Venice Biennale 2019

Pavilion of Finland at the 58th International Art Exhibition –
La Biennale di Venezia

Miracle Workers Collective: A Greater Miracle of Perception
11 May– 24 November, 2019
Giardini, Venice

The Miracle Workers Collective (MWC) present their inaugural project, A Greater Miracle of Perception, for the Finnish Alvar Aalto Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

The MWC is formed and informed by a transdisciplinary and anational community of artists, filmmakers, writers, intellectuals, performers, and activists.

Exploring the miracle as a poetic vehicle from which to expand perceptions and experiences, the exhibition presents MWC’s collective film work, which engages in dialogue with a site-specific sculptural installation by Outi Pieski.

The Miracle Workers Collective

Miracle Workers Collective

The Miracle Workers Collective is:

writer Maryan Abdulkarim
scriptwriter Khadar Ahmed
writer Hassan Blasim
choreographer Sonya Lindfors
artist Outi Pieski
artist Leena Pukki
artist Martta Tuomaala
artist Lorenzo Sandoval
cinematographer Christopher L. Thomas
storyteller Suvi West
curator Giovanna Esposito Yussif
curator Christopher Wessels
and curator Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung.

A Greater Miracle of Perception in the Finnish Alvar Aalto Pavilion.

Exploring the miracle as a poetic vehicle from which to expand perceptions and experiences, the exhibition presents MWC’s collective film work The Killing of Čáhcerávga (2019), which is in dialogue with the site-specific sculptural installation Ovdavázzit – Forewalkers (2019) by Outi Pieski.

 

 

Exhibition: A Greater Miracle of Perception

The Killing of Čáhcerávga (2019)

Miracle Workers Collective

Miracle Workers Collective’s film work The Killing of Čáhcerávga is a collision of five different short films that, together, tell a disjointed, communal narrative. Employing a call-and-response strategy, the film expresses a politicised dialogue around indigeneity, movement and migration in contemporary Europe.

The collective share an interest in exploring the potentiality in disciplinary disobedience.

Travelling through dreamscapes, lonely snowy plains, absurdist capitalist underwaters, greenhouse gardens and desert landscapes, the film stretches into a practice of impossible spatial rules, strange dialogue practices, and inconclusive, unresolved scenic endings.

 

Ovdavázzit – Forewalkers (2019)

Miracle Workers Collective

Expanding beyond the confines of the pavilion, Outi Pieski’s Ovdavázzit – Forewalkers similarly prompts questions around movement and borders. Paying homage to the artist’s Sámi ancestors, the installation brings into dialogue the Sámi traditional handicraft, duodji, with contemporary art.

Sharing both collective and personal histories and heritages, the installation gives voice to the complex internationalist discourse around the Sámi people’s collective struggle against colonial and nationalist enclosures.

Ovdavázzit – Forewalkers transports elements of the arctic tundra to the pavilion, through the series of “dancing” birch trees and reindeer lichen, a primary food source for reindeers.

Arctic peoples have thrived in a harsh environment for millennia, thanks to their extensive knowledge of the land and waters.

This ancestral, ecological knowledge is increasingly recognised as a crucial source for understanding Arctic biodiversity and to develop effective strategies for its conservation, learning from the Sámi philosophy of ‘agreeable life’, soabalaš eallin, that points to a life in harmony and accordance with the earth.

In addition, Movable Membrane (2019), a modular set by Lorenzo Sandoval is inviting audience to stop, pause and reflect. It is inspired by an element developed by architects Aino Marsio-Aalto (1894–1949) and Alvar Aalto (1898–1976) as one of their iconic signatures: the curved surface. The form works as a deconstruction and a re-engagement of their work, rethinking the role of architecture in the construction of the welfare state – which at times has been presented metaphorically as a miracle itself.

Read the exhibition brochure

Public events

Alongside the exhibition at the Finnish Alvar Aalto Pavilion, MWC is exploring the parameters of the biennial concept by taking it out of Venice – their performative, discursive, filmic and sonic arm is manifested in public events in Berlin (Germany), Venice (Italy) Kárášjohka (Sápmi / Norway), and Helsinki (Finland) in 2019. Broadening the collectivity, these events present diverse practices where notions of transmutation, divination, and healing become processes of rematriation, restoration, and joy.

A Greater Miracle of Perception: The Venice Iteration was the second in the series of public events taking place on 10 May from 2 pm at the Finnish Pavilion. The event included the members of the collective as well as invited guests, indigenous rights activist Petra Laiti and dance artist Esete Sutinen.

Read more about the events

Publication

A Greater Miracle of Perception is a new publication available via Archive Books to accompany the exhibition now showing in the Finnish Alvar Aalto Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

The book explores how miracle making – making the impossible possible – is reflected in artistic practices today. It includes commissioned essays and poetry by writers affiliated with the collective as well as by members of the collective itself.

A Greater Miracle of Perception is edited by Giovanna Esposito Yussif and published by Archive Books and Frame Contemporary Art Finland. The publication can be ordered from Archive Books  (15 euros).

Press copies: please contact Head of Communications Laura Boxberg (laura.boxberg@frame-finland.fi).

Commissioner

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. The exhibition is supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland.

Partners and supporters

The exhibition A Greater Miracle of Perception is commissioned and produced by Frame Contemporary Art Finland.

The main partner for A Greater Miracle of Perception is City of Helsinki / Helsinki Biennial 2020 along with Visit Finland / Business Finland.

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. Media art production support by AVEK / Tuuli Penttinen-Lampisuo.

Special thanks to Petri Anttonen, Tiamaria Jukola, Ksenia Kaverina, Anssi Kömi, Heikki Lokki, Inkeri Lokki, Antti Johannes Peltonen, Roope Ruuska, Raimo Saarinen, Elina Varis. Angel Films Oy, EW Dive, Finlandia Park Hotel Helsinki, Hanaholmen – Swedish- Finnish Cultural Centre, The Museum of Impossible Forms, Sámediggi – The Sámi Parliament in Finland, Viherpaja Oy.

Press

You can find press images and press releases in English, Sámi, Italian and Finnish from Frame’s media bank

For more information:

Laura Boxberg
Head of Communications
laura.boxberg@frame-finland.fi tel. +358 44 739 6079

Credits

PARTICIPANTS Miracle Workers Collective manifests through an installation by Outi Pieski; a collective film by Maryan Abdulkarim, Khadar Ahmed, Hassan Blasim, Sonya Lindfors, Leena Pukki, Martta Tuomaala, Christopher L. Thomas, and Suvi West; and a modular set by Lorenzo Sandoval.

CURATORS Giovanna Esposito Yussif, Christopher Wessels, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung.

COMMISSIONER Raija Koli, Frame Contemporary Art Finland.

EXHIBTION CREDITS

Laura Boxberg, communications Frame Contemporary Art Finland

Lilia Di Bella, graphic design Archive Appendix

Chiara Figone, editorial coordinator Archive Books

Ida Enegren, project assistant Frame Contemporary Art Finland

Raija Koli, director Frame Contemporary Art Finland

Maikki Lavikkala, project manager Frame Contemporary Art Finland

David Muñoz, exhibition architect

Luca Piazza, technical assistant

Francesco Raccanelli, project assistant Frame Contemporary Art Finland

Ellen Vene, exhibition assistant

Lebrel Furniture, modular set production

 

CREDITS Ovdavázzit

Special thanks to Tiina-Maria Aalto, Maria Duncker, Teuri Haarla, Miisa Hatakka, Eeva-Kristiina Harlin, Jenni Laiti, Niillas Holmberg, Elina Juopperi, David Muñoz, Pauli Saijets and Polarmoss.

Duojárat / Sámi artisans

Denis Barudkin, Per-Stefan Idivuoma Nils-Johan Labba and Olavi Sakari Saijets.

 

FILM CREDITS

Danai Anagnostou line producer / produttore esecutivo, Simon Al-Bazoon performer, Noora Dadu performer, Tanja Glad camera assistant / assistente alle riprese, Lotta Esko production assistant / assistente di produzione, Salla Hakanpää underwater mobility coordinator / coordinatrice mobilità subacquea, Iiris Hosia performer, Aleksi Hämäri grip / macchinista, Ilkka Kunttu sound designer, Áile Kirste Lokki performer, Miro Mantere studio recordist & mixing / fonico di studio & montaggio audio, Fiona Musanga performer, Pirita Näkkäläjärvi performer, Nelli Nyman camera assistant / assistente alle riprese, Lou Strömberg sound recordist / fonico di presa diretta, Esete Sutinen performer, Leo Tuominen performer, Johannes Valkonen composer / cantautore, Vishnu Vardhani performer, Hánssa Ristena Kerttu / Kerttu Vuolab song writer / cantautore, Sarrah Wilkman colorist & Janina Witkowski assistente alle riprese.