The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux commissioned sculptor Anssi Pulkkinen to create a new work that deals with homelessness as part of Mobile Home 2017, a joint project of the Finnish cultural and scientific institutes based in Paris, Berlin and London. The concept of Pulkkinen’s work Street View (Reassembled) takes the ruins of homes destroyed in the Syrian war that are behind the news images and brings them into our reality. The work provokes questions about issues including war, the loss of home, public and private space, reality and its representation.
The absurdity of our times is palpable. Climate change is like a slow-motion atomic bomb whose red release-button we are gradually pushing deeper and deeper. While fully aware of the resulting planetary chaos, we subsidize this trigger-pushing on the order of trillions of euros a year. Mass extinction of life on earth is an accepted by-product, the “collateral damage” of this extractive economy. An ideological privatization of everything animate, inanimate, (un)conscious or affective puts every aspect of existence in the hands of the profit-motive and nature, health, welfare, liberty and the very fabric of our societies is being torn apart in the process.
Blog post of December 2016: “The mobility of art works and artists, and international collaborations increase income potential for artists, lengthen the life cycle of an art work, and improve the balance between the open market and institutions.”
The blog post of November 2016: “On 24 October the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux, the Finnish Institute in London, Felm, and the Media Diversity Institute organised a workshop at the European Federation of Journalists headquarters in Brussels. The aim of the workshop was to discuss the challenges journalists face when reporting on migration, asylum seekers and conflict, and to raise a dialogue on the preconditions and effects of journalism and on the challenges of reporting migration and the so called ‘refugee crisis’ in the press.”
Blog post of October 2016: “By comparing research on the factors affecting internationalisation in different sectors, one notices differences between practices and guidelines. The biggest concerns in the cultural field, however, are often shared across sectors”.
Blog post of September 2016: “I have thought of art as an axiom of internationalism, since I have experienced art as a means to reach the very core of humanity, a core that does not recognise national borders. What a wonderful instrument the European Union offers to achieve this.”
Blog post of July 2016: “Theatre is a great way to get to know unfamiliar societies and cultures. It acts as a mirror, through which people observe, criticize, reflect upon and laugh at themselves, and through which they reveal their shortcomings and defend their values.”
The blog post of May 2016: “The media plays a big part in defining which topics are spoken of and from which viewpoint. For example, understanding of the so called “refugee crisis” forms according to how it is covered in press and who gets to comment on it.”
Blog post of March 2016: “The performing arts in Belgium are flourishing. It seems they are afforded a particular space of their own, as well as significant creative freedom, within society.”
Blog post of February 2016: “Is it possible to update rather than oppose, the meaning of nationalism?”
Blog post of January 2016: “A grant funding system focused on generating Finnish narratives of success has become such an entrenched part of the country’s arts scene that it is now almost impossible to imagine an alternative to it.”
Blog post of December 2015: “One measure of a stable society is how quickly it can return to normal, to reinstate trust, following an emergency.”
Blog post of November 2015: “Most cultural institutions in the Netherlands did not think twice about making their care for ‘the other’ clear.”
Blog post of October 2015: “It is not my responsibility to write something literal, state the obvious or produce answers. My responsibility is to create the Circumstances where something significant might occur.”
Blog post of September 2015: “Europe is a patchwork of opportunities for circus and to be working in this field one MUST look beyond the borders.”
Blog post of April 2015: “In Finland the parliamentary election fever is reaching its peak now that there are less than three weeks to election day. It does however seem that questions concerning culture and the arts have been pushed on a side track by the mainstream media.”