Art
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An Abandoned Island Is Hosting the First Helsinki Biennial

A promising new event in the world of art.

Vallisaari Island, an abandoned island off the coast of Helsinki, Finland is hoisting the city’s inaugural Biennial. The island has been repurposed quite a few times over the last 200 years — from being a Swedish military outpost in the 19th Century, to changing hands to the Russians, then finally to the Finns. However, the tiny island has been left to nature since the 1990s, resulting in a rich ecosystem, much of which is hands-off to institutions in order to protect the wildlife.

As the first Helsinki Biennial, the organization has curated a body of work from an international cast of artists — all of which was “developed with environmental concerns and local species in mind,” according to the biennial co-curator, Pirkko Siitari. Some of the works also connect back to the islands military history, such as in South Korean artist, Hayoun Kwon’s animated work 489 Years, which speaks on soldiers’ experience with PTSD.

Only a 15 minute ferry from the Finnish capital, the Helsinki Biennial is certainly a promising event going forward. One that will invite a multidisciplinary host of creatives to create art that works harmoniously with the corresponding habitats on the island. The event will also work in accordance with the city of Helsinki’s 2035 carbon neutrality goal by utilizing the EcoCompass sustainability management system. The inaugural edition of the show is on view until September 26.

Elsewhere in art, MUDEC will unveil a new exhibition showcasing the artistic process behind Disney’s iconic films.

Helsinki Biennial
Yrjönkatu 21B,
5th floor,
00099 Helsinki

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