The programme of the Kunsthalle Turku’s opening day

Posted on 31.1.2019

Sat 2.2. at 12-18
Day of workshops, screenings, discussions

“calling for the invention of modes of gathering that complicate politics by introducing hesitation”
(Isabelle Stengers, 2018)

‘Maan oikeus’ in Finnish opens up a plethora of possible meanings that reveal the deep entanglement of cultural and social structures with their material groundings. ‘Maa’ refers not only to land, nation, and ground, but also to the Earth. Distinctions drawn between specific sites and the planetary waver. The narratives of origin, identity and property are written in words that refuse to erect fixed boundaries.

The word ‘oikeus’, then again, stands for the court of law as well as for rights. Individual rights and the institutions of law appear codependent. If rights to the land are inseparable from the rights of the land, how to access laws of the land that are not merely laws applied to the land? Who and how to speak for the earth? Where and how to speak with it? What does the earth oblige those who claim rights to it? Rights, after all, come with obligations.

The opening day of events at the inaugural exhibition of Kunsthalle Turku gathers a range of artistic practices around the shared sense of urgency posed by these ecological concerns. What the discussed practices all share is a deep commitment to take time, even while urged on by a growing sense of emergency, and be attentive to that which remains in the silences and shadows of the apparent order of things. In the face of the unknown, they may not provide answers but rather reckon with the complexities and specificities of the challenges haunting the present.

The day’s programme begins with two workshops encouraging the audience to tune in with their senses to the questions resonant with the exhibition – through listening exercises in the surrounding environment and immersion in communication with one of our age-old companion plant species. The workshops are followed by an afternoon of screenings of new and in-progress moving image art works and discussions with artists on their current enquiries. The questions examined range from the escalating socio-ecological destruction caused by extractive industries, a case in point being the Talvivaara mine in Finland, and the fast unfolding changes brought by climate breakdown on the ecosystem and modes of life in the Arctic, to the legal im/possibility of land belonging to no-one. Beyond providing evidence on the not-seen or giving voice to the otherwise unheard in the cacophony of the attention economy, the afternoon draws focus on situated and accountable practices of care.


Sonic Commons
Listening walks in Old Turku

Artists Simo and Tuike Alitalo guide the participants on a listening walk to approach the familiar urban environment in a novel way, through listening and focusing attentively on its sound scapes. The one-hour walk takes place around the area surrounding the Turku Kunsthalle, followed by a discussion, where the participants can share their experiences.

The walk happens without words or any electronic technology, such as phones or cameras. The walks begins with a brief introduction to simple methods of listening at the Kunsthalle, where the walk also ends. The guidance and the discussion are in Finnish, and in English if needed. No special equipment is necessary, only clothing suitable for the weather. Pets cannot attend, but guide dogs are welcome.

Second listening walk takes place at the end of the exhibition, on Sunday 24th February at 14.00.

Prior registration via email is necessary, as numbers are limited:

Holding Space with Yarrow (Local Plant Remedy Apothecary)

Artist Mari Keski-Korsu facilitates a performative and participatory ritual Holding Space with Yarrow that engages through foot bath and meditation with yarrow. Yarrow is one of the oldest plant remedies that has been used as a cure for many different ills, as its numerous names remind us. Yet what may this powerful plant, which many consider merely a weed, mean for us today? How could its voice be heard in human communities?

The session is in Finnish and lasts approximately 30 minutes. It can accommodate max 10 participants. Registration by email: mari.keskikorsu@gmail. com

Note! The session is not suitable for anyone allergic to asters (composite plants).

Discussion and screenings

The discussions and screenings of the afternoon continue along the interwoven flows of water, from rivers and sewers to myths of codependence and purity. The day promises insights into diverse methodologies and myriad kinds of knowledge produced in the research processes of the artists included in the exhibition as well as others invited to present their ongoing work.

The discussion is open for the public. It is moderated by the exhibition’s curator Taru Elfving, in Finnish. The event is organised in collaboration with CAA Contemporary Art Archipelago, with the support of Kone Foundation.

The following works will be screened during the afternoon:
Arja Renell Purkuputki ja muita tarinoita Talvivaarasta
Lasse Lecklin Juomasuo
Kati Roover Do Rivers Ever End
Saara Ekström Amnion
IC-98 View from the Other Side