaAnastasiya KotylevaChristine LanginauerMirjami SchuppertAndrey ShabanovArina SherstiukOlga Shirikostup, and Sakari Tervo.

The Finland–Russia Curatorial Exchange Programme, in collaboration with the Northwestern branch of the Pushkin State Museum (NCCA St. Petersburg) and the Finnish Institute in St. Petersburg, is supported by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture’s Russia programme in art and culture.

Screenshot from Alexandra Demina’s presentation

Screenshot from Alexandra Demina’s presentation