© 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.
This summer, BOZAR centre for fine arts opens an exhibition together with artist-run galleries from across Europe. Jaakko Pallasvuo & Viktor Timofeev are represented by the Brussels-based Komplot gallery.
The Musiqu’3 Festival is presenting a wide range of Finnish musicians this summer as part of this year’s Nordic Vibes theme. The three-day festival, which takes place at the end of June and the beginning of July, will feature music by leading Finnish artists as well as Finnish musicians who are in the early stages of their international career.
Established in 2011, the festival has from its inception placed an emphasis on bringing classical music to a broad, young and as diverse as possible audience. The festival organisers take pride in their openness and willingness to experiment and aim to present a rich pallet of musical genres. The festival features choral music, folk music, world music, jazz and even rock sounds.
2 May 2018: 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.
The TelepART platform was launched in the spring of 2016 with the aim to promote exchange between Finland and the Benelux countries in the performing arts field. In May 2017, the Finnish Institute in London joined the programme, making it possible for artists from Great Britain and Ireland to apply for TelepART funding.
Wednesday 24 January will see the TelepART programme expanding even further when the Finnish Institute in Hungary ‘FinnAgora’, the Finnish Institute in Germany and the Finnish Institute in Estonia join the programme.
Kati Laakso moves to Brussels from the Finnish Institute in Japan where she was the Culture and Communications Manager. Laakso has, amongst others, previously worked as a consultant for cultural and creative activities at the Consulate General of Finland in New York and as coordinator of international media relations and satellite projects for the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 project.
Curator Anni Fahler and artist Timo Wright are launching ARS – Artist Residency Swap, a new artist exchange pilot programme in the Benelux. The idea behind the programme is a platform where artists can swap both their work space and home with another artist from a different country. The goal is to create a space where artists all over the world can connect through their profile in order to not only share their work and living space, but also experiences and insights.