Venice Biennale 2019
Pavilion of Finland at the 58th International Art Exhibition –
La Biennale di Venezia
The Miracle Workers Collective (MWC) present their inaugural project, A Greater Miracle of Perception, for the Finnish Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.
The MWC is formed and informed by a transdisciplinary and transnational community of artists, filmmakers, writers, intellectuals, performers, and activists including: writer Maryan Abdulkarim; scriptwriter and director Khadar Ahmed; writer and filmmaker Hassan Blasim; choreographer and artistic director Sonya Lindfors; artist Outi Pieski; artist Leena Pukki; artist Martta Tuomaala; artist and curator Lorenzo Sandoval; cinematographer Christopher L. Thomas and filmmaker and storyteller Suvi West, as well as curators Giovanna Esposito Yussif, Christopher Wessels, and Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung.
Exploring the miracle as a poetic vehicle from which to expand perceptions and experiences, the exhibition is realised through cinematic collaborations by members of the collective, and a site-specific sculptural installation by Outi Pieski gesturing to the transnationality of the Sámi people across Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. Creating a space of encounters upon which to pause and reflect, the pavilion challenges the notion of national representation and belonging.
“We are shifting beyond the realm of the possible, exploring moments regarded as ‘failures’ and exploring technologies of listening and seeing to chart the journey of the impossible,” says the collective, “while deliberating the importance of processuality in collective practices.”
“For us, this is an exciting journey”, says Raija Koli, Director of Frame and commissioner of the exhibition. “By bringing together the multidisciplinary practices and diverse backgrounds of its members, the Miracle Workers are rearticulating the idea of a contemporary art exhibition at the Finnish Pavilion. The collective is also exploring the parameters of the biennial concept by taking the Biennale out of Venice and all the way to Karasjokk into the circumpolar North.”
Public events in Berlin, Venice, Karasjokk and Helsinki
Running additionally to the Venice exhibition, the performative, discursive, filmic and sonic arm of the MWC is manifested through a series of public events taking place in Berlin, Venice, Karasjok and Helsinki during 2019.
By contesting the presupposed structures of exhibition making in biennial contexts, the collective questions the given hierarchies, and notions of the impossible, in the everyday.
The exhibition in the Pavilion of Finland is commissioned and produced by Frame Contemporary Art Finland. Frame, an advocate for Finnish contemporary art, supports international initiatives, facilitates professional partnerships, and encourages critical development of the field through grants, visitor programme and residencies, seminars and talks, exhibition collaborations and network platforms.
Partners and Supporters
The main partner for A Greater Miracle of Perception is City of Helsinki / Helsinki Biennale 2020.
The main supporter of A Greater Miracle of Perception is the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland, together with the Saastamoinen Foundation, The Finnish Cultural Foundation and Embassy of Finland in Rome.
Image: (from left) Sonya Lindfors, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Leena Pukki, Christopher Wessels, Khadar Ahmed, Suvi West, Outi Pieski, Martta Tuomaala, Christopher Thomas, Maryan Abdulkarim, Lorenzo Sandoval, Giovanna Esposito Yussif and Hassan Blasim.