© Anna Prusila
Kaarina Kaikkonen is creating a new work called If I had Wings – Social Elevator in the Marolles neighbourhood of Brussels. Faithful to her practice, Kaikkonen is once again constructing the installation using second-hand clothes. Her choice of materials is an environmental choice, which comments on the transience and the instability of a moment. By using second-hand clothes to create the installation, Kaikkonen brings a human dimension to the work as each item of clothing is also a piece of its previous owner’s past. The second-hand clothes suggest a concern with humanity and identity, themes that are often present in Kaikkonen’s works.
The creation of If I had Wings is made possible through a partnership between the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux, Ifa Laboratory, Arts Lab Brussels and a working group. The work is one of three art works that are part of Ifa Laboratory’s programme of neighbourhood dialogues. The aim of the programme is to develop a sense of community in the Marolles neighbourhood and to facilitate a forum for discussion among the neighbourhood’s residents. Art offers the perfect tools for this. Kaikkonen’s installation needs over 1000 shirts that are collected by residents and organisations working in the neighbourhood. The work is an ideal discussion opener in this vibrant district, which on one hand is full of galleries and antique shops, yet on the other hand has one of highest unemployment rates in Brussels and is home to a large immigrant community. If I had Wings is being built around an elevator connecting two districts. The elevator has an important symbolic role in the neighbourhood as it takes pedestrians up to Brussels’ stately Palais de Justice, from where the view stretches across the districts and far into the horizon.
Kaikkonen’s installation will be on display for five months: from April until August 2018.
Our project focusing on Finnish art and design stretches across the entire year and aims to highlight Finnish designers in central Europe. Together with Brussels based Spazio Nobile gallery we will be participating in several prominent design fairs as well as organise a number of exhibitions, all the while striving to redefine the wide range of skills and expertise in design and art that can be found in Finland. The overall project is curated by the founder of the Spazio Nobile gallery, Lise Coirier, and the director of the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux, Kati Laakso. The project also extends to the spaces of our colleagues at the Finnish Institute in Paris in the spring and summer of 2019.
Do girls and boys have equal opportunities in education and self-expression? Join the Nordic diplomatic representations and cultural institutes in Brussels for a breakfast debate on International Women’s Day.
In the Nordic countries, researchers and educators have been studying the subject for decades, but we still have a lot to learn. With the panel discussion, we wish to take a look at what role gender plays in education and learning in our systems today.
Finnish Cultural Institute would like to get to know Finnish professionals working in the creative field in the Benelux better.
The new EUNIC Brussels conference cycle questioning the future of Europe. The ambition of the project is to rethink the social contract, so that it no longer relies on the relationship between citizens and the state but goes beyond this by taking into account the different dimensions of life today and the crucial issues citizens are facing.
Prolific entrepreneur and senior advisor Risto Kuulasmaa has been chosen as the Institute’s new advisor in the Netherlands for autumn-spring 2018-2019
In 2018, the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux together with Zodiak – center for contemporary dance, SPRING Festival Utrecht and Baltic Circle Festival, commissions a new work by choreographer Sonya Lindfors and writer-activist Maryan Abdulkarim. The work is a combination of workshops, lectures and performances, where choreographers and activists come together, imagining radical utopian common futures. Lindfors and Abdulkarim work closely together with local activists in Utrecht, Brussels and Helsinki.