Rehearsing Hospitalities

Rehearsing Hospitalities is Frame Contemporary Art Finland’s public programme for 2019-2023.

It connects artists, curators and other practitioners in the field of contemporary art and beyond to build up and mediate new practices, understandings and engagements with diverse hospitalities.

Gathering for Rehearsing Hospitalities September 2020

Second edition of Gathering for Rehearsing Hospitalities looks into questions of access

22-26 September 2020, Helsinki

Gathering for Rehearsing Hospitalities is a five-day annual gathering in September connecting artists, curators and other practitioners within the field of contemporary art. This year’s public programme experiments with formats for gathering and hosts opportunities to engage in person or remotely. 

The 2020 programme addresses art and institutional potential to facilitate plural and decentralised forms of knowing and accessibility. It invites guests and audiences to rehearse and debate hospitality towards diverse ways of knowing and accessing.

The programme asks how dominant and institutionalised knowledges and accesses can be challenged from a range of perspectives. How can diverse access to language, environment, culture and archives produce a more equal and just contemporary reality?

Contributors in the Gathering for Rehearsing Hospitalities programme so far include Camille Auer, Biitsi, Jessie Bullivant & Jemina Lindholm, Viviana Checchia, Annet Dekker, Nora Heidorn, Flis Holland, Ali Akbar Mehta, Arjuna Neuman & Denise Ferreira da Silva, Iida Nissinen & Melanie Orenius (Burnout Mermaids), Laura Soisalon-Soininen, Kathy-Ann Tan, Touko Vaahtera, Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen and Susanna Ånäs.

The Gathering for Rehearsing Hospitalities programme is co-curated with digital culture and collaborative art agency M-cult and anti-racist and queer feminist project Museum of Impossible Forms, and produced in collaboration with additional partners. 

 

Full programme released in August

A full programme and the full list of contributors will be released in August. Event attendance is free but some events will require booking. Registration will open with the release of the programme. 

Following guidelines and taking precautions of care, physical attendance to events will be limited. We will be monitoring the situation and guidelines in the lead up to the Gathering. Several opportunities for following the programme remotely will be announced alongside the full programme release in August. Details on venue access will also be available at this time. Stay tuned.

Reading List Leaders podcast series May 2020

Reading List Leaders podcast series
Every Tuesday from 5th to 26th of May 2020

Reading List Leaders is a four-part aural gathering recorded as a podcast series by visual artist and poet Vidha Saumya. Released every Tuesday over four weeks between 5th and 26th of May 2020, Vidha Saumya hosts conversations and readings with her invited ‘Reading List Leaders’: Shrujana Niranjani Shridhar, Kamla Bhasin, Paromita Vohra and Arvind Ramachandran. 

Reading List Leaders is an extension of Vidha Saumya’s poem and wall mural Reading List, the first work in a series of artistic commissions at Frame Contemporary Art Finland’s office space. 

Reading List proposes a list of 96 authors from India who should be in global reading lists. This list is potentially endless. The work was commissioned in the context of the Rehearsing Hospitalities public programme 2019-2023.

As I read my way through list after list, helpfully extended towards me by institutions, visiting lecturers, and seminars in Finland, I encountered many silences. And to mend those silences, these names were my instinctual response.” (Vidha Saumya, 2019).

Reading List Leaders was initially planned as weekly gatherings for reading and listening in the Frame Contemporary Art Finland office. Restrictions on the act of gathering in Finland, India and throughout the world due to COVID-19 and political unrest have made weekly physical gatherings impossible. In the podcast series we can continue the project in a complimentary and meaningful way. Still a place to gather, the online podcast conversations and readings activate, archive and share both the under-celebrated Indian writers who appear on Vidha’s Reading List, and the Reading List Leaders themselves. 

Reading List Leaders include co-founder of the Dalit Panther Archive Shrujana Niranjani Shridhar, Indian developmental feminist activist, poet, author and social scientist Kamla Bhasin, filmmaker, writer and founder of multi-media project Agents of Ishq Paromita Vohra, and co-organiser of the Feminist and Anti-Racist Night School Arvind Ramachandran, along with visual artist and poet Vidha Saumya.

Each hour-long session will be in various Indian languages.

Sound design by artist Kim Modig (Orker)

Podcasts can be listened: link available here later.

 

About Vidha Saumya
Vidha Saumya
is a drawer, poet, cook and bookmaker. Her recent solo exhibition ‘Monumentless Moments: the Utopia of Figureless Plinths’ comprising seven books of poems and a Reader, was on view at MAA-tila project Space, Helsinki in March 2020. Vidha Saumya’s poem and wall mural ‘Reading List’ was the first work in a series of artistic commissions at Frame Contemporary Art Finland’s office space within the context of the Rehearsing Hospitalities public programme 2019-2023. She has read her poems in festivals and seminars such as Baltic Circle Festival and Runoviikko Poetry Festival amongst others.  She is a founding member of the Museum of Impossible Forms – a cultural centre located in Kontula, East-Helsinki, and is currently working on the project ‘Paper, pulp, words, books: recipes for counterculture rebellion’ supported by TAIKE, Finland.

Photo by Aman Askarizad.


Reading List Leaders Podcast 1:
5th of May 2020 
Vidha Saumya and Shrujana Niranjani Shridhar
Languages: Marathi, English

In the first Reading List Leaders podcast, Vidha Saumya hosts illustrator, designer and co-founder of the Dalit Panther Archive Shrujana Niranjani Shridhar.

Shrujana’s readings include: an excerpt from Black Independence Day written by Raja Dhale for Sadhna Magazine in 1972 for Indian independence day; Don’t Bail Me Out by Namdeo Dhasal, a poem penned by Dhasal after he was jailed in the early seventies in India; and Using Little Magazines for Fame is Foolishness, an essay by Raja Dhale lamenting people who publish little magazines just because it’s ‘cool’ to do so. 

About Shrujana Niranjani Shridhar
Shrujana Niranjani Shridhar is an illustrator and designer practicing in Mumbai. She completed her Diploma in Visual Communication and Art from Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru. Her practice revolves mainly around children’s literature and illustrations. In 2016, she co-founded the Dalit Panther Archive, which has been documenting the Dalit Panther movement of the 1970s. Her research interests revolve around the exploration and definition of a Dalit aesthetic that has existed in the Indian sub-continent for centuries, in its myriad heterogenous forms. Her work examines socio-political relations, especially at the intersection of gender, caste, and class.

Photo by Shone Satheesh.


Reading List Leaders Podcast 2:
12th of May 2020 

Vidha Saumya and Kamla Bhasin
Languages: Hindi-Urdu, English

In the second Reading List Leaders podcast, Vidha Saumya hosts writer, activist and social scientist Kamla Bhasin.

Kamla’s reading list includes: Corona Ke Zamaane Mein (In the Times of Corona), written on March 26, 2020; Kya Main Make-up Karti Hoon (Do I Use Make-Up); Yeh To Meri Marzi Hai (It’s My Wish); Mere Naarivaad (My Feminisms); Aao Hum Auratien Apni Jagah Banayein (Let’s Make Space); Khamoshi (Silence); Khoobsoorat Ya Khoobseerat (); Me Too; Because I Am A Girl, I Must Study

These simple poems are sung by feminist groups in various countries in South Asia.

Kamla Bhasin’s poems in English:

Kya Main Makeup Karti Hoon? (Do I Use Makeup?)

In this free-verse poem, Kamla Bhasin does a wordplay on the use of make-up, as a word and as an action. Asked innocently by a woman in her audience if she uses make-up, Kamla responds, yes, I do, I make up my mind, make-up my dreams, makeup my intentions, makeup promises. not satisfied with the answer, the woman asks again, “But do you use make-up on your body and face?”. Unperturbed, Kamla replies, “Yes, I do. I have had a close and long relationship with my body, I respect it, I accept it as it is, I don’t compare my body with beauty queens, and since I am in love with my body, I decorate it, I spend an hour only with my body, I take it out on a walk, strengthen its limbs through yoga, all my life I’ve refined my body, and the body supported me all along, we’ve both turned 73, my body and I, and we’ve both leaned on each other through this life. But, dear friend, my makeup if you mean what I call fake-up, then that is something I haven’t done. My face, body, it’s features and its colour are appealing to me in their original form, I haven’t succumbed to the market of beauty, I have avoided all that is fake – fake faces too. So my dear, curious friend, people have had to like me just as I am and as they lovingly stroke my silver hair or laugh alongside my countless wrinkles, they’ve shown they’re not affected by my ageing body because I am always just as I have been…”

Hum Sikandar Hain, Shikaar Nahin / We Are Winners, Not Prey

This poem narrates the difference between a victim and a survivor. It says that patriarchy may have assigned us as being a victim – a pawn, a stooge, gullible and weak, oppressed, unaware. We are preyed upon in the confines of our own homes and often the assailant is our own kin. Whether in the form of foeticide, infanticide, hunger, unattended, neglect, rape, property-less, and often by simply curbing our freedom. But now it’s time for some good news. The good news is that even if not all, but many women are no longer weak, incoherent, we no longer care for what others may say, our hearts don’t cry helplessly, were no longer oppressed, entrapped. We are committed, alive, strong. We are no longer prey, we are winners. We are forerunners of our own destiny. We persevere but are not looking for conflict. Neither are we a prey not want to prey on anyone. We know the trauma of being oppressed and hence we foresee a world where there are no unequals, where we freedom and happiness are found at all intersections.

About Kamla Bhasin
A social scientist by training, Kamla Bhasin has been actively engaged with issues related to gender, education, identity politics, militarization, human rights and democracy since 1970. She has written extensively on gender, women’s empowerment, participatory and sustainable development, participatory training, media and communication. Currently, she works with ‘Sangat’ – A Feminist Network as Adviser; ‘JAGORI’ – A Women’s Resource and Training Centre; and ‘Jagori Rural Charitable Trust’ as an active member. She is the South Asia Coordinator of’ One Billion Rising’ – a global campaign to end violence against women and girls; Co-Chair of the worldwide network ‘Peace Women Across the Globe’; and member of ‘South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR)’. Prior to this, she worked with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for 27 years.

 


Reading List Leaders Podcast 3:
19th of May 2020
Vidha Saumya and Paromita Vohra
Language: English

Part 1

Part 2

In the second Reading List Leaders podcast, Vidha Saumya hosts filmmaker, writer and public speaker, Paromita Vohra

Paromita’s readings include: Love in the Time of Protests, published February 2020 in The Indian Express; My True North: All renewal starts with the self, December 30, 2018 in The Indian Express; The Tip Of Your Tongue, published May 2016 in the Mid-Day; Enquirational Me, published May 29 2016 in the Mid-Day; Speaking in Tongues, published September 2015 in the Mid-Day; At Political Peace, published April 2010 in the Mid-Day; and  Is the covid-19 pandemic a perfect opportunity for humans to introspect? Published April 2020 in The Economic Times.

About Paromita Vohra
Paromita Vohra’s work mixes fiction and non-fiction to explore themes of desire, sex, love, urban life, popular culture and feminism. Her work spans various forms – film, sound installation, digital media, writing, interactive workshops and acting – and has been broadcast internationally, shown in museums such as the Tate Modern, Wellcome Collection and the National Gallery of Modern Art and has taught in universities around the world. She is the founder and creative director of Agents of Ishq, a first-of-its-kind digital project about sex and love in India. She writes two weekly columns – ParoNormal Activity in Sunday Midday and How to Find Indian Love in Mumbai Mirror.

Photo by Swati Bhattacharya.


Reading List Leaders Podcast 4:
26th of May 2020
Vidha Saumya and Arvind Ramachandran
Languages: Tamil, English


In the third Reading List Leaders podcast, Vidha Saumya hosts stand-up comedian, organiser and artist Arvind Ramachandran.

Arvind Ramachandran and Vidha Saumya will discuss topics such as: 

1) Expanding the reading list: How do we expand reading lists to include not just often ignored authors, but also often ignored forms of writing, or even non-writing forms of content. 

2) Sharing the reading list: How does what one reads find its way to reach others? 

3) Transplanting the reading list: We move. In an age of migration, how do our reading lists reflect our stories. 

About Arvind Ramachandran
Arvind Ramachandran is a stand-up comedian, organiser and artist. His work focuses on confronting visible and invisible oppressive structures operating in contemporary society, especially as they affect those without class, caste, gender and race privileges. He currently co-organises the Feminist and Anti-Racist Night School and co-hosts PoC Open Mic in Helsinki.

Photo by Ella Alin.


 

Towards Ecologies of Access April 2020

Towards Ecologies of Access
24 April, 2-5pm Finnish time (GMT +2)

Towards Ecologies of Access was a discursive event in April 2020 forming part of Frame Contemporary Art Finland’s Rehearsing Hospitalities public programme. The event took the form of online conversations between artists Kristiina Koskentola and Pia Lindman and curators Lars Bang Larsen and Mi You.

During the session, the event was open to audiences to follow online through a live written transcription of the discussion with additional images, references and links to videos embedded.

Read an edited version of the transcript via this link.

Listen to the audio recorded (in two parts):

Rehearsing Hospitalities 2019 responded to sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santo’s concept of ‘Ecologies of Knowledge’, asking how contemporary art might become more hospitable towards diverse and interconnected knowledges. Continuing with ‘Ecologies of Knowledge’ and applying it also to questions of access, the 2020 programme will address art and institutional potential to facilitate plural and decentralised forms of knowing and accessibility.

Towards Ecologies of Access is a series of discussions on access to knowledge and experiences outside of Western epistemological binaries such as the body-soul, material-virtual and human-non-human divide. In their conversations the participants will reference different practices and cultural traditions such as shamanism, subsensorial ways of knowing and psychedeliasituated, embodied ways of knowing that are often marginalised or rendered invalid within Western and colonial knowledge systems.  

The event looks into the ethics of artistic engagement in bringing these ways of knowing to the foreground and creating access to different situated knowledges. It questions who can obtain ‘access’ to certain practices and how cultural power structures shape the ownership and production of these knowledges.

Towards Ecologies of Access was moderated by Frame’s Head of Programme Jussi Koitela and Associate Programme Curator Yvonne Billimore. Transcription was written by artist Iona Roisin.

Event on Facebook.


Programme 

14.00 Introduction by Jussi Koitela and Yvonne Billimore


14.15 Screening: Kristiina Koskentola,
Flesh and Metal. Light and Oil, 2020, 27 min        

Kristiina Koskentola’s film Flesh and Metal. Light and Oil. reflects on practices of Shamanism in Inner Mongolia and Historic Manchuria (China) alongside the effects of heavy industry and rare-earth mining in the region, global capitalism, and Koskentola’s own body. In the film, Shaman rituals intertwine with atmospheric electronic soundscapes and (industrial) landscapes. The film searches for a deeper relationship with natural and spiritual worlds through ‘alternative’ knowledges. It explores the boundaries of human rationalism and knowledge production, environmental injustice and the slow violences of global capitalism. The film documents dialogues and ceremonies with the permission and collaboration of a number of Shamans, Healers and Musicians.

 

14.45 Kristiina Koskentola in dialogue with Mi You 

After the screening, artist Kristiina Koskentola and curator Mi You will discuss the film and reflect on practices of working with shamans and shamanism in Inner Mongolia, Manchuria and Russia, in particular (re-)access to worlds and knowledges, and the ethics and politics around it.

15.15 Short break and moment for inviting audience comments

15.25  Pia Lindman in dialogue with Lars Bang Larsen 

Artist Pia Lindman and curator Lars Bang Larsen will discuss concepts of ‘subsensorial’ knowing and psychedelia in relation to Pia’s current body of work, Articulations of Forces at Play. This research intercepts crochet crafts as a way of perceiving, engaging with, and transmitting subsensorial knowledge. Their discussion highlights different cultural, social, and historical power structures of knowing differently. Who has ownership of these knowledges and how are they used? Why do we subscribe to certain epistemologies rather than others, and how do we embody knowing?

16.10 Short break and moment for inviting audience comments

16.20 Open discussion with speakers and audience comments and questions


 

Rehearsing Hospitalities is Frame Contemporary Art Finland’s public programme for 2019-2023. It connects artists, curators and other practitioners in the field of contemporary art and beyond to build up and mediate new practices, understandings and engagements with diverse hospitalities.


Bios 

Kristiina Koskentola is a visual artist. She earned her PhD from the University of the Arts/ Chelsea College in London. Her work spans across media including video, photography, materials, stories, objects, interactive performative projects, publications and lectures. With her recent projects she explores modes of knowledge production, polyvocal subjectivity and agency of multiple co-actors (human and not) often through ‘peripheral’ or forgotten ecologies. Transcultural and monistic perspectives, materiality and coexistence are central to her ethically and socio-politically driven practice.

Lars Bang Larsen is an art historian and an adjunct curator at Moderna Museet in Stockholm. He has (co-)curated exhibitions such as the 32nd São Paulo Biennial Incerteza Viva (2016), Mud Muses. A Rant About Technology (Moderna Museet, 2019-20) and Not Without My Ghosts (Drawing Room, London 2020). His books include The Model. A Model for a Qualitative Society 1968 (2010), Networks (2014), and Art and Psychedelia (forthcoming, 2020).

Pia Lindman is a doctoral candidate in the Nordic Cultures and Environmental Politics programme at Lapland University researching her concept of the subsensorial. A result of many years of investigation into the body and its place within the cultural space, Lindman’s work responds to a contemporary desire to mend the fission between science and art, healing and creativity–and moves beyond the human body proper to multiple realms of life.

Iona Roisin is a British artist and graduate of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. Based in Helsinki since 2015, she has participated in exhibitions and screenings in London, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Zagreb, Tallinn and Seoul. Primarily working across moving image and text, an entire adolescence spent on MSN prepared her for this specific moment.

Mi You is a lecturer at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne and Aalto University, Helsinki. Her long-term research and curatorial projects spin between the two extremes of the ancient and futuristic. She works with the Silk Road as a figuration for nomadic imageries and old and new networks/technologies. She has curated programmes at the Asian Culture Center in Gwangju, South Korea, Ulaanbaatar International Media Art Festival, Mongolia (2016), and with Binna Choi, she is co-steering a research/curatorial project Unmapping Eurasia.  She is chair of committee on Media Arts and Technology for the transnational political NGO Common Action Forum.

 


Still image from the video Flesh and Metal. Light and Oil. (2020) by Kristiina Koskentola.

Gathering for Rehearsing Hospitalities September 2019

Gathering for Rehearsing Hospitalities
9–14 September 2019, Helsinki

“Hospitality can be seen as a core aspect of an art organisation such as Frame, whose aim is to create and foster international networks and connections.Often hospitality can be seen simply as a way of inviting and hosting guests, but in addition to its domestic connotations, it also has the possibility to be considered more complexly. Our invitation to our partners, contributors, participants and friends, is to practice widening the potentially of hospitalities with us.”
Frame’s Head of Programme Jussi Koitela and Associate Programme Curator Yvonne Billimore.

Gathering for Rehearsing Hospitalities was a six-day gathering 9–14 September in Helsinki, Finland. The event brought together local and international arts audiences for a week of interactions and dialogues.

The programme started on Monday 9 September with film screening at Bio Rex movie theatre, curated by Rachael Rakes, curator, critic, and teacher from New York City.

From Tuesday to Friday a morning discussion series Rehearsing Dialogues engaged participants in dialogues at Museum of Impossible Forms in Kontula. In these sessions a diverse range of practitioners shared, performed, and rehearsed how their practices respond to various epistemologies and ways of knowing.

Commuter salon Salon & Speakeasy by Sumugan Sivanesan and Irina Mutt happened daily during the commute between different venues. Alongside an open mind and listening ear, Salon & Speakeasy offered hand massages and palm readings.

On Saturday 14 September a participatory installation by Bread Omens (Jani Anders Purhonen and Elina Rantasuo) produced by artist-led collective Asematila, explored bread-making as a method for building and sustaining communities.

As one of Frame’s key collaborators, Museum of Impossible Forms presented A series of soft gestures towards Hospitality. These gestures are the result of collaborations with a number of partners and artists in the programme including curatorial duo nynnyt, artist-led collective Asematila, Bread Omens, artist Heidi Hänninen, bread makers from Tikke Restaurant, as well as other invited guests and participants from Kontula in Helsinki.

Gathering for Rehearsing Hospitalities was moderated by Jussi Koitela (Head of Programme Frame Contemporary Art Finland) and Yvonne Billimore (Associate Programme Curator Frame Contemporary Art Finland).

Download schedule

Download daily programme

Publication

Rehearsing Hospitalities Companion #1 is comprised of contributions from artists, curators, thinkers and collaborating partners, participating in the 2019 Gathering for Rehearsing Hospitalities. With essays, drawings, reading lists, invitations, exercises, dialogues by Clelia Coussonnet, Rick Dolphijn, Pia Lindman, Rachael Rakes, Vidha Saumya, Sumugan Sivanesan and Irina Mutt, artist-led collective Asematila, culture centre Museum of Impossible Forms and Frame’s programming team Yvonne Billimore and Jussi Koitela.

Rehearsing Hospitalities Companion #1  was published in September 2019 by Archive Books and Frame Contemporary Art Finland, and it’s edited by Yvonne Billimore and Jussi Koitela.

For press copies, please contact Frame’s Head of Communications Laura Boxberg.

Partner Collaborators

Gathering for Rehearsing Hospitalities is developed in collaboration with a number of partners: Amos Rex, Asematila collective, AV-arkki – The Centre for Finnish Media Art, Finnish Cultural Institute New York, Goethe-Institut Finnland, Helsinki International Artist Programme (HIAP), Museum of Impossible Forms and PUBLICS.

Supporters

The main supporter of Rehearsing Hospitalities is the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland, together with the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux, Finnish Cultural Institute in Denmark, Finnish Cultural Institute in Madrid, Finnish Institute in Estonia, Finnish Institute in London, Finnish Institute in St. Petersburg, Lithuanian Culture Institute, Nordic-Baltic Curatorial Programme and the Saastamoinen Foundation.

Parallel programmes

The programme was scheduled to run in parallel with Today Is Our Tomorrow art festival, taking place during the same week, organised by Helsinki-based curatorial agency PUBLICS in collaboration with local and international partners.

During the week Goethe-Institut Finnland presented a programme in collaboration with Design Museum on Bauhaus, gender, ecology and Nordic design.

Biographies

Camille Auer is an anarchist trans dyke bitch artist, writer and performer. She works with sound, words, digital image and direct action. Her subject matter is the friction and diffraction that takes place in and between micro and macro realities, subject and object formation, matter and meaning, and marginalised individuals in an oppressive society.

Bread Omens (Jani Anders Purhonen and Elina Rantasuo) are an artist collective working around dough. It’s infinite fermenting & kin-making process at best – dough bondage, bread-eating, sinking into a tub of sourdough. They rest while waiting for their turn to bake, learn from others, grow in softness, and expand each other’s beautiful and kind existence. Sensing and smelling freshly baked crusty skin, in and out.

Jennifer Chan is a Canadian media artist, curator, and programmer based in Toronto, Ontario. She is best known for her work that addresses how gender and race manifest in the fields of digital and online art, using amateur aesthetics inspired by pop culture, YouTube mashups, and millennial experience.

Rosa Tolnov Clausen’s creative practice oscillates between the fields of craft and design. Clausen creates physical spaces about the practice of hand weaving, using craft as a catalyst for physical, social and creative interaction, and a pause in the contemporary urban every day.

Clelia Coussonnet is an independent curator, art editor and writer based Aix-en-Provence. Coussonnet is interested in how visual cultures tackle political, social and spiritual issues in different, or complementary, ways than other disciplines. She also likes to create interdisciplinary projects outside of traditional art circuits, particularly in contexts linked to craft or heritage and in spaces previously unused for cultural projects.

Marjolijn Dijkman is an artist and co-founder of Enough Room for Space, based in Brussels. Her works can be seen as a form of science – fiction; partly based on facts and research but often brought into the realm of fiction, abstraction and speculation. Enough Room for Space initiates long-term experimental research projects, challenging the barriers between different disciplines (artistic, scientific or activist). marjolijndijkman.com

Rick Dolphijn is an associate professor based at Humanities, Utrecht University, with an interest in transdisciplinary research at large. He has published widely on new materialism, ecology/ecosophy and art and is interested in the developments in continental philosophy and speculative thought. His academic work has appeared in journals like Angelaki, Rhizomes, Collapse and Deleuze Studies. Most recently he published an edited volume entitled Michel Serres and the Crises of the Contemporary with Bloomsbury Academic.

Marie-Andrée Godin was born in Canada and works between Canada and Finland, where she now lives. Her work focuses on the figure of the witch as a feminist figure and explores the concepts of a-hierarchy, craft, holistic and anti-anthropocentric thinking and reclaiming skills and knowledge as a source of power. She is now trying to see how magic, post-capitalism and diverse political forms or systems can be intertwined to manifest a future. She conducts this research under the title WWW³ (WORLD WIDE WEB / WILD WO.MEN WITCHES / WORLD WITHOUT WORK).

Heidi Hänninen is a community artist with a background in art education and sculpture. She has studied monumental painting in St. Petersburg, and has been making wall-paintings in Finland and abroad. She uses street art as a method of communication for community art. Heidi is currently working on a multilingual research project ”Itä-Helsingin uudet Suomen kielet” – developing new art methods for how to deal in the school classes of children from various cultures by valuing different languages.

Eeva-Kristiina Harlin is a doctoral researcher at the University of Oulu, Giellagas Institute (institute for Saami Cultural Studies) in Finland. Her PhD deals with tangible Sámi heritage and repatriation politics. She has worked in Sámi museums in Finland and in Norway and she is specialized in Nordic and European Sámi collections and repatriation. Currently she works with Sámi artist Outi Pieski in a project called “Máttáráhkku ládjogahpir – Foremothers horn hat.

inaway:Nayab Ikram and Ramina Habibollah are a Finnish-Asian curatorial duo. In their curatorial practice, they aim to create a dialogue between the Finnish and the Nordic art sphere by working with artists of colour. Working through the method of the intersectional feminist perspective, they are challenging the norms of the cultural politics in Finland to be more inclusive and representative.

Tereza Jindrová is a curator and art writer. In general, she is interested in methods of creating curatorial ‘frames’ to layer different interactions between artists, artworks and the public. Recently she has focused on the topic of human-animal relations, environmentalism, rational and irrational aspects of healing, irrational beliefs and magic, and gender stereotypes in the context of artistic creativity.

Toril Johannessen is an artist living in Tromsø. Combining historical records with fiction and her own investigations, and with an attention to how science coexists with other systems of knowledge and belief, her works often have elements of storytelling in visual or written form.

Hanna Laura Kaljo is concerned with the cūra within the curatorial, pointing to practices of attention and healing. She received her MFA in Curating from Goldsmiths College, London, and has been supporting artists through dialogue since 2012. In addition, she has trained in group processes including 5 Rhythms, The Way of Council, and Work That Reconnects – practices concerned with body-soul-earth relations.

Mari Keski-Korsu is a transdisciplinary artist who explores how ecological changes manifest in everyday life. The work is based on collaborations with different kinds of communities and species and usually are in the realm of hybrid combinations of performance, visual arts and live art. Her current practice is focused on interspecies communication to possibly enable empathy towards whole ecosystems.

Nadiye Koçak is a multidisciplinary contemporary artist currently studying in Saimaa University of Applied Arts (BFA). They grew up in Kerava in a Turkish-Finnish family, and spent their summers in rural South-Eastern Turkey eating plums, climbing mulberry trees and playing video games. Their work explores the body through various materials and has been presented in Taidehalli, Helsinki as a part of the Young Artists 2019 Exhibition, where they were awarded the Maecenas Kilta Young Artist stipend.

Pia Lindman is doctoral candidate at the program of Nordic Cultures and Environmental Politics at Lapland University researching her concept of the subsensorial. A result of many years of investigation into the body and its place within the cultural space, Lindman’s work responds to a contemporary desire to mend the fission between science and art, healing and creativity – and moves beyond the human body proper to multiple realms of life.

Marie Lukáčová graduated from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. She is one of the founders of the Fourth Wave feminist group which initiated public debate on sexism at universities in 2017. Her films transform symbols borrowed from the fields of politics, mythology, geology and science. They move across various time levels and locations, addressing the questions of uncertain future through specific narratives and poetics.

André Filipek Magaña is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. makes sculpture that engages Mexican life and identity by re-interpreting icons from pre-colonial history, regional culture, pop media, and everyday consumer culture.

Anna Matveinen hails from deep rural Finland as the last child of Mutalahti village. The border with Russia has severed the village in half. The atmosphere of the village is dominated by the closeness and reminder of a bloodied history. These are the elements that comprise the concepts and themes while formulating and creating each piece of art. Finished products are achieved with a performative approach to working.

Militza Monteverde is living and working in Stockholm. Educated at the Royal institute of art (MFA 2017). Monteverde works sculpturally to embrace the uncanny. In her work she uses the xenophobic gaze’s projections, such as fragility and fear, to trace the similarities between alienation and dehumanization. Central are preparations of a new body and an alternative nature, that always borders to the unheimlich.

Irina Mutt is a writer and curator from Barcelona currently based in Helsinki. Some of her curating projects, navigated the possibilities of mixing politics and pleasure through queer feminism, friendship, embodied writing and publishing: ‘Undoing text’ (Inéditos 2016, Casa Encendida Madrid) ‘MICRO’ (Nau Estruch 2015) or narratives around vulnerability as a position to share rather than overcoming: ‘A break can be what we are aiming for’ (BCN-Producció 2018). Since 2017 she’s part of the public program commission at Hangar BCN.

Myriagon is the experimental outlet for the collaboration between artist Tuomas Aleksander Laitinenand curator Jenni Nurmenniemithat manifests as performative events, publications, and recordings. By fusing aural, written, and visual signs and systems, they investigate how language shapes worlds and explore its diverse materialities. Instead of being a human-centric initiative, Myriagon is made by fleeting multi-species communities.

nynnytare Orlan Ohtonen& Selina Väliheikki, a Helsinki-based queer feminist curatorial duo that have, since 2014, been working towards and through a curatorial practice that takes flight from the concept of friendship and echoes intersectional queer feminist politics. nynnyt are co-founders of Poimu studio in Helsinki that hosts the work of 40 feminist art workers as well as an expanding library of art & feminism.

Sepideh Rahaa is a multidisciplinary artist and researcher based in Helsinki and born in Iran. In her practice, she is focused on everyday life, womanhood, resistance, migration and representation. Sepideh’s and Razan’s friendship and professional collaboration started and expanded further by knowing each other’s views while working together in the art project ‘A Dream That Came True?’.

Rachael Rakesis a curator, critic, and teacher from New York City. Rakes is currently the Head Curator and Manager of the Curatorial Programme at De Appel in Amsterdam, the Editor at Large for Verso Books, and Programmer at Large for the Film Society of Lincoln Center—where she co-curates the annual festival Art of the Real. Rakes has taught on social practice, aesthetics and documentary art at The New School and Harvard Summer School, and currently serves as Supervisor for the Sandberg Institute Critical Studies programme.

Vidha Saumya is a drawer, poet, cook and bookmaker. She seeks visual interest in congregating bodies, popular cultures and notions of deformity. She has read her poems in festivals and seminars such as Runoviiko Poetry Festival and Stop Hatred Now amongst others. She is a founding member of the Museum of Impossible Forms, Helsinki and is currently working on the project, ‘Monumentless Moments: Utopia of Figureless Plinths’ supported by the Kone Foundation, Finland.

Eileen Isagon Skyers is a curator, writer, and artist based in New York City. Skyers engages with identity and new media, positioning each against a contemporary society that has grown increasingly alienated as it grows accustomed to artificial intelligences and processes. She is a founding member of HOUSING, a migratory gallery concept that is guided by a desire to stimulate public discourse through the work of artists and creative practitioners whose works show critical commentary and intent.

Sumugan Sivanesan is an is an anti-disciplinary researcher, writer and artist currently based in Berlin. Often working collaboratively his interests span migrant histories and minority politics, activist media, artist infrastructures and more-than-human rights. Recently he has produced projects for the The Floating University, Berlin (2019), Insituto Procomun LABxSantos, Brazil (2018) and Nida Art Colony (2018).

Martta Tuomaala is a multidisciplinary artist based in Helsinki. Tuomaala focuses on various forms of film, video and installation. Her artistic practice involves elements of socially engaged art and militant research. Common themes in her artworks are workers’ everyday life, struggles of individuals and communities, and abuse of power. Tuomaala has worked in different low-income fields for many years, and her own experiences have inspired her to create projects emphasizing workers’ rights issues.

Contributors

Camille Auer
Bread Omens (Jani Anders Purhonen and Elina Rantasuo)
Rosa Tolnov Clausen
Colectivo los Ingravidos
Clelia Coussonnet
Marjolijn Dijkman
Nazli Dincel
Rick Dolphijn
Marie-Andrée Godin
Jacqueline Goss
Eeva-Kristiina Harlin
inaway (Ramina Habibollah and Nayab Ikram)
Tereza Jindrová
Toril Johannessen
Hanna Laura Kaljo
Mari Keski-Korsu
Nadiye Koçak
Pia Lindman
Marie Lukáčová
André Filipek Magaña
Anna Matveinen
Militza Monteverde
Irina Mutt
Myriagon (Tuomas Aleksander Laitinen and Jenni Nurmenniemi)
nynnyt (Orlan Ohtonen and Selina Väliheikki)
Sini Pelkki
Laure Prouvost
Sepideh Rahaa
Rachael Rakes
Azar Saiyar
Vidha Saumya
Eileen Isagon Skyers
Sumugan Sivanesan
Martta Tuomaala

Epistemic Hospitality March 2019

Epistemic Hospitality

13 March 2019
9.30 am–6 pm
Bioart Society’s SOLU Space, Luotsikatu 13, Helsinki

 

“In trying to become “objective”, Western culture made “objects” of things and people when it distanced itself from them, thereby losing “touch” with them. This dichotomy is the root of all violence.” Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera (1987).

Epistemic Hospitality was a day-long discursive event held on the 13th of March in Helsinki, marking the first event in Frame’s programme Rehearsing Hospitalities. Employing this quote from scholar of Chicana cultural, feminist and queer theory, Gloria Anzaldúa’s book Borderlands/La Frontera as a point of departure, Epistemic Hospitality brought together practitioners to ponder how artistic, curatorial and institutional practices can foster and host versatile knowledges and ways of knowing. The event was organized by Frame Finland in collaboration with Bioart Society, Instituto Iberoamericano de Finlandia, Embassy of the Federal Republic Germany Helsinki and Goethe-Institut Finnland.

One of the event’s key concerns was questioning what or who plays a decisive role in determining which forms of knowledge are considered valid. It asked: how can feminist curatorial practice, new artistic paradigms and decolonization of Western art histories elevate diverse knowledges and ways of knowing? How can these practices bricolage, engage and work with knowledges situated within a wide range of human-non-human transcultures?

Inhabiting subsensorial XYZ,  the exhibition of Bioart Society artist in residence Pia Lindman, Epistemic Hospitality is first situated directly within Pia’s artwork: a mapping of SOLU’s environmental sensibilities and complexities and the effect they have on her as a multisensory system and organ.

The discussions and exchanges are built around a series of talks and dialogues, as well as the working process of Pia Lindman, Bioart Society’s current exhibiting artist and artist in residence. Participants of the event are artist Razan Abou Askar, philosopher Rick Dolphijn, curator Giovanna Esposito Yussif, researcher Eeva-Kristiina Harlin, curator and researcher Maria Iñigo Clavo, artist Kristiina Koskentola, artist Pia Lindman, artist Anni Puolakka, art historian and curator Regine Rapp, artist and researcher Sepideh Rahaa,  curator Elina Suoyrjö, curator Jennifer Teets, curator and director Jochen Volz.

Each dialogue challenges traditional Western European epistemologies through artistic, curatorial and research practice. They envision hospitable epistemologies and ways knowing beyond the toxicities of contemporary binaries such as north and south, human and non-human, and universal science and subaltern knowledges.

Epistemic Hospitality takes place within Bioart Society’s SOLU Space between 9.30 am and 6.00 pm.

 

Programme on 13 March

Part one: Situated Discourses

09:30 Introduction and welcome: Jussi Koitela, Pia Lindman and Mari Keski-Korsu (The Bioart Society)

10:00 Talk 1: Maria Iñigo Clavo

10:40 Talk 2: Elina Suoyrjö

11:20 Talk 3: Regine Rapp

Lunch 12.00

Part two: Bricollasing Dialogues

12:45 Dialogue 1: Pia Lindman & Jochen Volz

13:30 Dialogue 2: Kristiina Koskentola & Rick Dolphijn

14:25 coffee break

14:40 Dialogue 3: Sepideh Rahaa & Razan Abou Askar

15:25 Dialogue 4: Eeva-Kristiina Harlin & Giovanna Esposito Yussif

16:10 coffee break

16:25 Dialogue 6: Anni Puolakka & Jennifer Teets

17:20 Open Discussion

18:00 Event ends

The event is moderated by Jussi Koitela (Head of Programme Frame Contemporary Art Finland) and Yvonne Billimore (Associate Programme Curator Frame Contemporary Art Finland).

 

Part one: Situated Discourses invites participants Maria Iñigo Clavo, Elina Suoyrjö and Regine Rapp to further ground us. Their research and practices become a frame for hosting a series of discursive exchanges between artists, curators and thinkers in part two where topics can re-emerge and evolve.

Maria Iñigo Clavo’s research focuses on coloniality, curating and museology, modernity, and its inventions of otherness, unstranslability, and art in Latin America with special attention to Brazilian Art. In her talk Methodological agency of the popular: towards a non-hegemonic art history, she asks: What would be like a writing of art history without its big names? Could our object of study change our methodologies?

Curator Elina Suoyrjö looks at possibilities of knowledge production arising from happenings of affect in encounters with art. Approaching curatorial work with contemporary art as a feminist practice of summoning energies and warm-hearted feelings, and seeing encounters with art as potentially transformative events, her talk focuses on other forms of knowing and knowledge, leaning towards those of emotion and intuition.

Regine Rapp an art historian, curator and co-director of Art Laboratory Berlin, speaks from the position of a researcher and curator working within the life sciences. Through various projects she reflects on new forms of artistic research and knowledge emerging from Art & Science collaborations.

 

Part two: Bricollasing Dialogues is composed of a series of conversations between artists, curators and researchers exchanging a range of thinking, approaches and methodologies relating to knowledge and ways of knowing.

Artist Pia Lindman and curator Jochen Volz discuss the work that Pia made for São Paulo Biennale 2016 and her current exhibition subsensorial XYZ in SOLU: looking into how her work, which uses her heightened sensitivity as a medium, produces, engages with and depends on certain forms of knowledge.

Artist Kristiina Koskentola explores modes of knowledge production, polyvocal subjectivity and agency of multiple co-actors (human and not) often through “peripheral” or forgotten ecologies. During the event she will screen her film Our Bodies Have Turned to Gold (2018) and alongside philosopher Rick Dolphijn discuss transcultural and post-human perspectives on knowledge.

Artist Sepideh Rahaa’s practice questions social norms and conventions while focusing on everyday life, womanhood, resistance, migration and representation. Exchange forms the basis of Sepideh friendship and professional collaboration with artist Razan Abou Askar. Their in-conversation focuses on using experience based knowledge as a method for shared practice.

Curator Giovanna Esposito Yussif and researcher Eeva-Kristiina Harlin will discuss the concept of rematriation and how this sensible epistemological restoration can inform the practices of exhibiting, archiving, and researching heritage and cultural belongings. They will focus on the artistic research project Máttaráhku ládjogahpir – Foremothers Horn Hat which Harlin has been developing in collaboration with Finnish-Sámi artist Outi Pieski.

Artist Anni Puolakka and curator/writer Jennifer Teets respectively discuss their work and research on lactation, nipples, and fluids as a way to engage contemporary epistemological structures – their conversation will largely ask  questions around scalar thinking as a way to approach the “backstory” of matter, combined with issues of rights, health, and ecology.

 

Biographies

Razan Abou Askar is a Palestinian-Finnish artist living in Helsinki. Her BA studies of English Language and Literature reinforced her artistic interests, especially in writing and performance art. Her writings depict traditionally taboo subjects, as well as the tension between one’s native culture and adopted homeland and the difficulty of finding one’s place in a transnational and intercultural setting. Currently she pursues her Master’s degree in Intercultural Encounters in the University of Helsinki and is completing a traineeship at Culture for All Service.

Rick Dolphijn is an associate professor based at Humanities, with an interest in transdisciplinary research at large. He has published widely on new materialism, ecology/ecosophy and art and is interested in the developments in continental philosophy and speculative thought. His academic work has appeared in journals like Angelaki, Rhizomes, Collapse and Deleuze Studies. Most recently he published an edited volume entitled Michel Serres and the Crises of the Contemporary with Bloomsbury Academic.

Giovanna Esposito Yussif is a curator and researcher with background in art history, museology, and critical theory. Since the past few years, Giovanna has focus her praxis on collective models of inquiry, exercises of criticality, and processes of dissentient imaginations. Through her work, she is devising research on non-dominant practices. She is currently co-curating the Pavilion of Finland at the 58th Venice Biennale with the Miracle Workers Collective.

Eeva-Kristiina Harlin is a doctoral researcher at the University of Oulu, Giellagas Institute (institute for Saami Cultural Studies) in Finland. Her PhD deals with tangible Sámi heritage and repatriation politics. She has worked in Sámi museums in Finland and in Norway and she is specialized in Nordic and European Sámi collections and repatriation. Currently she works with Sámi artist Outi Pieski in a project called “Máttáráhkku ládjogahpir – Foremothers horn hat.

María Iñigo Clavo is a researcher, curator and lecturer at Open University of Catalonia and associate lecturer at Central Saint Martins School of Arts (University of the Arts London), with a PhD in Fine Arts. Her research focuses on coloniality, curating and museology, modernity, and its inventions of otherness, unstranslability, and art in Latin America with special attention to Brazilian Art.

Kristiina Koskentola is visual artist. She earned her PhD from the University of the Arts/ Chelsea College in London. Her work spans across media including video, photography, materials, stories, objects, interactive performative projects, publications and lectures. With her recent projects she explores modes of knowledge production, polyvocal subjectivity and agency of multiple co-actors (human and not) often through “peripheral” or forgotten ecologies. Transcultural and monistic perspectives, materiality and coexistence are central to her ethically and socio- politically driven practice.

Since 2017, Pia Lindman is doctoral candidate at the program of Nordic Cultures and Environmental Politics at Lapland University researching her concept of the subsensorial. A result of many years of investigation into the body and its place within the cultural space, Lindman’s work responds to a contemporary desire to mend the fission between science and art, healing and creativity – and moves beyond the human body proper to multiple realms of life.

Anni Puolakka is based in Helsinki and Rotterdam and makes performances, videos, installations drawings and texts in which situation-specific or documentary materials are incorporated into fictional worlds. The works play with the boundaries and potential of human animals as they seek meaningful and vibrant – sometimes drowsy or dirty – involvement with other beings, objects and surroundings. Puolakka has an MFA from the Piet Zwart Institute, The Netherlands. She teaches at Aalto University and Theatre Academy, Helsinki and co-organizes sex-positive, feminist festival Wonderlust.

Sepideh Rahaa is a multidisciplinary artist and researcher based in Helsinki and born in Iran. In her practice, she is focused on everyday life, womanhood, resistance, migration and representation. Sepideh’s and Razan’s friendship and professional collaboration started and expanded further by knowing each other’s views while working together in the art project ‘A Dream That Came True?’.

Regine Rapp is an art historian, curator and co-director of Art Laboratory Berlin (ALB). Her research focuses on art in the 20th and 21st century: Installation Art, Text and Image Theory, the Artist Book, and Art & Science Collaborations. As a research associate at Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle she taught art history. As a research associate at the Institute of Biotechnology of the TU Berlin, she is currently connecting Art & Science research in the project Mind the Fungi.

Elina Suoyrjö is an independent curator and the director of Titanik art space in Turku, Finland. Her curatorial practice builds upon working collaboratively and often site/situation-specifically with artists. She holds an MA in curating from Stockholm University, MAs in both history of art and gender studies from the University of Helsinki, and a PhD in the field of feminist thought and curating from Middlesex University, London.

Jennifer Teets is a curator, writer, researcher and performer born in Houston, Texas, living and working from Paris. Her research and writing combines inquiry, sciences studies, philosophy, and ficto-critique, and performs as an interrogative springboard for her curatorial practice. She is co-curator (w/Margarida Mendes) of The World in Which We Occur, a curatorial research-based entity that explores themes concerned with artistic inquiry, philosophy of science, and ecology.

Jochen Volz is the General Director of the Pinacoteca de São Paulo. In 2017, he was the curator of the Brazilian Pavilion for the 57th Biennale di Venezia, presenting Cinthia Marcelle – Hunting Ground. Volz was the curator of Incerteza Viva (Live Uncertainty), the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo in 2016. Prior he has served as Head of Programmes at the Serpentine Galleries in London between 2012 and 2015.

Images:
Pia Lindman: Nose Eyes Ears, 2016. Photo: Fundação Bienal de São Paulo.
Outi Pieski: Homecoming – Ruoktut máhccan, 2019.
Sepideh Rahaa and Razan Abou Askar: A Dream That Came True?, 2016.
Kristiina Koskentola: Our bodies have turned to Gold, 2018.
Anni Puolakka: Suckling Animal Sibling at Kim? / Hydrogen Night, 2018. Performed with Marta Trektere. Photo: Andrej Strokins.

About Rehearsing Hospitalities

Rehearsing Hospitalities is a guiding principle for Frame to navigate within contemporary urgencies and to claim co-agency in the midst of a changing political, social and cultural environment. Rehearsing Hospitalities acknowledges hospitality as an open-ended skill that needs to be constantly rehearsed.

Rehearsing Hospitalities fosters critical discourse, pluralistic sharing and collaboration between diverse (artistic) practitioners in contemporary societies. It takes the form of yearly autumn gatherings, public dialogues, a series of publications and peer-to-peer learning situations. This far-reaching collaborative process fosters the emergence of new practices and paradigms of political and cultural hospitality.

 

Hosting and being hosted

Rehearsing Hospitalities Frame FinlandHosting and being hosted are powerful tools within the contemporary worldly entanglements of ecocides, epistemic genocides and global poverty and migration driven by increasing income gaps. The programme acknowledges that being hospitable towards a guest is always bound up with power structures that permit someone to be a host and others to be guests.

Hospitality, as it is often understood, is an enlightened promise of emancipatory openness towards the “other”, but for the very same reason it often manifests itself as a force that tends to keep the subject and object – the included and the excluded – in their usual, rigid normalized order.

 

New relations beyond binaries

Rehearsing Hospitalities Frame FinlandThe aim of the Rehearsing Hospitalities is to support (artistic) communities to foster new host-guest and subject-object relations that go beyond binaries rooted in Western social and economic knowledge-power structures.

We ask if there are hospitalities that exist beyond certain geographical, ontological and epistemological divisions such as binaries of north and south, central and peripheral, human and non-human, Finnish and non-Finnish, universal science and subaltern knowledges and many other, often essentialized differences that reproduce the toxicity of contemporary societies?

Rehearsing Hospitalities regards hosting and guesting as a process that allows the emergence of new productive differences and connections. Its fundamental aim is to produce connections and differences differently in order to allow new artistic, cultural and political alliances and positions to come into being.

 

Rehearsing Hospitalities in 2020

Rehearsing Hospitalities Frame Finland

Hosting and visiting can be viewed as core practices for Frame Contemporary Art Finland, whose mandate is to foster and support international connections and networking, with and within, the contemporary art field in Finland.

Over the coming years, hospitality will be Frame’s key practice for asking what kind of urgent international and worldly exchanges are crucial and meaningful and how they can be produced through diverse hospitalities.

As a departure point, the Rehearsing Hospitalities 2019 programme focused on the potential of art and cultural institutions to facilitate and mediate different ‘epistemic hospitalities’. Whilst attention to diverse ways of knowing and knowledge production remains central, the 2020 programme aims to expand on understandings of access and accessibility.

Through various practices of hospitality, Rehearsing Hospitalities looks beyond normative and institutionalised understandings of access. Rather than reduce hospitality to assimilative processes of inclusion, the 2020 programme will address art and institutional potential to facilitate plural and decentralised forms of knowing and accessibility. In collaboration with artists, curators and partners, the programme considers a range of approaches for complicating perceptions and relations with knowledge and access.

In September 2020 the event, Gathering for Rehearsing Hospitalities, responds to different locations across Helsinki, where each site reflects and questions certain politics of access. The programme connects with situated knowledges such as crip epistemologies and other marginalised or subaltern forms of knowledge and experience. Drawing on a diversity of locales and ways of knowing, the Gathering hosts dialogues on issues such as ableism within cultural programming, and access to areas in Helsinki with specific local knowledges and political struggles.

Gathering for Rehearsing Hospitalities programme is co-curated with media art and digital culture agency M-cult and culture centre Museum of Impossible Forms, and produced in collaboration with additional partners.