HELSINKI: SEQUENCE III

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SEQUENCE III: HELSINKI: 03.09. – 14.09.2007
Centrifugal is a research and exhibition project between Zagreb (Croatia), Helsinki (Finland) and Belfast (Northern Ireland). A group of artists and researchers from the three cities on the edges of Europe have been invited to work together over two years, to investigate the changes currently taking place in these locations, activate debate and create interventions into the fabric of these cities. In each city the project takes different forms, consisting of workshops, exhibitions, screenings, seminars, discussions etc.

PROGRAMME (see below for further details)

PUBLIC EVENTS

Sun 9.9. (14-18) : Augusta Gallery, Suomenlinna
OPEN STUDIO: Centrifugal investigations & interventions, screenings (video works from Belfast, Zagreb, Istanbul), bbq & bar

Mon 10.9. (15-17) : Kuvataideakatemia, Kasarmikatu 36
LECTURE: Tourist Transformation (Platforma 98.1)

Tue 11.9. (17-18) : Turkoosi, Lönnrotinkatu
LAUNCH & DISCUSSION: Postcolonial Pizza List (Kalle Hamm, Dzamil Kamanger, Minna L. Henriksson & Sezgin Boynik)

Thu 13.9. (21- ) : Turkoosi, Lönnrotinkatu
KESKIPAKO KLUBI

MOBILE DISCUSSION GROUPS
Fri 7.9. (17-18)
Is Empathy Possible without Identification? (Taru Elfving) @ Café Kappeli, Esplanade

Sat 8.9. (17-18)
What is a Conversation? (Susan Kelly) @ Café Eliel, Railway Station

Mon 10.9. (11-12)
Tourists, Monsters & Aliens (Nicole Hewitt) @ Café Strindberg, Esplanade

Wed 12.9. (17-18)
Nationalism & Art (Minna L. Henriksson & Sezgin Boynik) @ Mannerheim’s Statue / Kiasma Café

ONGOING

Workshops with Daniel Jewesbury, Aisling O’Beirne, Platforma 98.1, Nicole Hewitt, Kalle Hamm, Otto Karvonen.

Several Silences, interventions by Susan Kelly 08.09 – 10.09.2007, various public sites in Helsinki

Aisling O’Beirne
Aisling O’Beirne, from ‘A Small Urban Inventory’, 2005 http://www.aislingobeirn.com/

Details of Programme

    WORKSHOPS

    Workshop: RE/NAMING: Kalle Hamm and Otto Karvonen
    This workshop will build on a workshop held in Zagreb earlier in 2007, which explored the complex historical, political and cultural layers of our everyday environment with a focus on changing street names. The aim of the workshop is to unearth curious local histories underlying seemingly innocent, uninteresting or even meaningless names. These stories reflect on and brought into relation with some more general critical questions raised by these ongoing processes of renaming that continuously shape our surroundings and ourselves.
The workshops are thematically organized under the following two categories:
1) political, geographical and taxonomical point of view: streets, squares, cities, states, continents, planets, galaxies, etc.
- Why rename? Who renames?
- Does renaming change the object somehow?
2) Social, gender and identity point of view: ourselves, others, groups, gangs, neighbours, nations, etc The workshops will take place in the city and its results (drawings, stories, maps, snapshots etc) will be shown as part of the Open Studio at Augusta Gallery on Sun 9.9. (14-18), Suomenlinna
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    Workshop and Lecture: TOURIST TRANSFORMATION (Platforma 98.1)
    Lecture: Mon 10.9. (15-17): Kuvataideakatemia, Kasarmikatu 36

    Croatian architects Platforma 98.1 present their research on the changes in the environment and livelihoods of the inhabitants on the Croatian coastline driven by rapidly increasing tourism in its different forms. They reflect on what may be the tomorrow’s landscape and culture of the area now desirable due to its relatively untouched nature, local traditions etc. The challenge posed by their research and case study has urgency also elsewhere: how to guide these inevitable developments creatively and responsibly towards a sustainable future.
    platforma-workshop-blackboard.jpg nicole.jpg

    Workshop: ALTERNATIVE CITY TOURS: Daniel Jewesbury and Aisling O’Beirn
These workshops also build on work done in Zagreb. They set out to explore, map out and develop alternative city tours that give insights into the city of Helsinki based on unofficial information that reflects the everyday lives and interests of different groups of local people. Participants will include (a) people who have lived in Helsinki all of their lives, who have perhaps seen it change over the years and can identify for us the places where that change has been most acutely felt for them; (b) people who have only recently moved to Helsinki, perhaps those who has moved for work, from elsewhere in the country, or someone who has come to Finland from elsewhere; (c) people who can talk with some knowledge about the built environment of Helsinki, the buildings, street plan and patterns of growth, eg. architects, planners, social activists; (d), people who are able to speak about particular ‘unofficial’ uses of the city, of whatever kind, perhaps from a sociological or anthropological understanding of the city space, people who are able to say, this is where particular people live, and here’s the reason why, or, this is where certain people gather – often it’s the case that these things are invisible to a lot of people and (e) there should be people who can just talk with some confidence about their own understanding of the city and its space. The aim of the workshop is to collaborate with specific groups of users, to discover and document overlapping and perhaps conflicting modes of inhabiting the city.
Types of information to be collected and compiled into the tours include:place nicknames: unofficial place names that people use commonly for places, streets or local landmarks, but which do not appear on official maps and documents. Changed geographies: Sites of significance that no longer exist; shortcuts by foot, bicycle and car. Competing perceptions of urban spaces: the way that people describe their urban environment and use local knowledge to navigate it, reveals much about the politics of place. We take a view of the city as a dynamic social network, rather than a physical environment – the built environment is merely the setting, or backdrop, for social activity. Moreover, that environment is very often designed to contain, obstruct or exclude particular groups or individuals, and we’re interested in the ways people find of negotiating these structural exclusions and going about their daily lives.
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    LAUNCH
    Launch and Discussion: Postcolonial Pizza List: Tue 11.9. (17-18) : Turkoosi, Lönnrotinkatu. (Kalle Hamm, Dzamil Kamanger, Minna L. Henriksson & Sezgin Boynik)

    Launch event and an open discussion about the postcolonial word and book list (by Kalle Hamm, Minna L. Henriksson, Dzamil Kamanger and Sezgin Boynik), which is the latest project by Pizzeria Babylon, a fictive pizzeria of artists Hamm and Kamanger. The leaflet, which gives a brief introduction to the concepts and questions of postcolonial theory, will be distributed to homes across Helsinki during the first two weeks of September 2007.
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    MOBILE DISCUSSIONS
    Mobile discussion groups invite everyone to join a lively debate over a cup of coffee on themes set and introduced by Centrifugal participants:

    Mobile Discussion: Is Empathy Possible without Identification? (Taru Elfving)
    Fri 7.9. (17-18) @ Café Kappeli, Esplanade

    Mobile Discussion: What is a Conversation? (Susan Kelly)
    Sat 8.9. (17-18) @ Café Eliel, Railway Station
    Taking Gilles Deleuze and Clare Parnet’s text ‘A Conversation, What is it? What is it for?’ (Dialogues II, Athlone Press, 2005), as a starting point, we will talk about conversation as (a) a mode of exchange and dialogue (b) a model of collaboration for art practice and (c) a way of thinking about subjectivity and community. In a project such as Centrifugal, the stated aims of dialogue, exchange and building relations between places and people beyond (or at least to the side of) official structures, is complicated not only by language and translation, but also by highly specific and situated modes of communication in each city and cultural context. If not a transparent and rationale exchange of information, views and ideas, what else could a conversation be in this context?

    Mobile Discussion: Tourists, Monsters & Aliens (Nicole Hewitt)
    Mon 10.9. (11-12) @ Café Strindberg, Esplanade

    Mobile Discussion: Nationalism & Art (Sezgin Boynik and Minna Henriksson)
    Wed 12.9. (17-18) @ Mannerheim’s Statue / Kiasma Café
    Sezgin Boynik and Minna Henriksson will discuss issues that arise out of their recently edited book ‘Contemporary Art and Nationalism – Critical Reader’, a collection of critical texts about the relation of nationalism and contemporary art. The book analyzes the situations, and economic and political moments in which contemporary art, which is always perceived as critical and anti-traditional, serves as a mechanism of materialization of regressive movements of authenticity and originality of nationalism. Writers in the book include Boris Buden, Sarat Maharaj, Rastko Mocnik, Misko Suvakovic, Simon Sheikh, Mika Hannula, Marita Muukkonen, Margaret Tali, Marina Grznic, Kobena Mercer, Paul Wilson, Nebojsa Jovanovic, Ivor Stodolsky, Suzana Milevska, Erden Kosova, Sezgin Boynik, Branislav Dimitrijevic. It is published by MM-publication and Missing Identities -project, Kosova, May 2007.


    Ongoing Project
    Several Silences, Susan Kelly, various public sites in Helsinki, 08.09 – 10.09.2007,

    I will invite members of the public to sit and have a conversation with me, without saying anything for three minutes in several locations across the city. I will record those three minutes live, including the sound of the silence, and re-present the time-lapse image in Augusta Gallery, Suomenlinna on Sunday September 9th, 2007. I am interested in how my experience of communication in Finland during the time I lived there (on and off for two years) brought my attention not only to the cultural specificity of modes of communication, but also to a sense of the bankruptcy of words ever since I left. In a moment in time when ‘communication’ is named an industry, when not only immaterial labour regimes, but also many art projects (such as our own) use as their basic ‘raw materials’ communication, co-operation, exchange and dialogue, how can we read or even deal with silence? Does it become subversive somehow? Or return ‘meaning’ to being together? Can you really, as Brecht suggested in 1940, be silent in more than one language?
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